How do stockings alter venous physiology ?
1. reduction of tissue swelling which has been measured scientifically by ultrasound imaging.
2. softening of skin changes (lipodermatosclerosis) which has been shown by ultrasound imaging and CT scanning.
3. narrowing of veins - blood volume decreases when compression stockings are worn. This has been shown to occur with duplex ultrasound studies and air plethysmography.
4. Improved venous flow - venous blood flow velocity (speed) is increased when patients wear compression stockings.
5. Shift of venous blood into the deep veins - blood from the superficial veins (veins that are on the surface of the leg) are shifted into the deeper veins (deep and cannot be seen with the naked eye).
6. Reduced venous insufficiency - inelastic bandages are more effective than elastic bandages but both reduce the degree of venous insufficiency in the uproght position as measured by Duplex venous ultrasonography.
7. Improvement of the microcirculation of the legs has been shown with the use of compression stockings.
8. Improved lymphatic drainage
This summary data was abbreviated from a wonderful textbook called Leg Ulcers, Diagnosis and Management, 3rd Edition, Edited by David Negus, Philip Coleridge Smith and John J Bergan (pages 112-115).