Compression stockings help legs feel refreshed

Research says stockings increase venous blood flow, valve effectiveness, help reduce varicose veins

AVENTURA, Fla. - Alina Primelles, an ultrasound technician at Soffer Health, is on her feet all day long. She's also an active mother and yoga instructor, but she started to feel the effects of her lifestyle in her legs.

"My legs were achy, like heavy. I'd be really tired. In the evenings, it'd be like uncomfortable," she said.

Dr. Ari Soffer suggested she try compression stockings.

"At first, I was like, 'Compression stockings? Oh, I don't want to wear those.' Those are like old lady things," she said.

But in recent years, compression stockings have gotten a makeover.

Even athletes like Dwyane Wade have used them. Studies have shown that wearing compression stockings can help enhance athletic performance.

The stockings are made of a strong, elastic material that fits tightly at the feet and gradually becomes less tight at the knee or thigh, which helps calves pump blood back to the heart. Research says that the stockings increase venous blood flow, valve effectiveness, and help reduce varicose veins.

"I actually feel like fresh, and it's just very relaxed. My legs feel happy," said Primelles.

A variety of over-the-counter stockings are available, but doctors suggest patients receive prescription versions from a physician.

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.