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​What are Anti-Embolism Stockings?

7 October 2015  |  Admin

Not all compression stockings are about fashion, some of them, like our anti-embolism models, are pure function. Legs recovering from injury and surgery will be sure to thank you for them.

They might not be the prettiest stockings in our range, but their some of the most important. Anti-embolism stockings are used by patients recovering from surgery, trauma and injury who cannot move their legs for the duration. You’re sure to have experienced all the numb, tingly and pretty unpleasant feelings of having legs kept in the same, unmoving position for too long, so being faced with this fate for days at a time can lead to some very unhappy legs indeed, that’s where anti-embolism stockings come in!

Rest, Recovery and Really Good Stockings

Legs made to lie for a long time obviously aren’t getting the kind of action they need to keep the blood pumping at a normal, healthy level. Blood pooling at the bottom of the limbs or pumping too slow can lead to blood clots, one of the biggest and entirely preventable causes of hospital deaths. Blood clots can affect anyone of any age, so even having the healthiest of lifestyles doesn’t mean your legs can handle days of inactivity without a bit of help.

See Our Full Range of Compression Stockings

Anti-embolism stockings do just that, by reducing the risk of blood clots through gentle compression of your legs, they increase the blood flow and prevent your leg veins from expanding. This control over your blood vessels helps maintain the rate of circulation, keeping things running smoothly and preventing blood clots from forming. Because of their specially made design as a hard-working bed sock, anti-embolism socks should only be worn:

 a) On your doctor’s recommendation
 b) When you are confined to a hospital bed and unable to move 
 c) Most definitely not as an alternative to regular compression stockings!

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Most anti-embolism stockings will be provided for you as part of your recovery plan. Your nurse will measure you for the perfect fit as this is crucial for effective performance. You may be told to wear them home to continue wearing them,  it is completely down to your doctor and your personal circumstance as to how long you should be wearing your anti-embolism stockings, but generally it’s only until you are able to get back on your feet and to a normal level of activity again.

How to Wear Anti-Embolism Stockings

There’s more to getting the most out of your anti-embolism stockings than just pulling them on! These are some seriously specialised stockings so give them some respect and make sure you know how to use them properly:

  • Wear your stockings day and night or as your doctor advises 
  • Try not to remove them for longer than 30 minutes a day
  • When removed, check to see your skin is happy and healthy beneath, any discolouration can be a sign that you are not reacting well with the fit
  • Change and wash them every two to three days, make sure you have a fresh second pair handy to slip on
  • Don’t let them slip or roll down as this can end up constricting your circulation
  • It’s best not to walk without slippers or shoes when wearing stockings, both to maintain them and to make sure you don’t slip!
  • Oils, lotions or waxy ointments shouldn’t be used to help ease the stocking on as this can damage the fibres
  • Correctly cared for, your stockings can last up to 3 months


Some people may not be able to wear anti-embolism stockings due to other medical reasons, but don’t worry, there are other ways to ensure you don’t suffer from poor circulation or run the risk of blood clots. You’re likely to not be given anti-embolism stockings if:

  • You have recently had a stroke
  • You suffer from narrowing of the arteries
  • You have gangrene or open wounds on your legs
  • You recently had a skin graft
  • You have eczema or fragile skin
  • You have fluid on your lungs caused by heart failure
  • Your legs are very swollen

Needing a fresh pair of stockings to slip into? Head over to our store and pick up a pair of anti-embolism stockings today!