Wearing Compression Stockings is one of the Standard Treatment Options for Superficial Thrombophlebitis of the Leg(s)
To better understand how compression stockings can help individuals suffering from superficial thrombophlebitis, we have to explore briefly what this condition is and how it affects people.
Phlebitis is the medical term for an inflammation of a vein in the arms or legs. If the vein is located near the surface of the leg the condition is called superficial phlebitis. If the cause of the inflammation is due to a blood clot the ailment is described as thrombophlebitis. If the inflamed vein is located deeper inside the leg, the condition is referred to as deep vein thrombophlebitis or deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Unlike the more dangerous condition of deep vein thrombosis, individuals suffering from superficial phlebitis usually do not have a risk of serious complications such as a pulmonary embolism (PE) of the lungs. However, careful monitoring of the condition during treatment is always recommended.
Typical Symptoms of Phlebitis or Thrombophlebitis
- Relatively fast occurring redness and swelling along the course of a vein that feels hard to the touch
- Skin is sensitive and increasingly painful when touched
- If the respective vein is blocked by a blood clot (thrombosis) it can also feel significantly warm to the touch
- The pain or burning sensation may radiate into other areas of the leg when the individual is in motion or at rest
- Fever may be present
Treatment of Superficial Thrombophlebitis
Although phlebitis in most cases can be diagnosed reliably through its characteristic appearance, it is important to seek medical attention. Your physician will likely order ultrasound testing to confirm the blockage or thrombosis of the superficial vein and to ensure that there is no deep vein thrombosis with a potential risk of pulmonary embolism. Generally superficial phlebitis of the arm or leg can be remedied with anti-inflammatory medicines (such as ibuprofen) or anti-inflammatory gels. Elevation of the involved arm or leg while resting can be beneficial.
Standard treatment for superficial phlebitis of the legs always includes compression therapy, which means the patient should be wearing compression stockings or compression bandages. Individuals wearing compression stockings are encouraged to walk because it can benefit the healing process.
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