Conservative Therapy: Compression Stockings for Varicose Veins and Edema
Compression stockings for varicose veins are usually part of an initial treatment for many patients suffering from venous disease. This initial treatment includes a regimen of conservative therapy for a period of six weeks to three months. Compression stockings are only one component of conservative therapy. Other components include exercise, leg elevation, and weight reduction. Depending on the severity of your venous disease, conservative therapy is often a requirement for most insurance carriers before any advanced treatment is considered, such as radiofrequency endovenous thermal ablation or foam sclerotherapy. Compression stockings are often used in conjunction with advanced treatments.
The Benefits of Conservative Therapy
Compression therapy is a vital part of treating venous disease. When compression stockings for varicose veins and other conditions related to venous disease are combined with exercise, weight loss, and leg elevation, patients are frequently able to decrease many symptoms, including:
- Pain and discomfort
- Edema (swelling legs, ankles, or feet)
After Advanced Treatment
In cases that require advanced treatment, such as endovenous ablation or foam sclerotherapy, compression stockings play a vital role in the healing process. It is recommended to wear compression stockings continuously for the first 48 hours and then during the day for the next two weeks. It is also highly recommended to wear compression stockings during long trips in cars and on long flights. Most of the VasCare staff wears compression stockings daily for symptom reduction. At VasCare, we practice what we preach.
Compression stockings for varicose veins and other conditions related to venous disease work by assisting the body’s natural mechanics. During normal walking, muscles surrounding veins in the lower leg, calf, ankle, and foot contract and relax, which helps move blood toward the heart. In patients suffering from venous reflux, the tiny one-way valves inside veins that control the flow of blood are damaged, which allows blood to flow backwards and pool and causes the veins to expand, or dilate. As a result, the muscles surrounding veins are less able to move blood toward the heart on their own. Compression stockings are designed to remedy impaired Musculovenous pump performance caused by incompetent leg vein valves. They are woven in such a way that compression is highest around the ankle and lessens towards the top of the hose. The stockings help calf muscles perform their pumping action and more efficiently return blood to the heart.
Why Is There a Period of Conservative Therapy Prior to Other Treatments?
There are two reasons why patients are first prescribed a course of conservative therapy before other treatments are considered:
- Conservative treatment may help decrease symptoms of venous disease.
- Depending upon a patient’s clinical classification, most insurance companies require patients undergo from six weeks to three months of conservative therapy before coverage becomes available for other, more advanced treatments, including endovenous ablation, ambulatory phlebectomy, sclerotherapy, and foam sclerotherapy.
Compression stockings can help patients lessen the symptoms of venous disease, but it is important that patients follow instructions during the conservative therapy period for treatment to be successful. [request]
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