Vein specialists frequently prescribe medical grade graduated compression socks or stockings.
They are used to alleviate the symptoms of venous disease such aching, tiredness and heaviness. They are also used to minimise the risks of complications from varicose veins such as phlebitis, varicose eczema and leg ulceration. They are also used after vein treatments such as sclerotherapy and they are also used to minimise the risks of developing a deep vein thrombosis on a long haul flight or long journey.
They are very different to support tights or support socks. They are graduated which means that they are much firmer at the ankle and they become progressively less firm up the leg. They work with the vein circulation encouraging the flow of blood from the foot back to the heart.
They can be quite difficult to get on, however, because they are so firm at the ankle and I am grateful to Beth Fisher from Sigvaris who is going to show us how to put medical socks and stockings on in this short video.
Method (wearing rubber gloves helps)
- Sit down in a safe position.
- Turn the grip top of the stocking down.
- Place your hand inside the stocking, grip the heel and pull the stocking inside out as far as the heel.
- Place your foot into the stocking and gently pull the stocking over your heel. This bit is often the most difficult. Gradually work the stocking little by little up your leg.
- Adjust the top of the stocking to reach just below the crease of your buttock.
- You can then stand up and look for any wrinkles or creases which need your attention.
So that is how to put on medical grade compression stockings. Ideally you ought to put them on first thing in the morning and take them off last thing at night. You don’t need to wear them whilst you are in bed. After continuous wearing and washing, 2 pairs will last approximately six months.