Looking for compression stockings near you? Depending on where you live, you may or may not have difficulties in finding locations that sell these. Some drug stores like Walgreens or CVS may carry some compression stockings, but it may not be what you need. As people use these stockings for various reasons, you’ll want to understand what your best options are first before setting off on a shopping run. Here is a brief guide to help you better understand compression stockings and where to buy them.
Compression stockings offer quite a few benefits and people use them for different reasons. Athletes wear them to help them in their chosen sport and to reduce risk of injury or other medical conditions. Doctors or physical therapists use them to reduce localized swelling and to prevent clotting. Or some people may just wear them because they are comfortable.
What Exactly Are Compression Stockings?
Put simply, they are stretchy socks that lightly squeeze your leg from your foot up to your thigh (depending on how high you need them). They come available as a sock that slips on over your feet, like normal socks, or sleeves that are made without a closed end.
You won’t need a prescription to buy compression stockings as they are available over the counter. However, if you need them as prescribed by your doctor you may be able to get your insurance to cover the cost.
As mentioned previously, most local drug stores carry some versions of compression stockings and they can run anywhere from $10 to over $100 individually or as a pair. You may also find more durable versions meant specifically for sports at sports stores, but expect to pay a little more. And as always, you can find your best selections of different kinds of compression stockings at giant online retailers like Amazon or Wal-Mart.
What Do Compression Stockings Do?
According to several studies and doctors, they have many health benefits. Since they provide pressure on your legs they work to help your blood vessels work more efficiently. The arteries that carry blood to and from your muscles won’t have to work as hard, so the blood flows easily. This helps prevent clotting, reduces swelling, prevents muscle fatigue and cramping, and can also help with treating spider and varicose veins.
Athletes swear by using compression stockings for improved blood flow that helps them prevent muscle fatigue so they can play longer and harder without risking injury. The real benefit comes after they play, as their muscles seem to recover faster, won’t be as sore and won’t deal with near as many cramping problems.
Compression Stocking Options
You will find that these come in all kinds of different sizes, and will even cover different parts of your body. You can buy stockings that go from toe to upper thighs, or smaller ones that apply pressure only to specific parts of the leg like the ankles, calves and/or thighs. Most compression stockings go from toes to just below the knees.
You will also be able to buy different levels of compression or tightness. You’ll want them to feel tight but not overbearing to the point where it hurts. Ask your doctor if you are unsure how tight you need them to be.
TED (thrombo-embolic deterrent) hose stockings (aka anti-embolism stockings) are made specifically for post-operation when you are still bed ridden. Once you are able to stand up, you’ll want to make the switch to graduated compression stockings.