Medical-grade compression stockings are a great way to aid blood flow and alleviate pain related to vein disease, which they do using strong elastic at a graduated tightness from ankle to thigh. They’re much tighter than your average pair of socks of stockings, which means that they’re much harder to put on—unless you know this helpful trick.
When I got my first pair of compression socks, I tried to bunch them up along the sides the way you’d put on pantyhose, but the elastic was so tight that I couldn’t separate the sides enough to fit my foot in the middle. Sliding them up my leg a little at a time was so difficult and exhausting I literally worked up a sweat. And then I found the heel cup method.
Once you’ve got it down, the heel cup method is so quick and easy, I can now slip on a pair of compression stockings in just a minute or two. Here’s how it’s done:
- Make sure your compression stockings are not inside out. The easiest way to be sure is to check the seams. Are they sticking out, or smooth? The smoother side is the outside.
- Reach your hand into your stocking and grab the heel cup, the semi-circular piece of fabric where your heel fits. You can use your other hand to push the fabric in, making it easier to grab from the inside.
- Grab the top of the stocking with your other hand and pull it down, over the inside hand, so that almost the whole stocking is now inside-out, with the heel pocket now visible. Straighten out the opening so that the heel pocket is centered, this is where you will put your foot.
- Holding the opening taut, put your foot through so that your toes come into contact with the bottom seam (or if they are footless, until your toes come out the open end). Position the stocking on your foot, so that the heel pocket is now under your heel.
- Grab the top of the stocking with both hands and pull it up and over your leg, turning it back right side-in as you do. It will now be much easier and require much less pulling.
The easiest way to remove compression stockings is to grab the top and pull them all the way down the leg, turning them inside-out.
Stockings are fragile! Be gentle when pulling them,especially if you have long nails. Be very careful not to pierce the fabric with your nails when you grab.
For more information about using compression stockings and other ways to treat symptoms of varicose and spider veins, call Bunker Vein & Imaging at (512) 726-0599 to schedule a consultation.