Compression stockings are beneficial for several different reasons.  There are prescription custom fit stockings for conditions such as severe venous stasis, where the veins need extra support to allow the circulating blood to return to the heart.  Over the counter compression stockings help in general with circulation, and are recommended for patients who have to stand for long periods of time, or who are traveling and sitting for long periods of time, again, to help with lower extremity circulation and venous return.  Compression also helps decrease swelling, or edema, after an injury or after surgery and is also used for extra support. In athletes, the increased compression helps decrease cramping and shorten your recovery time.  If you have any questions regarding swelling or circulation in the foot and ankle, give our office a call.