Different Types of Compression Stockings

Dr. Pinsinski holding up a diagram of a leg and talking to a patient

Your doctor might recommend compression stockings for a variety of reasons. They are a simple and easy way to improve circulation in your legs. Improved circulation has a range of benefits from reduced swelling, improved leg pain, decreased risk of deep vein thrombosis, and more. If you have reduced blood flow in your legs for whatever reason, compression stockings can help.

Different types of compression stockings are best for certain ailments. Dr. Pinsinski and our team at Artemis Vein Center will evaluate you to determine which ones would address your health concerns. We can also measure your legs to select the correct size for you.

What Are Compression Stockings?

Compression stockings are a stretchy, snug garment that applies pressure to the lower part of your legs, where blood pools. The pressure pushes blood and other fluids back up to circulate throughout your body, reducing swelling and leg pain. If the garment does not cover your feet, it is called a compression sleeve.

Compression stockings can be prescribed or purchased over the counter depending on the type you need. If prescribed, insurance may cover the cost of medical-grade compression stockings. Medical-grade compression stockings have higher compression than over-the-counter garments.

Choosing the Right Type of Compression Stockings

Compression stockings come in three different categories: graduated compression, anti-embolism, and nonmedical support. Each type has benefits for patients with various circulatory concerns.

Graduated Compression Stockings

In graduated compression stockings, the applied pressure is tighter at the ankles with reduced pressure as they move up the leg, forming a compression gradient. These stockings reduce peripheral swelling and orthostatic hypotension or drop in blood pressure upon standing, caused by blood pooling in the legs. This type of compression stockings typically requires a fitting done by a trained professional and comes in various colors for different skin tones.

Anti-Embolism Stockings

Anti-embolism stockings reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and improves symptoms after it has occurred. DVT is a painful medical condition in which a blood clot forms in a deep vein. They are most common in the lower leg or thigh but can appear anywhere in the body. Like graduated compression stockings, these also follow a pressure gradient, but the overall pressure level will be different with this type of compression stockings.

Nonmedical Support Stockings

This type of compression stockings has uniform compression that applies less pressure than stockings requiring a prescription. The purpose of these is to support tired legs, reduce swelling, and help with achiness. Many individuals use them during or after demanding sports, long flights, or jobs requiring long periods of standing.

Call Us to Discuss the Various Types of Compression Stockings

Compression stockings can improve your vein condition and increase comfort whether you are pregnant, dealing with DVT, or working on your feet all day. Schedule an appointment at Artemis Vein Center today to determine which type of compression stockings are right for you. Whether it is simple over-the-counter stockings or medical-grade high compression, we will take care of you. Our staff will hear your concerns and determine the best treatment to meet your needs.