Should compression bandages be worn over your knees, legs, and feet day or night, or both?

I have swelling in those areas.

Doctor Answers 3

Graduated compression is best.

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Compression stockings can be just support hose or graduated compression hose. Graduated compression means that the compression is highest at the ankle and decreases to the thigh, thus, pushing the blood back up the leg. These are the best support hose to wear. Stocking should begin just below the toes and extend either to just below the knee or to the upper thigh. There is no need to wear compression hose 24 hours a day. If you have significant swelling then you may want to consider a bed where you can elevate your feet to decrease the swelling while you are sleeping. If the stockings feel good to wear at night then you will do no harm by wearing them,but it is not necessary to wear them continuously .

Naples General Surgeon

Best way to utilize compression stockings

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The whole idea of wearing compression stockings is to help prevent swelling from building up in our legs.  Swelling typically occurs throughout the day while we are walking around, standing, or sitting down at work or home.  Most people notice that their swelling is the absolute worst at the very end of they day and that when they wake up in the morning it is not bad at all.  Compression stockings should be worn during the day to help us fight the effect of gravity, which is trying to keep the fluid in our legs rather than allowing it to return to our heart.  Once we lay down and go to sleep the fluid doesn't tend to build up in our legs because we are flat, therefore do not need to wear the stockings at night time. 

Tif Siragusa, MD
Nashville Vascular Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Appropriate length of graduated medical compression stockings - mid calf, knee, thigh or higher by VenaSmart

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You can wear graduated compression stockings as much as you like - some only wear them when they are on their feet or sit at work (8-10 hours a day) and others, like me, wear them all the time, taking them off when i shower twice a day and promptly wear them again - even during sleep. Find what works for you ! 

What is important is to wear medical grade graduated compression stockings. I recommend microfiber graduated medical compression stcokings (20-30 mm Hg) by VenaSmart. They are affordable, durable and don't allow you to overheat. Overheating is a major deterrent for consistent wearing of stockings, especially in parts of the U.S. that are very warm (Florida, Carolinas, California, Nevada, Arizona). 

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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.