New research has shown that the compression socks market is expected to grow at a gradual rate from now through until 2025. Used to treat conditions such as diabetes and varicose veins (venous disease), these socks have proven to be an affordable solution which is why it is so popular with a cash-strapped NHS. But are they really the best choice for varicose vein sufferers?
What are compression socks and how do they work?
Compression socks support the veins of the leg, improving blood flow back to the heart. They come in a variety of compression strengths, with the mild ones most commonly used for varicose veins.
They are often the first course of treatment advised for mild venous disease, but despite their benefits, they may not necessarily be the best solution. It’s also important to note that you can’t just go out and buy any old compression socks. In order to work, you need to have the varicose veins checked over and given the right strength compression socks to fit your needs.
Why compression socks aren’t always the best treatment option
There’s no denying compression socks can be a huge help for some patients suffering from varicose veins. However, the majority of those suffering from venous disease would be better suited to a more permanent type of treatment.
The trouble is, compression socks only manage varicose veins symptoms, but they don’t always treat the problem. If you have moderate to severe varicose veins, these socks aren’t going to help. Instead, treatments such as laser therapy would be a much better option.
The compression socks can minimise the problem and reduce the symptoms, but they can’t eliminate it. At the most, they can take the discomfort away and slow down the progression of the disease. However, it will still continue to worsen over time.
Compression stockings may be cheaper, both for patients, and for doctors to prescribe. However, in terms of varicose vein treatments, they certainly aren’t an effective long-term solution and the official guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) are that compression hosiery should not be offered unless interventional treatment is unsuitable.
Book a consultation at Cornwall Vein Clinic to find out if you are suitable for the interventional treatments we offer for varicose veins.