Although this is an old thread, I decided to add a little more information on compression hosiery.
Two things we typically hear from compression hosiery patients:
"They are too tight" and "They are too difficult to put on".
As a fitter, I always point out that they may be wearing the wrong grade of compression or they actually have not been fitted properly or shown the correct way to put them on.
A doctor's biggest challenge is patient compliance. When we find the garment that a patient likes aesthetically, feels comfortable in and is not struggling to put on, the patient is more likely to wear them on a regular basis.
Compression hosiery has come a long way and they all do not have to feel or look "medical". Both Support hosiery and graduated medical compression hosiery have improved dramatically over the past few years where we can now fit patients with a garment that not only will help you improve circulation but can be quite fashionable.
I strongly suggest that you be fitted by a certified orthodics/compression hosiery fitter and to wear the correct grade of compression and not just wear what someone hands to you in a medical supply store without measuring you or fitting you. There are medical supply stores that may have a fitter on staff but most will look at you and sell you what you need based on a "guesstimate" or worse yet, whatever they may have on inventory.
You should also ask what the exchange or refund policy is. Most of these places will not exchange or much less consider giving you a refund. I work for a large retail pharmacy that allows us to work with a very flexible return/exchange/refund policy. This makes my job much easier since I can fit a patient with hosiery and still have options, if need be, until I come to the hosiery that best fits our patient's needs.
Compression Therapy can be used to prevent from developing a circulatory problem (if you have a genetic predisposition. i.e. Mom, grandma have circulatory/vein issues). It can also keep an existing condition from becoming worse:
Tired Achy Legs and Feet
Foot/Ankle swelling (due to travel/Pregnancy/working on your feet or a desk job where you are confined to your area and not able to walk around much).
Spider Veins (typically red,blue or purple. Very fine and Superficial).
Varicose Veins (deeper veins) Typically will cause more pain, swelling, cramps, dry skin, discoloration of the skin.
Ulceration of the skin.
Please remember to wear the correct grade of compression hosiery. You do not want to (or need to) wear a higer grade of compression than you need. You also don't want to wear LESS compression than you need (it will not help you enough).
Do not wear TED hose (anti embolism stockings). These are designed for the bed ridden or non ambulatory patient.
Compression hosiery and compression therapy is not for everyone but if fitted properly and worn as needed, can make your legs feel so much better and prevent so many medical issues later in life.
Prevention is key. The sooner you help yourself by improving circulation, the lower grade of compression you will need, the less expensive they are and they will be easier and more comfortable to wear. The longer you wait to wear the hosiery, the more compression you will need, the will be more expensive they can get and may be more difficult to put on and wear.
Although I have a terrific dentist, I never look forward to going in to see her. I often compare compression therapy to dentistry. If you have a problem with a tooth, the problem will not go away by itself. As a matter of fact, the more you let it go, the worse it can get. The same thing can be said about compression Therapy. No one looks forward to wearing compression hosiery but it you don't, you will allow a medical condition to develop and become worse. Again, on the bright side, there are so many options in fabrics and colors that you should find a garment to your liking.
Sorry about the long post. Hope this helped.