Wear the pressure stockings prescribed by your doctor. They will improve blood flow in your legs and may lower your risk of long-term complications and problems with blood clots.
- Avoid letting the stockings become very tight or wrinkled.
- If you use lotion on your legs, let it dry before you put the stockings on.
- Put powder on your legs to make it easier to put on the stockings.
- Wash the stockings each day with mild soap and water. Rinse and let them air dry.
- Be sure you have a second pair of stockings to wear while the other pair is being washed.
- If your stockings feel too tight, tell your doctor or nurse. Do not just stop wearing them.
Your doctor may give you medicine to thin your blood. This will help keep more clots from forming.
- Take the medicine just the way your doctor prescribed.
- Know what to do if you miss a dose.
- You may need to get blood tests often to make sure you are taking the right dose.
Ask your doctor what exercises and other activities are safe for you to do.
Do not sit or lie down in the same position for long periods.
- Do not cross your legs when you sit.
- Do not sit so that you put steady pressure on the back of your knee.
- Prop up your legs on a stool or chair if your legs swell when you sit.
If swelling is a problem, keep your legs resting above your heart. When sleeping, make the foot of the bed a few inches higher than the head of the bed.
Do not wear tight clothing on your legs or around your waist. If your clothes leave a mark in your skin, they are too tight.
- By car -- stop often, and get out and walk around for a few minutes.
- On a plane, bus, or train -- get up and walk around often.
- While sitting in a car, bus, plane, or train -- wiggle your toes, tighten and relax your calf muscles, and shift your position often.
- Again, do not sit with your legs crossed.
Do not smoke. If you do, ask your doctor for help quitting.
Drink at least 6 to 8 cups of liquid a day, if your doctor says it is OK.
Use less salt.
- Do not add extra salt to your food.
- Do not eat canned foods and other processed foods that have a lot of salt.
- Read food labels to check the amount of salt (sodium) in foods. Ask your doctor how much sodium is OK for you to eat each day.