Compression therapy is one of the most effective ways to treat leg swelling, venous diseases, and certain wounds to help them heal. In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of compression therapy and how it can help you recover from your injuries. Keep reading to discover more about how compression therapy can help you.
What is Compression Therapy?
Compression therapy is a widely used form of treatment and prevention that uses compression to treat a wide variety of medical conditions. It is often associated with varicose veins but is also used for patients who have leg swelling disorders, such as venous insufficiency or lymphedema. There are several benefits of compression therapy for patients, including reduced swelling, improved circulation, and reduced pain.
Compression therapy relies on the external use of pressure to squeeze the underlying anatomy to reduce swelling and improve circulation. Gradient compression is particularly effective with more pressure being applied more distally (further) from the heart with the pressure reducing proximally (closer). This helps to squeeze the body in a manner that helps spur circulation and reduce limb swelling.
Who Can Benefit From Compression Therapy?
There are a variety of medical conditions that can be treated or prevented with the use of compression therapy. Some of the most common include:
- Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI): CVI is a condition in which the veins are unable to properly pump blood back to the heart. This can cause blood to pool in the legs and lead to swelling.
- Varicose Veins: Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that can be painful and cause leg swelling.
- Lymphedema: Lymphedema is a condition that causes fluid to build up in the tissues and can lead to swelling.
- Leg Ulcers: Leg ulcers are open wounds that can be painful and difficult to heal.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): DVT is a condition in which a blood clot forms in the deep veins of the body, often in the leg.
- Athletes often use compression therapy to prevent inflammation after activity and promote recovery.
What are the Benefits of Compression Therapy?
There are several benefits of compression therapy for patients. These include:
- Reduced Swelling: One of the most common benefits of compression therapy is that it can help to reduce swelling. This is because compression helps to promote circulation and drainage, which can reduce pooling and swelling.
- Improved Circulation: Compression therapy can also improve circulation by helping to keep the veins open and allowing blood to flow more easily back to the heart.
- Reduced Pain: Compression therapy can also help to reduce pain by providing support and alleviating pressure on the joints and muscles.
- Reduced Risk of Blood Clots: Compression therapy can also reduce the risk of blood clots by keeping the veins open and promoting circulation.
- And many more.
Types of Compression Therapy
There are generally two types of compression: static and intermittent. Static compression is when the compression is constant, while intermittent compression is when the compression is applied and released at regular intervals through the use of a manual or automatic pump.
Static compression is the most common type of compression used, meant for all-day wear. They have a supporting effect that helps to reduce the amount of limb swelling and improve circulation, particularly while the user is walking around.
Intermittent compression products, on the other hand, are beneficial for users who are more sedentary, as the rhythmic cycle engages the calf muscles, forcing fluid out in a form of biomimicry. In other words — they work even when you’re not up and walking around.