What is Compression Therapy?
Compression therapy means wearing socks or stockings that are specially designed to support your veins and increase circulation in your legs. The socks or stockings are normally worn in the morning upon arising, and removed at night. Whitley Home Medical Equipment provides compression garments to patients in Asheville, Hendersonville, Flat Rock, Waynesville and the surrounding Western North Carolina community.
Who can benefit from wearing compression stockings?
Wearing compression stockings helps with:
- Aching and heavy feeling in legs
- Swelling in legs
- Leg pain while standing
- Tired and aching legs
- Varicose veins
- Venous insufficiency
- Venous ulcers
- Post-thrombotic syndrome
- Preventing blood clots, especially after surgery or injury when you are less active
How does compression therapy stockings work?
Compression stockings improve various conditions of venous disease by providing graduated compression therapy which controls leg swelling, pain and discomfort. The stockings provide ample support to legs and veins, helps circulation and reduces swelling in the arms and legs. The compression of the garments is graduated, which means that the strongest support starts at the ankles and gradually decreases towards the top of the garment.
Do I need a prescription for compression stockings?
Ready to wear and standard off the shelf compression garments do not require a prescription. However, some insurance plans require a doctor’s prescription. After a certain strength, we do require a prescription since the wrong size or strength can be ineffective or harmful. Whitley Home Medical Equipment’s knowledgeable Billing Specialists can verify this information for you.
Are compression stockings hard to put on?
Compression garments can be hard to put on, but our Certified Compression Fitter can show you tips and tricks to make the process much easier.
Here are some basic tips:
- If you use lotion on your legs, let it dry before you put on the stockings.
- Use a little baby powder or corn starch on your legs. This may help the stockings slide up.
- Put on rubber dishwashing gloves. Use your hands to adjust the stocking and smooth it out.
- For open-toe stockings, use a special gadget to slide the stocking over your foot.
Are stockings available for both men and women?
Yes! Our Hendersonville location provides many options for both men and women, come in different colors and styles. We have men who come in to our DME store fearing that they will have to wear women’s stockings, to be pleasantly surprised that our men’s compression stockings look like regular dress or casual socks.
For women, Whitley HME stocks many traditional-looking compression stockings to more modern and colorful options.
Will my insurance or Medicare cover compression stockings?
Your insurance may or may not cover compression garments. Coverage varies by company and by policy. Medical insurance policies that do pay will typically limit the number that can be purchased each year. We recommend you call your insurance company to see if compression garments are covered.
Medicare will only cover graduated compression stockings worn below the knee for the treatment of an open venous stasis ulcer. They are NOT covered for the prevention of ulcers, to prevent the recurrence of ulcers, or for the treatment of lymphedema or swelling without ulcers. Here’s the official ruling from Medicare:
The beneficiary must have an open venous stasis ulcer that has been treated by a physician or other healthcare professional requiring medically necessary debridement. The gradient stocking must be proven to deliver compression greater than 30 mm Hg. and less than 50 mm Hg. When a covered gradient compression stocking is provided to a patient with an open venous stasis ulcer, the modifier AW (item furnished in conjunction with a surgical dressing) must be appended or the claim will be denied as a non-covered service. Gradient compression stockings are non-covered for the following conditions:Venous insufficiency without stasis ulcers,Prevention of stasis ulcers
What are the other names for Compression stockings?
- Compression hose
- Pressure stockings
- Support stockings
- Gradient stockings