How do support stockings work?
Support stockings provide a graduated compression that helps blood flow from the lower leg towards the
heart. Compression is firmest at the ankle, and gradually reduces as the distance from the ankle increases.
Graduated compression stockings cannot cure varicose veins, but they can prevent further vein deterioration. Long-term
use of support stockings is recommended, even after leg vein surgery, to prevent the condition from developing again.
Types of compression stockings
Support hosiery is classified into 3 different grades of compression: Class 1 may be sold in pharmacies without a
doctor's recommendation, whereas Classes 2 and 3 are sold only on the recommendation of a doctor.
Full length hosiery - stockings or pantyhose - are
usually preferred for people with varicose veins in the thigh, and for pregnant women. Knee-high or ankle-high support stockings
provide enough support for people with lower leg problems such as varicose veins, swollen ankles and ulcers.
- Class 1 compression is recommended for people with tired, aching legs, mild varicose veins, or mild
ankle swelling, and helps prevent ankles and feet from swelling during long flights.
2 compression is recommended for people with moderate to severe varicose veins, pronounced ankle swelling, after
vein surgery, and helps prevent the re-occurrence of venous leg ulcers.
3 compression is recommended for people with severe varicose veins or ankle swelling, active leg ulcers, and helps
prevent leg ulcers from re-occurring.