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Compression Garments

Compression garments, such as compression socks, help improve blood flow in your arms or legs. Compression stockings improve circulation, prevent leg swelling - which can help prevent blood clots, improve leg health, and help alleviate aches in the legs. This is achieved by gently compressing the leg to help move blood flow. Compression sleeves also improve blood flow in the arms.

Types of Compression Garments

Talk to your doctor about what compression garments are right for you. There are many different compression stocking garments, including pressures, lengths and colors. Pressures of compression vary between light and heavy compression. Compression socks, stockings and sleeves come in different lengths ranging from knee-high, thigh-high and full arm. Compression garments come in different colors and materials. For those who want discrete wear, nude or beige is available. JOBST® compression stockings, for example, come in nude, silky beige, suntan and black and come in ultra sheer for discrete wear.

Wearing Compression Garments

If you have varicose veins, spider veins, or have just had surgery, your doctor may recommend compression stockings. Compression stockings and socks are designed to be worn all day and should feel strong around your legs. The most amount of pressure will be around your ankles, while the least amount will be felt higher on the legs. Compression stockings and socks generally follow your shoe size.

Compression garments are recommended to be applied in the morning, due to the least amount of swelling early in the morning. Putting on garments can be challenging. Here are some tips of putting garments on:

  • Hold the top of the stocking and roll it down to the heel.
  • Put your heel in the heel of the stocking.
  • Pull the stocking up and unroll the stocking over your leg.
  • Knee length stockings should come to approximately two fingers below the knee.
  • Stocking donners, are also helpful for further assistance.
  • Arm sleeves may need a donning device and some come with one such as the BSN Medical Arm Sleeve.
  • Once the stocking is in place, smooth out any wrinkles. Try not let the stockings bunch up or wrinkle.


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