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How does compression therapy work?

Compression socks and tights help to support the veins in your legs to prevent the back-flow and pooling of blood.

Compression therapy includes compression bandages, compression stockings, compression socks and wrap systems. In principle they all work in a similar way, aiming to achieve healthy legs and feet. Self care options such as compression socks or stockings and wrap systems allow you to have more independence and carry out normal activities such as showering.

If you have a leg condition, the valves in your legs can become damaged, meaning that blood can flow backwards causing veins to stretch and swell. Compression therapy works to reduce this excess fluid by gently massaging the veins in your legs as you move your foot up and down. Gently squeezing your leg, compression applies the right level of pressure to your leg and foot which makes the calf muscle pump work better and help the blood return back to your heart quicker.

Compression garments are proven to;

  • help blood flow back to the heart,
  • reduce swelling (oedema or chronic oedema) in your legs,
  • reduce pain and discomfort,
  • reduce itching and dry skin, 
  • prevent venous disease progressing, so if you currently do have some spider veins/varicose veins ensure you wear your compression*  
  • support tired, achy legs and other common conditions 
  • manage leg swelling and reduce the risk of developing varicose veins when pregnant,
  • and ultimately help your leg ulcer or other leg condition to heal. 

Read more about understanding how your veins work by clicking here, or visit our blog for the top 10 benefits of wearing compression here.

 *If you’re new to compression or have concerns about your legs or feet, please talk to your GP, nurse or pharmacist for further advice on whether compression might be suitable for you.   

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