Compression stockings are often the first line of treatment for spider and varicose veins. These special socks work by improving blood flow in areas where circulation has been impaired due to damaged vessels. While compression stockings may seem old-fashioned compared to the modern technology used to treat varicose veins today, they still have a place in the treatment protocol. At Windward Vein, we often recommend compression stockings to our patients due to the many benefits they provide.
The Science Behind the Stocking
Compression stockings offer gradient pressure that is tighter at the foot and loosens as the sock works up the leg. The science behind the compression is to help hard-working veins in the foot and lower leg move blood back up the body to the heart. That assistance will not reverse vein disorders that have already developed, but it can go far in reducing symptoms or preventing disorders from worsening.
Both varicose and spider veins can be accompanied by symptoms like leg heaviness, aching and swelling. These symptoms can get worse throughout the day, making it difficult to get much needed rest at night. In addition, the symptoms may become persistent and severe enough to keep some sufferers from participating in certain activities they once enjoyed. Compression stockings can be effective in reducing those uncomfortable symptoms, making it easier to perform some activities and improving quality of life overall.
Spider veins and varicose veins are often caused by an underlying condition known as chronic venous insufficiency or CVI. CVI occurs when blood stops flowing as efficiently through the veins as it should. Instead, blood begins to pool inside the vessel, leading to swelling and varicosity. CVI can get worse if it is left unchecked, but compression stockings can often slow or even stop the progression of the disorder to prevent further symptoms from occurring.
Enhancing Treatment Results
While compression stockings can be beneficial prior to vein treatment, they can also provide advantages after vein treatment has been performed. Common vein treatments like laser ablation and sclerotherapy tend to have better results when they are combined with compression therapy. The compression promotes healing to the treated veins and healthy blood flow to surrounding vessels.
Following Insurance Requirements Many patients will find that insurance covers at least a portion of their vein treatment, particularly when an underlying condition is diagnosed and symptoms are well documented. However, insurance companies often require patients to wear compression stockings for a prescribed period of time before covering procedures like sclerotherapy or laser ablation. Once you have worn the stockings for the correct amount of time, you may qualify for insurance coverage for the procedure to actually eliminate the damaged vessels.
Do You Need Compression Stockings?
While compression stockings offer a myriad of benefits to spider and varicose vein sufferers, they may not be the right choice for everyone. These stockings tend to work best on patients with relatively small spider and varicose veins and few symptoms. They will not reverse a vein condition that already exists, so additional treatment will be necessary if you want to get rid of your varicose veins and their symptoms on a more permanent basis. If you are suffering with the pain and embarrassment of spider or varicose veins, there are many different treatment options available today. Contact Windward Vein at 808-797- 2687 to find out if compression stockings are the right therapy for you.