What Are Medical Compression Stockings?

What Are Medical Compression Stockings

Are you prescribed medical compression stockings by your doctor? Wearing these stockings can be very helpful in certain health conditions. Now, before you Google ‘where to buy compression stocking’, you need to learn at the least the basics of this specialized hosiery. Doctors prescribe medical-grade compression stockings to block the progression of phlebitis, thrombosis, edema, and other venous disorders. You can wear these elastic garments around your legs. The purpose of wearing medical compression stocking is reducing the distended veins’ diameter. As a result, this improves valve efficacy and venous blood flow.

These stockings help in obviating venous stasis, mitigating heavy and aching legs, decreasing venous pressure. Doctors prescribe medical compression stockings for impairment of venous walls. If you want to increase circulation and also want to obviate blood clot formations in the lower legs, you can speak to your doctor and use knee-high compression stockings. In addition to these benefits, wearing compression stockings also helps in treating lower legs ulcers. These stockings engender pressure on the feet, ankles and legs by using more potent elastics. The ankle part of the medical-grade compression stockings is the tightest part. The constructiveness of the medical compression stockings gradually decreases toward knees and thighs. If your physician recommends, you can wear medical compression stockings during pregnancy as well. In fact, you can inhibit varicose veins development by putting on medical compression stockings during pregnancy. 

Compression stockings compress the muscles, arteries and veins. This forces the blood to flow through the narrower channels. This further increments arterial pressure. As a result, more blood flows to the heart. The risk of blood pool formation in the feet is significantly reduced. 

Different Types of Compression Stockings 

There are different types of medical compression stockings and you must get advice from your doctor before choosing a certain type of compression stockings, especially when you want to buy stockings of 20mmHg or higher. 

As these stockings are used in the treatment of various medical conditions, you must use them under your doctor’s supervision. Following are the two common types of medical grade compression stockings: 

Gradient Compression Stockings 

Your physician might suggest these stockings if you are prone to lower limb edema, blood clots and blood pooling in the feet and legs due to prolonged sitting or inactivity. 

Anti-embolism Compression Stockings  

Surgeons recommend post-surgical patients to wear anti-embolism stockings. The purpose is to prevent blood pooling in the legs. This pooling of blood can cause venous thrombosis. 

Uses of Medical Compression Stockings 

The stronger elastics created by compression stockings generate significant pressure on the feet, ankles and legs. The stockings are not equally compressive at different parts. They are the most constrictive at the ankles and gradually become less compressive at the knees and thighs. Compression stockings force blood circulation through narrower channels by compressing the surface muscles, arteries and veins. More blood returning to the heart due to increased arterial pressure causes less blood pooling in the feet.  

Specialist doctors use medical grade compression stockings to relieve chronic venous disease symptoms. This also limits venous troubles. Your physician might recommend using compression stocking under the following conditions: 

  • Edema 
  • Aching legs
  • Varicose veins
  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Venous thromboembolism
  • Spider veins 
  • Lymphedema
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Phlebitis
  • Lipodermatosclerosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Economy class syndrome (ECS)


Medical compression stockings are not for everyone. You should take proper advice and care to wear compression stockings if you are suffering from the following conditions: 

  • Advanced peripheral obstructive arterial disease
  • Heart failure
  • Septic phlebitis
  • Advanced peripheral neuropathy 
  • Oozing dermatitis 

When you are shopping for medical compression stockings online, make sure that you are buying from an online medical supplier selling certified products.