Should Traditional Compression Stockings be Worn at Night?

Traditional elastic compression stockings should not be worn at night on a regular basis, unless you are told to do so by your doctor.  Just about all compression stockings provide “static” compression which means constant pressure is being applied to your legs all the time to help your blood circulate. You will feel the same compression level whether you are sitting, standing, or laying down.  These activities can also include naps and long flights, but “static” compression is not meant for regular around-the-clock use.

The exception to this is a low compression stocking, below 18mmHg, such as anti-embolism stockings or TED hose.  These are the white stockings often worn while in the hospital, and are sometimes prescribed for home use following surgical procedures.

If one needs compression 24 hours a day, your doctor or therapist will typically recommend a solution like bandaging or an alternative compression garment that provides “Dynamic” compression. These garments provide more compression when you move, and less when you are resting. Think of tying a string lightly but taut around your calf.  Flexing your calf muscle will make the string feel tight, although the string inherently has no compression.  Your muscles are creating the “Dynamic” compression.

Dynamic compression is often used to treat lymphedema, especially during the decongestive phase.  And it’s used by individuals whose medical condition requires compression around-the-clock.

By: Pete@BrightLife Direct
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