How Effective is Compression Therapy?

May 26, 2015

shutterstock_25524850Compression therapy, which typically comes in the form of graduated compression stockings, is commonly prescribed for various vein disorders. This conservative approach to vein treatment has left many patients questioning whether the stockings are truly helpful in the preventing or treating vein disease. If you are prescribed compression therapy, there are a few facts you need to know about the effectiveness of these garments.

Explaining Compression Therapy

Compression stockings offer graduated compression that is strongest at the feet and gradually loosens as the stocking works up the leg. The idea behind compression therapy is to make it easier for the veins of the lower leg to push blood back up the body to the heart. There are varying strengths of compression stockings available, allowing for customization of treatment to the unique needs of each patient.

Preventing Symptoms and Complications

Compression therapy is particularly effective in reducing uncomfortable symptoms that often accompany vein disorders, such as heaviness or aching in the legs, swelling of the lower leg and ankle and leg fatigue. Compression stockings are also helpful in preventing further complications related to varicose veins, such as skin changes and venous ulcers. If blood clots are a concern, compression stockings may be prescribed to lower the risk for clot formation.

Alone or with Other Treatments?

Compression stockings can be helpful on their own, but they will not “cure” a vascular condition that has already occurred. For that reason, compression therapy may be prescribed after a vein treatment like sclerotherapy or endovenous laser ablation, to promote faster healing and healthy blood flow. It is not unusual for compression stockings to be recommended for 1-2 weeks after these treatments to ensure the best possible results.

Insurance Requirements

Because compression therapy is effective in relieving symptoms and preventing future complications, this treatment is often required by insurance companies before other types of procedures will be covered. Most companies will have a specific protocol to follow, such as wearing the compression stockings for a certain period of time, before other treatments can be used. At The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we ensure protocols are carefully followed so that coverage is not compromised for our patients.

Compression therapy will not eliminate varicose veins, but it can be a useful tool in treating them. To learn more about your options in compression therapy or to find out about other minimally-invasive vein treatments, contact The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin at 800-910-VEIN (8346).