How Does Compression Help Varicose Veins?

December 10, 2020 Dr Zil

Whether it’s a heavy swollen feeling, a burning pain that comes and goes or just the unsightly appearance of bulging blood vessels in your legs, varicose veins aren’t the most welcome companions. With a whole range of home remedies available, it’s easy to be sceptical of different treatments or non-surgical solutions for varicose veins.

Thankfully there is one easy way to manage varicose veins and reduce their symptoms – compression stockings. Wearing proper fit medical-grade compression stockings not only helps to recover blood-flow in the legs and boost circulation but, if you do undergo treatment, they also aid with aftercare and a speedy recovery.  To help understand how compression helps varicose veins, read on!

How do varicose veins work?

While varicose veins can be complex and difficult to understand, for the most part, they can be explained like this: there is a network of veins across the surface of your body known as superficial veins. These work to pump blood from the deep veins up to the outer surface of your body to cool it down, and then bring the blood back into those same deep veins to send it back up to your heart.

When these superficial veins aren’t working properly, the blood can start to pool or even flow backwards; meaning the blood remains stagnant and eventually will force the vein to bulge. Causing what we know visually as varicose veins.

How does compression help varicose veins?

Medical grade compression is designed to provide two main effects on the veins in your legs. The first is to boost the natural pump movements in your leg, while the second is a funnel effect to channel blood-flow in the right direction more effectively.

Your calf muscle acts as a pump, pushing the vein against the bone and directing the blood back up the leg. This part of the muscle is known as the “second heart” for this very reason it is crucial for blood flow in the legs.

Targeted compression aids this pump, strengthening the muscle and keeping its movement consistent. This is the first step in compression aided circulation.

The second is the funnel effect that compression brings. Think of your deep veins as highways that move traffic quickly, while the superficial veins are the side streets.

When there are varicose veins, the side streets become congested and traffic backs up. Compression acts to support those “highway” deep veins, helping them to direct the blood-flow more effectively.

Wearing medical-grade compression stockings not only helps in the treatment of existing varicose veins, but it acts to reduce the development of these faulty veins in the first place.

Buy them now at The Vein Institute Shop.

Diagram of a normal functioning vein with healthy vein valves, a varicose vein with damaged vein valves and then an image of how the varicose vein looks when compressed by wearing medical-grade compression stockings.

Seek expert advice

The doctors at The Vein Institute specialise in varicose vein treatment. We offer patients a comprehensive program using non-surgical laser treatment techniques. You can learn more in our Definitive Guide to Varicose Vein Treatment.

The benefits of non-surgical varicose vein treatment are:

  • Walk-in walk-out treatment
  • 98% success rate
  • Extremely effective
  • Can be performed at a clinic (no hospitalisation)
  • No general anaesthetic
  • Medicare rebates apply
  • No downtime or time away from work

To book a consultation and discuss our treatment program, call  1300 981 402. Or, make an enquiry via the Contact Us page.