When it comes to chronic venous insufficiency, leg swelling often occurs when the valves in the leg no longer function normally. If you notice your legs swelling without subsiding naturally, you need treatment.
How leg swelling is treatedSince malfunctioning valves cause blood to pool in the legs, the best way to reduce swelling is by applying pressure to your legs themselves. Compression garments help by gently squeezing your legs to help move the blood toward your heart. This can reduce the swelling in the legs and may decrease your chance of developing blood clots.
Types of compression garments
Compression stockingsCompression stockings are a category of compression garment that apply higher pressure to your legs and help with more serious vein conditions, circulation problems, and wounds. Compression strengths can range from 20 mmHG to 60 mmHG or more, and can require a prescription from your doctor and a special fitting from a medical supply store.
Support hose Support hose are a category of compression garment that are designed to help alleviate mild vein conditions, boost circulation, and help with swelling. Support hose give light, graduated compression on your legs—usually less than 20 mmHG, and you can get them over-the-counter at most drugstores. Support hose are designed to be worn during your day-to-day activities.
Thromboembolic deterrent hose (TED hose)Thromboembolic deterrent hose (TED hose) are a specific kind of support hose designed for people that are bed-ridden and at risk for developing blood clots. They aren’t intended to be worn for your regular day-to-day activities. They give light pressure of less than 20 mmHG and provide increased pressure on the calf muscle.