How do they work?
Compression stockings and socks create a pressure gradient between the ankle and the calf or the thigh. This pressure gradient encourages the blood flow or fluid from the ankle up the leg, this blood and fluid will eventually return to the heart. Wearing compression stockings and socks first thing in the morning also helps prevent pooling of blood or fluid in the first place.
What are the best stockings for me?
In general, medical-grade stockings are best, they usually come from Germany or Switzerland and the design and construction of the stockings are at a high level. This means quality fabric, reliable compression levels and good wear-and-tear, whereas cheaper brands do not reliably meet these quality standards.
Most people only require below-knee stockings or socks but in pregnancy, for people with some types of lymphoedema and lipoedema and following surgery or varicose vein treatment, thigh-length stockings are recommended.
What are the levels of compression?
There are 3 compression levels. Level 1 has the lowest compression, level 2 an intermediate level and level 3 the highest.
Most people are fine with compression level 1 stockings, which provide the right balance between comfort and therapeutic results.
Our trained vascular nurses measure you and help you choose the level of compression right for you and your condition.
Conditions suitable for compression stockings and socks
Three groups of people benefit from wearing compression stockings and socks:
Comfort and travel
People with predominantly standing or very sedentary jobs. Stockings provide good relief from leg aching and leg swelling.
Long-haul flights and other long-distance travel, wearing compression stockings or socks helps prevent blood clots and DVT.
Pregnancy and after surgery
Compression helps control leg swelling in pregnancy.
Legs supported by compression stockings following surgery help prevent DVT.