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What Are Compression Stockings?

Compression stockings are specialized garments that put therapeutic pressure on your legs in order to increase circulation and prevent swelling.  They are useful for people who spend prolonged periods of sitting and standing, or in those with venous diseases. Compared to traditional hosiery, compression stockings fit more snugly and use stronger elastic to apply a gentle squeeze to the legs and feet. The compression is highest around the ankles and gradually reduces as you go up the leg.

How Do Compression Stockings Work?


Compression stockings may be prescribed to help reduce symptoms and swelling associated with the following conditions:

  • Edema (buildup of fluid in the lower limbs and feet, which causes them to swell)

  • Pregnancy (the hormones produced during pregnancy affects the veins in the legs, which results in blood pooling in the feet and ankles)

  • Chronic venous insufficiency

  • Varicose Veins

  • Phlebitis

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis

  • Lymphedema

  • Arthritis: Compression stockings can sometimes help reduce swelling and inflammation caused by rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. 

The following people may also benefit from compression stockings:

  • Individuals with or at risk of circulation problems that can lead to blood and fluid pooling in the feet and lower limbs

  • Individuals who cannot be upright (orthostatic intolerance)

  • Individuals who are bed-ridden as the result of chronic illness or surgical recovery

Please note: compression stockings are not recommended for diabetes patients with arterial insufficiency.

What Are The Benefits Of Compression Therapy?

Medical-grade compression stockings offer a higher performance and more benefits than the over-the-counter compression wear found at a drugstore. Medical-grade compression stockings also come in different strengths (20-30mmHg, 30-40mmHg, 40-50 mmHg and 50-60mmHg) and sizes to ensure the right amount of pressure is applied to properly address your specific medical needs.

Compression stockings offer the following benefits:

  • Preventing and managing the effects of circulatory issues:  By increasing circulation to the legs, they reduce the risk of blood clots, can help treat varicose veins, and offset the effects of poor circulation from diabetes.  

  • Swelling and pain relief:  Swelling (medically referred to as “edema”) is caused by the build-up of fluid.  Compression stockings stimulate circulation, which reduces swelling and in turn, provides pain relief.  Improved blood flow to the muscles also reduces their susceptibility to injury and fatigue.  

  • Improved muscle and athletic performance: By improving blood flow to the legs, and in essence offsetting the harm caused by long periods of standing or sitting, the muscles receive the oxygenated blood supply they need to perform their tasks. This keeps them healthy and reduces strain and the proneness to injury.  

Who Can Benefit From Compression Stockings?

Compression stockings can benefit people of all ages in any condition. In addition to benefiting people who are pregnant or have conditions affecting their circulation, they are also very beneficial for people who sit or stand for prolonged periods: When your legs are stationary for an extended period of time (i.e.: during prolonged sitting or standing), or if you have circulation issues, the veins can’t push hard enough and blood begins to pool in the veins of your feet and lower legs instead of recirculating throughout your body.

Whether you’re on a long flight, or your occupation feels like one from sitting at a desk for hours on end, compression stockings can help combat fatigue, achiness, and swelling. The same goes for professions and pastimes that require long periods of standing on your feet, like teaching and nursing. In essence, people in any occupation where you’re sitting or standing for prolonged periods can benefit from compression stockings (which covers a lot of people).

Are Compression Stockings Covered By Insurance?

Compression stockings and socks are covered under many supplemental insurance plans. Most insurance companies require a prescription from a medical doctor to cover the cost of compression stockings. If you are unsure about your benefits, you can contact your insurance company directly, or check with your employer’s HR department to receive a breakdown of your policy. 

The most most accurate and sure-proof way to check your coverage is to contact your insurance company directly. 

Do I Need A Prescription For Compression Stockings?

If you want to use your private foot care benefits to get compression stockings, all insurance providers require a prescription from a medical doctor. Once you receive your prescription, I will be happy to measure you and help you select the compression stockings best suited for your needs and activities.

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