Medical compression stockings: effects and benefits

Medical compression stockings support a weakened venous and lymphatic system for various conditions

Medical compression stockings: effects and benefits

How do medical compression stockings work?

Medical compression stockings work through the precisely defined pressure distribution on the leg: the compression is strongest at the ankle. towards the top, it decreases continuously. This applies to all models: knee socks, thigh stockings and tights.

A medical compression stocking delivers its full effect when it fits like a second skin. This may feel unusual and tight at first, but soon you won’t want to miss the soothing and beneficial pressure on your leg. The trained staff at specialist medical retailers will therefore measure or scan the circumferences of your legs precisely to allow the stocking later to be tailored exactly to your anatomy.

Support stockings, in contrast, are not medical aids and have no medical effect. They are used only to prevent heavy legs in healthy veins.

Which indications (conditions) are medical compression stockings used for?setzt?

Medical compression stockings enable a wide range of therapeutic options for various conditions: They are the basic therapy for conditions of the venous system as well as for lymphoedemas and lipoedemas. They are also used in thrombosis prophylaxis in mobile patients.

How do medical compression stockings affect the veins?

Illustration of a healthy and a diseased vein

In venous disorders, the return flow of blood to the heart is slowed down by stretched veins and pathologically altered venous valves. Medical compression stockings are optimally effective when combined with exercise: The muscles then become tense, the veins between the muscles are compressed, and the venous valves close better. Medical compression stockings support these processes through external pressure. Consequently, the flow direction of the oxygen-deficient blood towards the heart is positively influenced. The blood does not collect in the legs, which also counteracts the formation of blood clots.

How does thrombosis prophylaxis work with medical compression stockings?

Illustration of the evolution of vein thrombosis

Thrombosis prophylaxis with medical compression stockings is a physical measure to prevent blood clots in mobile patients. The aim is to improve the return flow of blood to the heart by applying mechanical pressure to the leg veins.

So-called medical thrombosis prophylaxis stockings (MTPS) are used for patients who are immobile – bedridden, for example, or following major hospital operations.

How do medical compression stockings work in the case of lipoedema?

Patient wearing flatknit compression stockings

Wearing medical compression stockings regularly is an essential part of lipoedema therapy. Compression therapy can relieve pain and reduce possible oedema. As with lymphoedemas, flat knit models, which allow for optimum pressure stability thanks to less elastic material, are used here.

How do medical compression stockings work in the case of lymphoedemas?

Lymphoedema patient donning compression stockings

Flat knit medical compression stockings are generally used by lymphoedema patients during the maintenance phase of CDT (complex physical decongestive therapy) in order to maintain or further improve the decongestion. Medical compression stockings should therefore always be used in addition to manual lymph drainage (MLD), skin care, and exercise.

Do medical compression stockings have side effects?

Medical compression stockings usually have no side effects. Nevertheless, please discuss with your doctor whether you may have any contraindications in using medical compression stockings during therapy.

Why medical compression stockings? And: What happens if I do not wear medical compression stockings?

When the venous or lymphatic system reaches its limits, medical compression stockings provide support with mechanical pressure from the outside and relieve pressure as part of the overall therapy. They are therefore indispensable in treating venous and lymphological diseases. Venous diseases such as varicose vein disorders or lymphoedemas are chronic, i.e. persistent, and have symptoms that can progress further if insufficient treatment is given: