The main purpose of compression socks and stockings is to provide gentle pressure to your ankles and legs. The stockings should provide graduated compression to promote blood flow up from your legs to your heart. A secondary purpose of compression socks is to help alleviate pain and swelling in the ankles and legs.
The main reason doctors prescribe compression socks is to boost leg circulation, support veins, reduce leg swelling, help prevent blood from pooling in your legs, help prevent venous ulcers, help prevent deep vein thrombosis, help reverse venous hypertension, and help lessen the pain of varicose veins. Compression socks work by helping blood flow to the heart, help to prevent blood from refluxing downward to the foot, and to help reduce the diameter of major veins by increasing the velocity of blood flow.
There are three main categories of compression socks or stockings including graduated compression stockings, anti-embolism stocks and non medical hosiery. If you doctor have prescribed compression stockings you should monitor your legs daily.