Tips for Wearing Compression Stockings
Compression stockings are a helpful tool for those suffering from swelling due to a variety of causes. They can help to reduce swelling by increasing blood circulation and supporting legs. This leads to the reduction of swelling and increased comfort in the wearer. Here are some of the best tips for wearing compression stockings.
Put them on the right way
Make sure you’re putting your compressions stockings on when you’re supposed to. In most cases, doctors recommend that their patients who require compression garments put them on first thing in the morning. If this is the case for a patient, they should follow the instructions. You should put on compression garments right when instructed to do so. Waiting to put on the garment can lead to leg swelling, which can make it more difficult or even impossible to put on the compression socks. This is especially true if you’re using thigh-high compression stockings, as these are more difficult to put on than shorter stockings.
Here are some tips for putting your compression stockings on the right way:
- Gently pull the un-bunched and straight stocking over the foot until it fits comfortably and tightly over the foot and heel. Then, pull the remaining part of the stocking up, ensuring no wrinkles or creases appear.
- Another method is using a device called a stocking donner. These help patients with mobility restrictions apply their compression stockings.
- Never fold the top of the stocking down. This can create excess pressure in the part of the leg with two layers of compression and lead to injury or other complications.
Set yourself up for success
Set yourself up for success when wearing your compression garments. They feel different from day-to-day socks and require extra steps to comfortably apply and wear them throughout the day.
Here are some tips for keeping comfortable while wearing compression stockings:
- Trim toenails and fingernails to ensure you don’t snag or ruin the stockings.
- Sit in a chair when applying or adjusting stockings for stability.
- Make sure to keep skin hydrated but ensure it’s completely dry before applying compression gear. This is because moisture makes them harder to put on and less comfortable when wearing.
- Protect the stockings from damage by wearing regular socks, shoes, or slippers over them when walking around.
While lower compression levels are available to the public for purchase, higher compression levels often require a prescription. When prescribed compression stockings, always follow the medical team’s instructions. Do not wear compression garments overnight unless prescribed by a doctor. If there are concerns or questions about when and how to use compression gear, always contact a medical professional.
Bonus Tip: Check legs for sores, color changes, or other signs of infection regularly. Contact a doctor if there are any changes or additional pain or if swelling persists after using compression gear for a few days.
- Elyse Aufmann