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Compression therapy

Compression therapy has been used for many years to treat edema, varicose veins due to vein occlusions or leaks in the valves. In the treatment of vein disease, varicose stockings were first used by William Brown in 1848. With compression therapy, it is aimed to prevent blood and fluid ponding in the legs and to facilitate its return to the heart. Compression treatments are effective as long as they are used. If there is a break, the current problem progresses. The socks used are in three different structures, below the knee, above the knee and pantyhose. These socks are preferred according to the disease in which they are used. In venous insufficiencies, obstructions or treatment of varicose veins, under knee socks are sufficient. In problems such as lymphedema, varicose stockings with panty or above knee are preferred.

According to the pressure they apply in these; It is classified as light, medium and high:

  • Low: 15-20 mmHg
  • Medium: 20-30 mmHg
  • High: 30-40 mmHg

In all classes, the pressure levels start from 100% in the wrist region, 70% in the knee section, and the pressure drops to 40% in the upper part of the leg.

Figure 1. Pressure application rates

While preferring varicose socks, long-standing light pressure socks are used for long-term people with protective purposes, and medium-grade ones are preferred for venous insufficiency and varicose therapies. Higher pressures are preferred for lymphedema or venous ulcer.

Compression stockings are determined by taking measurements from the narrowest level in the ankle, the widest part of the leg. The length of socks is determined by the distance between the sole of the foot and under the knee 1-2 fingers.

Figure 2. Sock measurement

Figure 3. Varicose veins stocking apparatus

General benefits of varicose stockings or bandages;

  • Supporting the connective tissue around the vein
  • To prevent the development of high pressure in the vein
  • Reducing fluid flow to tissues
  • Reduce edema by increasing lymph flow
  • Supporting leg muscle pumps
  • To prevent clotting by accelerating the vein flow
  • Reducing back leaks of valves in vein

In the use of varicose stockings;

  • Compression stockings are generally worn during the day and removed at night.
  • If there is a serious problem in the leg arteries, compression stockings should not be used as they will further increase the complaints by disrupting the nutrition of the leg.
  • Varicose stockings should be changed after 3-4 months, as their effectiveness will decrease.


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