Compression FAQ

When would I wear non-prescription support stockings and compression socks?

Recommended for:

  • Preventing venous diseases.
  • Prolonged standing or sitting.
  • Long distance travel.
  • Tired, aching legs.
  • Pregnancy.

How are Your Legs?

Are you on your feet from morning until night? Do you stand or sit for hours every day? Are your legs tired and aching at the end of the day? If so, the veins in your legs may have become overstrained and weakened over time. Without proper care, this condition can lead to the development of spider or varicose veins.

Support Stockings and Socks can reduce the effects of everyday strain on your busy legs. With their graduated compression, they help to pump the blood back up to your heart, improving circulation and offering relief for tired, aching legs.

Available in attractive, fashionable styles and colors, stockings look great while helping you to feel great.

Your legs work hard every day, keep them looking and feeling their best.

The Venous Return

When sitting, standing, or walking, the blood in the veins has to flow “uphill”. The heart alone cannot manage this pumping action. It needs the powerful support of the ankle-muscle and calf-muscle pumps. With every movement of the legs, the veins embedded in the muscles of the feet and legs are compressed and then dilated. This pumping action forces the blood in the deep veins towards the heart and draws the blood from the cutaneous veins into the deep veins. In healthy veins, valves ensure that the blood can flow in only one direction of the heart. If the venous system and other pumps in the body are functioning properly, the transport problem is overcome without any difficulty, even when standing or sitting. All we have to do is let the pumps do their work by moving our legs.

How Venous Disorders Develop

Varicose veins, phlebitis, venous valve damage, and thrombosis can develop when some or all of the following are factors:

  • Hereditary weakness of the veins.
  • Abnormalities present from birth.
  • Prolonged sitting or standing.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Oral contraceptives.

Obstructions occur in the veins and the blood flows back to the heart more slowly and incompletely. More and more residues of metabolism accumulate in the tissue, which becomes saturated with waste products and suffocates. Painful congestion, edemas, inflammation, and leg ulcers develop.

Danger Signals

There are many risk factors that can lead to the development of venous disorders. In most cases, the disease does not just come out of the blue. There are typical warning signs, such as heavy, tired, or hot legs, a feeling of tension, cramps, dragging, or stabbing pain in the calves, swollen ankles, and the first small varicose veins. Anyone who becomes aware of one of the danger signals should consult his or her doctor without delay. The sooner treatment is started, the better the chance of a cure.

Your Doctor Can Help

Today, effective methods for the treatment of venous diseases are available for those who experience advanced leg discomfort and difficulty. Your doctor is in a position to make a diagnosis and correctly asses the course and severity of the disease. In consultation with your doctor, appropriate therapeutic measures can be taken. A doctor can prescribe medical stockings for all vein diseases of the leg. Where risk factors increase the danger of disease, it is recommended that SIGVARIS be worn prophylactically. They are prescribed if treatment of a venous disease is not possible, either temporarily or permanently, and if a worsening of the condition is to be prevented. They are also prescribed if the doctor wants to maintain the results of treatment, after sclerosis of a varicose vein operation, or after a deep vein thrombosis.

How Medical Stockings Work

Medical stockings are specially constructed. Their pressure configuration is such that the greatest pressure is exerted on the ankle region. It is there that edemas and ulcers generally occur. The compression decreases gradually in the direction of the knee and the thigh. The doctor can determine the degree of the compression of the stocking according to whether the pressure on the leg should be mild, moderate, strong, or especially strong, depending on the severity of the condition. The SIGVARIS range offers four classes of compression in different models and qualities (Series 500 Natural Rubber, Series 200 Cotton, Series 700/800/900 Synthetic Rubber = Fine quality in fashion colors). The physiologically correct compression grading of SIGVARIS medical stockings and the fact that the degree of compression can be determined to suit each individual patient add up to an optimal medical effect:

The performance of the muscle pump is increased, the lumen of the veins is narrowed so that the flow-rate of the venous blood is accelerated and the venous valves are made to function again. Edemas are prevented, the danger of thrombosis reduced, and further complications prevented.

You Can Play Your Part

You can participate in the prevention and treatment of venous disorders. The following basic rules should be applied in daily life:

Extended periods of sitting or standing is harmful.
It is better to lie down or walk.

Prevention and treatment are assisted through plenty of exercise. Go walking, running, or swimming every day. Travel by bicycle or take part in moderately strenuous sports in which the muscles of the feet and legs are exercised. Make your muscle pumps work whenever you can. 

Live a Healthy Lifestyle

If a lot of standing and sitting is unavoidable, at least walk around more often, stand on your toes, move your feet up and down frequently. Lie down with your legs raised, so that your feet are at a higher level than your heart, and wear medical stockings every day. They are particularly effective in preventing swollen legs and promote the flow of blood to the heart. Watch your body weight. Being overweight puts a strain on the heart, the arteries and the veins. You should avoid hot baths, sunbathing, tight shoes, high heels, and tight, constrictive clothing. Strictly comply with all measures prescribed by your doctor.

There is nothing we can do about a predisposition to venous disorders, but unhealthy lifestyle and habits that can cause or aggravate the disease can be changed. This is where everyone who is in danger of developing, or already has, a venous disorder can make a difference.


Medical stockings not only fulfill the doctor’s requirements for the medical effects of compression hosiery, they also meet the cosmetic and aesthetic requirements of even the most demanding wearers. SIGVARIS are like a second skin, pleasant to wear, in fashionable colors, and without unsightly seams. They keep your legs healthy and give you a feeling of ease and lightness. Most private insurance companies do reimburse for medical compression stockings.