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How To Use Compression Stockings Safely

How To Use Compression Stockings Safely

Compression stockings are a popular treatment used to prevent and recover from serious medical conditions, and as a health promotion device. Commonly used as a post-workout recovery aid, and sometimes worn just for comfort, they are effective at alleviating swollen feet, and ankles, heavy or aching limbs, night cramps, and restless legs. Compression stockings are designed to encourage healthy blood circulation, and to prevent or treat vein disorders. These stockings are often graduated, applying stronger pressure on the feet and lower legs and more gentle pressure as they move up the leg. With improper use, however, you can cause health complications, so using them safely is imperative.

Benefits of Wearing Compression Stockings

Gravity can work against us in many ways. As it pulls our blood downward, and slows its return to the heart, gravity can cause blood to pool in your legs. This can damage vein walls and valves, resulting in harmful inflammation, varicose or spider veins, and possibly blood clots. Compression stockings  can be used in the treatment and management of a variety of conditions, including: 

  • Edema
  • Venous insufficiency
  • Varicose veins 
  • Deep vein thrombosis 
  • Lymphedema 
  • Phlebitis

These prescription stockings encourage healthy blood flow in your legs and decrease pressure inside your veins. Medical-grade compression stockings can reduce leg pain and swelling, and lower the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), as well as other circulation issues. They are often prescribed to aid in healing after surgery or treatments for vein dysfunction. There are many benefits of compression stockings including:

  • Improved circulation and lymphatic drainage
  • Pain relief and prevention
  • Preventing (and relieving) blood clots, varicose veins, spider veins, or venous ulcers
  • Reduced swelling and inflammation in the legs, feet, and ankles

How To Safely Wear Compression Stockings
Compression stockings are typically worn during the day, and removed at night time. Here are some excellent tips on how to safely wear compression stockings: 

  1. Have your compression stockings professionally fitted, and re-assess the fit if you gain or lose significant body weight. 
  2. It is best to put on your compression stockings in the morning, when your legs are less swollen. Ensure your legs and feet are dry. You can use baby powder or talcum powder to reduce friction. 
  3. Distribute the fabric evenly over the leg, and avoid bunching. You want the stockings to be smooth, without wrinkles, and to be properly centered on your heel. 
  4. Some people find using rubber gloves facilitates this process. It can also prevent snagging or tears in the compression stockings. 
  5. It is essential to NEVER fold or roll the band at the top of the stocking down, as this will constrict leg circulation, much like a tourniquet.
  6. Check for changes in your skin such as chafing, redness, indents, or dryness.
  7. Although it is best to remove them when you want to bathe, you can wear them with socks, slippers, or shoes comfortably. 
  8. In order to enjoy your compression stockings longer, preserve elasticity by hand washing them, and hanging them to dry. If they become too loose, they will not be effective and will need to be replaced. 
  9. Always start a new day with a clean pair of compression socks to maintain hygiene and keep your skin healthy.

What Are the Risks Of Wearing Compression Stockings
Compression socks are typically safe to wear if you follow your doctor’s guidance and the manufacturer’s instructions. Overusing compression socks and wearing them incorrectly can cause skin breakdown, and potentially infection. Compression socks come in different sizes, so you must select the correct size after a consultation with your vein specialist. If the stocking is too tight, it can cut off blood supply and oxygenation, causing tissue damage. When using compression stockings, It is important to monitor yourself for certain complications. If you notice any of the following issues, seek medical assistance:

  • Hard, swollen veins
  • Loss of feeling, or circulation in your legs
  • Persistent leg cramps
  • Warmth, or red areas in your legs or feet
  • Blue or purple-shaded skin
  • Rapid breathing, or difficulty breathing

Depending on your condition, you may wear the garments on one or both legs. Follow your doctor or vein specialist’s advice regarding how often they should be worn, and for how long. 


High-Quality Compression Stockings To Keep You Pain Free 

Glenmore Landing Vein Clinic in Calgary offers a range of top-quality Sigvaris Well Being compression stockings in a variety of styles, mmHg pressures, and uses. We aim to provide our patients with excellent compression garments at affordable prices. Read our article 3 Easy Steps to Find The Right Compression Stockings For Your Needs to understand how to find your best fit. Our team at Glenmore Landing Vein Clinic in Calgary has the knowledge and expertise to help you make the most informed and safest choice. For assistance with choosing the right compression stockings for you, call us at (403) 253-2555 or reach us through our online form.



Q: Who uses compression stockings?
A: Circulation problems affect a wide range of people, from those who stand for long periods at work or participate in athletic activities, pregnant mothers, seniors, and post-operative patients, to those with mobility problems, or those who are predisposed to certain health conditions. 

Q: Who should avoid compression stockings?
A: It is wise to consult with your doctor to confirm whether you are a candidate for compression stockings. In general, people with nerve sensory conditions, extreme edema (swelling), certain infections, and fragile skin may not be suitable patients for compression stockings. For specific medical conditions, it’s also important to consult with your doctor on the exact compression level for you.

Q: How long should I wear my compression stockings?
A: While it is not typically harmful to wear compression stockings all day, it is not usually necessary. It can be beneficial to give your skin some time to breathe without stockings. If you have been advised to wear them at night, you can often switch to a lighter compression strength for increased comfort. If your toes start to tingle while you are wearing your compression stockings, you should remove them immediately and contact your doctor or vein specialist.

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