If you or a loved one is suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS), you may came across discussions on the use of compression stockings for multiple sclerosis. And reading these forums, you may wonder how can compression stockings help with multiple sclerosis. 

How Can Compression Stockings Help

People with MS usually suffer from edema on the lower extremities as a result of reduced mobility or immobility. 


In a healthy person, the flexion of the leg helps in pushing the blood back through the veins to be transported to the heart and lungs for oxygenation. However, the reduction or lack of movement among MS sufferers keep this from happening. This causes the blood and the lymph to pool in the legs and feet, causing significant swelling. 


Compression stockings can help those suffering from MS as their “milking” effect on the lower extremities help push the liquid out of the lower portion of the legs. This effect can help in reducing the swelling of the lower extremities. 


It is recommended to still wear compression stockings even if the swelling subsides. This is to prevent the limbs from swelling again. 

Additional Things to Remember for MS-Related Edema

  • Make skin care a priority 

Use mild skin care products and watch out for signs of skin breakdown. Edematous limbs are more prone to infections and injuries. 


  • Elevate your legs frequently 

Lying on a bed with your legs elevated can help in reducing the swelling. 


  • Don’t forget to stretch 

Stretching exercises especially on the affected limbs can activate the muscle pump action. You can do it on your own or with the help of another person. 

Image: ilaria via Flickr

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