Compression Hosiery : FSA Eligibility
Information Letter 2009-0209
What is compression hosiery?
Compression hosiery, also known as compression stockings, are elastic garments that are worn around the legs and hips that are designed to improve blood flow in the legs for both practical and medical needs. Compression hosiery is typically used to treat major venous disorders, which refers to chronic conditions caused by veins that have become diseased or abnormal. These disorders can include leg ulcers/skin changes, leg swelling and leg pain, vascular malformations, phlebitis, varicose veins and spider veins and many others. Some physicians may prescribe compression therapy as a means of combating these specific disorders, in tandem with other proven treatments (WebMD).
Outside of the medical realm, compression hosiery also has real value for individuals who experience long periods of inactivity, as well as those who are constantly on their feet. For instance, compression stockings have been worn for decades by airline pilots who experience long periods of inactivity, and other professions that experience extended periods of sitting have also embraced compression hosiery as a viable method to increase blood flow, as well as energize and invigorate their legs.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, active individuals have turned to compression stockings as a means of speeding their recovery from heavy exercise or limiting pain in their legs after being on their feet throughout the day. Nurses and caregivers, waiters/chefs, and other professions that involve high-impact pressure on feet and legs throughout the day have turned to compression hosiery for pain relief, while athletes and long-distance runners are also known to use compression stockings to improve blood flow, limit lactic acid buildup and speed their recovery times (Medical News Today).