I experience the same problem you are describing with your thigh-high compression stockings. I've yet to come up with a solution. Currently, I only use them about a 0-4 days per month. I can't afford to continually replace them, (although I have heard that they are covered by insurance, and plan to look into that), so I rely on hoping they will shrink between uses.
When I do purchase compression stockings, I generally buy both a pair of knee-highs and thigh-highs. The knee-highs actually last much longer, (likely because there is less stretching going on), but they don't work near as well. Have you tried the waist-high ones? I haven't myself, but I'm curious if they are any better.
I was instructed to purchase compression hose by my EP cardio and have been putting it off due the overwhelming choices / brands online. I have decided to start with knee-length and thigh length until I get used to the compression. Does anyone have any favorite brands?
BTW I have NCS
1. They are convered by insurance, but only a certain number per year. Probably because they're supposed to last six months :P
2. I started with waist-high, and they just slithered down until they bunched at the knees and ankles, which completely cut off my circulation.
I have found, though, that by going a size smaller than the fitter thinks I should, they still work once they're stretched out, which means less sagging and bunching.
For Jenn: I've used Jobst, which didn't fit well and stretched. Now I have Medi thigh-highs, which fit really well for about a month til they stretch. They seem to have better sizing, and there's a petite length. I should fit normal length, and yet they're about 3 inches too long. Go figure. So far, my best have been Ames Walker. They don't take insurance, but they're much cheaper, so I fill in with those when the "quality" name brand ones die.
I use waist high, and haven't had a problem with them bunching down toward my ankles yet. However, I bet I wear them about one day a month. I tried wearing them regularly, but found it impractical. One problem I run into is that if I accidentally fall asleep with them on, I start to lose circulation in my feet.
Mine are covered by insurance (3 pairs every 6 months). AireScottie, what mmHg compression are you getting? Perhaps if your doctor ordered a different compression you wouldn't have the same problems? Mine are 30-40 mmHg graduated waist high.
I also have 30-40 compression, but I can't walk around for more than ten minutes without them, so they're on every day. I have less than 5% of my autonomic nerves left, so it's a constant battle to treat. I'd love 40-50 or 50-60 compression! When looking at my used stockings compared to new, it's obvious the used ones are much larger, which is why I'm so suspicious of the company claims of 6 months. Thanks for your thoughts :)
They do make higher levels of compression than 30-40 ... I know some people on another board that swear by them. Have you asked your doc if trying stronger compression would be appropriate? That's about the only idea I can come up with. I do know that the manufacturers sell those special cleansers of their own that supposedly help them last longer than washing them in regular soap, but I'm apt to think that's all a ploy to make money. I suppose I'd want to know if the ingredients are really different. And you're absolutely NOT supposed to wash them in Woolite for some reason--not sure why though?
Wish I could be of more help. :-/