How to choose compression stockings, knee-highs and tights for varicose veins

Varicose veins are one of the pressing problems of a modern person, which everyone can face due to age, professional employment and a number of other reasons. Of course, at the slightest suspicion of the development of varicose veins, it is necessary to consult a doctor as soon as possible, who will diagnose and prescribe treatment.

To achieve the maximum effect, conservative treatment implies an integrated approach, which includes the use of medications, physiotherapy, massages, and more. Also part of the treatment is the wearing of special compression garments, which will be discussed.

the effect of compression stockings on the legs with varicose veins

Application of compression garments

Before talking about why you need compression underwear, you need to understand what constitutes varicose veins, only then the principle of operation of special stockings, tights and golfs will become clear.

Veins are the vessels that supply blood to the heart. Varicose veins are a disease in which these vessels undergo a number of pathological changes. In particular, the veins lengthen and expand, their walls become thinner, and the pathological process is accompanied by the formation of vascular nodules.

In addition, with varicose veins, the work of the venous valves is disrupted, which are designed so that blood can circulate to the heart (upward). Insufficiency of valves and deformation of the venous bed leads to stagnation of blood, which in turn provokes an increase in pressure inside the vessels, this process is called varicose veins.

The principle of compression created by specialized underwear is to apply pressure to the dilated vessels from the outside. Compression of the enlarged superficial veins provokes a redistribution of the blood flow, directing it into the deep vessels. Due to this, excessive load is removed from patients who are not able to function normally, and blood circulation is restored.

Correctly selected underwear puts different pressure on certain parts of the leg. It looks something like this:

  • The highest degree of compression is on the lowest part of the limb, the lower part of the lower leg;
  • In the middle of the lower leg, the compression is 30% lower, which is 70% of the maximum compression;
  • Closer to the knee, these indicators decrease even more, and so on, depending on the type of underwear and the extent of the disease.

Such an approximate diagram shows that at the lowest section, the pressure should be higher due to the fact that the movement of blood through the veins in this area requires much more effort, that is, more pressure. As the blood rises higher, the intravenous pressure gradually decreases, respectively, the load from the veins is relieved.

compression stockings for varicose veins

Correctly selected compression underwear improves blood circulation, allowing you to improve the patient's condition with varicose veins, get rid of stagnant processes in the vessels. At the same time, the most natural conditions for the movement of blood are provided, due to which this method of maintenance therapy is completely safe.


If we talk about in which cases it is indicated to wear compression underwear, the answer is mainly one - varicose veins. This means that from the first stage of the development of the pathological process, and ending with the most difficult - the third stage, doctors prescribe the use of such underwear.

But also compression underwear may be required for the prevention of varicose veins, if there is a suspicion of the development of this disease. In general, the following, more specific indications can be distinguished:

  • Pregnancy;
  • Prevention of the disease, especially in the presence of factors predisposing its development;
  • Diagnosed varicose veins - as part of a comprehensive treatment and in order to prevent its progression;
  • Postoperative period - if operations were performed to eliminate severe forms of varicose veins.


Despite the safety and harmlessness of this method of prevention and treatment, there are a number of contraindications for wearing compression underwear:

  • Severe forms of vein thrombosis, which often develop at the final stage of the progression of varicose veins;
  • Active inflammatory processes in the lower extremities of various etiologies, especially purulent;
  • Aortoarteritis;
  • Endoarteritis;
  • Trophic ulcers;
  • Atherosclerosis;
  • Damage to the skin.

It is also very important to choose the right compression products. The underwear should fit the patient and in no case should press the legs, as this leads to numbness, even more severe circulatory disorders and even deformation of the lower extremities.

At the same time, large laundry, that is, too loose, will not provide the necessary compression, respectively, the therapeutic effect will be negligible or will be reduced to zero.

