Compression Stockings as Vein Treatment

March 5th, 2013 admin

At Amsterdam University’s Academic Hospital, Dutch scientists and researchers determined that compression stockings can actually have a more effective, and lasting, impact on varicose veins.

Although there are different kinds of venous insufficiencies, varicose veins are the most common. Varicose veins occur when the valves in the veins can no longer close properly. This happens because the vein walls weaken, causing them to be more flexible, stretching them to a point where they cannot close the valve entirely; this results in venous reflux. If this happens then blood continues to flow into the vein and pools where the wall is weakest. This results in distorted and contorted looking veins on the surface, although some versions of chronic venous insufficiencies (CVI) can simply induce swelling or aching of the legs.

Veins are able to push the blood flow towards the heart due to strong muscle pressure. Needless to say, daily exercise has a huge impact in the prevention of varicosities—it’s why you’ll rarely see soccer players suffering varicose veins. However, many people who suffer from varicose veins are diagnosed as obese or overweight. This adds a great deal of stress and pressure to the veins. As this is the case, exercise may not cause immediate improvements, and vein removal may be the better option. However, for people who want to increase pressure around the legs—where gravity is strongest and most detrimental to veins—even before regular exercise makes an impact. Compression stockings are the solution.

Compression stockings–often referred to as compression socks–are a viable vein treatment and add pressure to the calves, which improves the venous reflux condition. In fact, in the Netherlands, a study was prepared on workers in a meat factory. Not surprisingly, due to the long hours of standing, many of the workers had made complaints about the aches and other pains in their legs* and, as a result, a study was conducted to see how the pain could be alleviated and conditions improved.

Most factories rely upon rubber mats to absorb the strain and pressure from workers’ legs. Not only this, but the mats have an added function of absorbing spills to reduce employees from slipping on the hard concrete floor. Primarily though, these are intended to keep fatigue down to a minimal. In the Netherlands study however, it was determined that compression stockings was a suitable and more efficient alternative.

Two control groups were used, one observational, and one experimental. The observational was on workers who simply worked from the rubber mats, but the experiment group was told to wear compression stockings. Surprisingly, the workers who wore the compression stockings were not only less fatigued, but also enjoyed wearing the stockings. This was just one study, but certainly provides a solid foundation since factory conditions are similar across the globe!

*Of course, the Netherlands isn’t the only place where this is the case, but factory workers globally often experience pain in their legs from prolonged standing. In Germany, a study showed that 2% of factory workers quit their jobs due to pain stemming from their legs. Even a seemingly small percentile creates significant data for why venous insufficiency is something to be monitored and accounted for, especially when it can be avoided.


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