Harvard Health Letter

Boosting circulation with compression stockings

Compression stockings can help move blood up the legs to improve flow and prevent clotting and swelling. The stockings come in varying pressures—from strong to light—and in varying lengths—from knee-high to hip-high. The strongest stockings must be custom-fit and require a prescription. Lower-strength over-the-counter support and compression hose are available in pharmacies. The stockings may be used to reduce leg swelling if a person’s blood level is low, to reduce swelling from a blood clot deep in the leg veins, to prevent new clots from forming, and to treat chronic venous insufficiency.
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