Types of compression underwear

Depending on the situation in which the compression underwear is used, the nature, the degree of progression of the pathological process, its scale, as well as a number of individual factors, the doctor may prescribe a specific type of underwear. You can conventionally divide the attributes for creating compression into 4 types:

compression tights for varicose veins
  1. Tights- the most common and very effective type of decoration that has a compression effect. To choose the right size tights, you need to make sure that they reach the waist, not higher or lower. In addition, they should not be too loose, but at the same time, make sure that they do not pinch your legs, hips, waist. According to the patients' reviews, the tights can be easily removed, but in the process of putting them on, you have to make efforts, evenly distributing the product made of compression hosiery. One of the main advantages of tights is that there are special models for women in position.
  2. Stockings- similar in principle to tights, but only reach the middle of the thigh (the same criterion is a guarantee of the correct size), and also in no way can help during pregnancy. In other words, the stockings are designed exclusively for the legs, limited to the thigh. In addition, even with the right product, many patients complain that stockings tend to slip during the day. This is not only less convenient, but also negatively affects the distribution of the compression.
  3. Knee socks- are intended mainly for those cases when varicose veins affect the especially shin part of the leg, without rising higher. Knee-highs, like special socks, are more often used by men, but there are also female models. In addition, this type of underwear is more suitable for sports, because tights partially hinder movement in the waist area, which is unacceptable when performing certain exercises.
  4. Elastic bandage- does not apply to underwear, but is still a compression product. The good thing about the bandage is that it does not need to be selected according to the size, it is also suitable for people of any body size and is a much cheaper option. To use it, it is enough to tie the affected areas, but in this case it is extremely important to clearly distribute the tension to provide the necessary compression, this factor is a serious drawback.

Note!Underwear for the treatment and prevention of varicose veins is made of special compression hosiery. This material is elastic, and also initially implies a strict classification, that is, division according to the degree of compression and size. To choose underwear, it is important to consult a doctor and buy it only from a pharmacy.

Features of use

The main advantage of tights, stockings and golfs is the fact that when you buy them, you immediately get a product that is guaranteed to fulfill its functions (provided you choose the right size). This means that it is enough to simply put on the underwear, distribute it evenly, after which it will begin to have a healing effect.

Tights, stockings, knee-highs and socks can be worn throughout the day, regardless of the type of work. However, in this matter, it is still important to consult a phlebologist, who will give precise recommendations regarding the duration of wearing and the subtleties of use, because each case of the disease is unique.

In addition, for the laundry to last a long time, it must be handled properly:

  • Wear carefully to avoid damaging the compression hosiery.
  • Wearing underwear should only be on dry skin (if you previously used the cream, wait until it is completely absorbed).
  • To evenly put on tights, stockings or knee-highs, first put your hand in them, then evenly and gradually distribute over the leg.
  • Also, experts recommend putting on underwear in the morning immediately after waking up, that is, before getting out of bed.

Using a bandage

Elastic bandage is a cheaper and at the same time unpretentious tool. However, for its correct use, it is important to master at least the basics of the limb bandaging technique for varicose veins. To do this, you should adhere to the following recommendations:

  1. The bandage is wound from the bottom up, starting from the foot, from the toes, then the ankle, moving higher. Depending on the nature and prevalence of varicose veins, you can start from the lower part of the lower leg, without affecting the foot.
  2. Apply the strips slightly overlapping, this is the maximum efficiency, and also this technique will not allow the bandage to slip or unwind.
  3. If the foot is wrapped, when moving to the shin part, the heel remains free, and at the junction between the ankle and shin, the loop is laid crosswise.
  4. Do not twist the roll of the bandage too much, it should be collected, located almost close to the leg, so as not to create excessive tension.
  5. Remember that the compression should be higher on the lower leg, and the tension will gradually decrease during the ascent.

There is a way to check if the bandage was applied correctly. Immediately after wrapping, the toes become cyanotic, which should go away after 2-3 minutes. If there was no cyanosis at all, the bandage is wound too loosely, if the effect does not go away, you have reached too strong compression, unwind the bandage, massage your leg and try again.