Most Common Q&A’s Regarding Compression Hose

By Jessica Alison

Compression hose are an excellent product that we use in our office quite regularly to both prevent and treat the whole spectrum of venous disease. Commonly, we get a lot of questions from patients in our office regarding compression hose. Here are a few of the most common:

  • What are compression hose and how are they different from regular hose?

Compression hose are medically designed hose that provide stronger pressure at the foot and ankle and slowly decrease in pressure as the hose goes up the leg. This physiologically works against gravity to prevent pooling of blood in the legs. Additionally, compression hose provide support for the calf muscles to pump against when walking, increasing the upward “squeeze” of blood to return to the heart. This is significantly different from “knee high” dress hose or dress socks, which have a tight band around the top that act as a tourniquet and worsen swelling and venous disease in the legs and feet.

  • Who should wear compression hose?

Compression hose are recommended for both prevention and treatment of venous disease. They are highly recommended for any person who has a job requiring long hours of standing or anyone with manifestations of venous disease (such as spider veins, varicose veins, venous ulcers, or bleeding varicosities) as they help with reducing leg pain, swelling, recurrence of venous ulcers, and the development of worsening disease over time. They also help in long term treatment of a deep venous thrombosis (DVT). If you have severe venous disease, wearing compression hose will not cure it, but it will help lessen the severity and symptoms.

  • So I finally bought some hose. How often should I wear them?

Compression hose should be worn during the day as often as you desire. We recommend wearing them especially when there will be long periods of standing. Although not harmful, they should not be worn when sleeping.

  • What are contraindications for wearing compression hose?

Patients with moderate to severe arterial disease should not wear compression hose. Other relative contraindications include skin infections, severe congestive heart failure, and contact allergies with the stockings.

If you have any questions regarding wearing compression hose or would like a prescription, talk to your doctor or see a vein specialist for further workup to rule out an underlying venous problem.

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