How to Use Compression Stockings

Compression stockings have been used for decades to provide relief to patients suffering from the symptoms of venous reflux. By adding pressure to the veins in your feet and legs, this form of compression therapy can help improve circulation. They can also lessen pain and swelling in your legs, and lower your chances of getting deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a kind of blood clot.

What Are They?

Compression stockings are specially-made, snug-fitting, stretchy socks that gently squeeze your leg. Graduated compression or pressure stockings are tighter around your ankle and get looser as they move up your leg.

You can buy them over the counter, but we recommend seeing a vein specialist to prescribe the right type of compression stocking for your needs. With countless varieties of compression stockings and socks on the market today, every patient can find an option tailored to treat his or her specific symptoms. 

How Long Should I Wear Compression Stockings Each Day?

It’s important to put on compression stockings first thing in the morning, before you lower your legs and get out of the bed.

The horizontal position sleeping puts the body in makes your vein valves function more effectively than when sitting or standing. In a vertical position, gravity kicks in and compromises blood flow. This is why many patients report that their ankles and calves usually feel fine in the morning, and get swollen and heavy as the day progresses.

Putting on compression stockings in the morning will keep the valves in the right position to support healthy blood circulation in your legs during the day.

If you’ve already developed a vein-related condition, compression stockings can help alleviate symptoms such as:

  • swollen ankles
  • fatigue and pain
  • heavy or aching legs
  • restless legs
  • night cramps

Ideally, you should put compression stockings on when you get up in the morning and remove them only when you go to bed at night. Having at least two pairs of compression socks will make following this routine easier since you can wash one pair while wearing the other.

How Do I Wear Compression Stockings Properly?

Your compression socks should be purchased to fit your legs appropriately. Visiting a vein specialist will provide the simplest and most comprehensive solution for getting the right type of stockings. They are available in a variety of sizes, and choosing the right size for your body is critical to ensuring that you can experience the full benefits of your socks.

Can Men Wear Compression Stockings?

Yes! While the name may be confusing, compression stockings are also commonly referred to as compression socks. There are styles available for both men and women in a variety of colors. 

Visit a Specialist

While compression stockings help many patients find relief from varicose or otherwise damaged veins, there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that they’re an effective treatment on their own. While managing the symptomatic pain is crucial, it’s important to always seek the advice of a vein specialist when determining the best treatment for you.


Elmore Medical Vein & Laser Treatment Center is the premier vein specialty medical practice in the Central Valley. Dr. Mario H. Gonzalez and his staff offer years of experience and medical expertise that you won’t find anywhere else. Contact us today to set up a consultation appointment.

Jennifer GuidryComment