Compression stockings come in a variety of compression strengths ranging from support pantyhose to Class 3 medical compression stockings. The "Class" of the compression stockings refers to the compression strength they provide. Class 1 provides 15-20 mm Hg (millimetres of Mercury compression), Class 2: 20-30 mm Hg and Class 3: 30-40mm Hg.
Class 1 stockings or socks are useful in the prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) when flying and for some relief from aching veins. The white TED “anti-embolism” stockings that are often used in hospital after surgery are not suitable as an alternative. Class 2 stocking are often used after Sclerotherapy treatment and are worn from 3 days to 2 weeks depending on the type vein that was treated. This is to prevent a DVT (which is a very uncommon complication) and also to reduce the swelling that may be associated with the vein treatment. Class 3 stockings are used when Class 2 stockings are not giving adequate compression or control of swelling. It is very important that a patient has adequate arterial circulation (especially for Class 3 stockings) as this can be compromised in some patients if the compression is too high. In addition to wearing compression stockings it is important to do as much walking as is possible.
If you are travelling and concerned about finding the right pair of compression stockings or travel socks, The Leg Vein Clinic now sells Jobst Travel Socks which clinically prevent swelling and reduce the risk of developing DVT.
I have some other informational blog articles about caring for your legs below:
- Caring for your legs - clothing and support garments
- Caring for your legs - exercise and movement
- Caring for your legs - body weight and your diet
If you have any questions about varicose veins or compression stockings, please feel free to leave a comment below.