Compression therapy uses controlled pressure to increase blood flow in your legs and improve blood flow to the heart. At the same time, it supports your veins and decreases swelling. Compression therapy is the standard, well-researched treatment to: manage lymphedema (swelling) and pain in the legs help wound healing, specifically ulcers manage vein problems prevent blood clots after surgery. A more recent use for compression therapy is to aid in athletic performance or workout recovery. Doctors have prescribed compression therapy for thousands of years, as far back as Hippocrates of ancient Greece. Modern science continues to discover new benefits of compression therapy.
Better Blood Flow When you are sitting or standing, the veins in your legs must fight gravity to move blood back to your heart. Compression therapy gently squeezes the leg, which helps blood flow faster and keep moving in the right direction. Compression therapy can also help treat swelling. When there is extra fluid in your legs, compression helps your body absorb it.
Prevention and Treatment of Varicose Veins In order to push blood back up toward the heart, the veins in your legs have valves that only allow blood to move in one direction. Sometimes these valves wear out and let the blood pool in the veins. This can lead to varicose veins, swollen and twisted veins that can cause pain and a heavy, achy feeling in your legs. Compression stockings can help reduce the discomfort and swelling that varicose veins cause. After varicose vein treatment, compression therapy may help prevent you from getting new varicose veins.
Less Dizziness and Nausea Orthostatic hypotension is when your blood pressure drops when you stand up. It can make you feel dizzy (like the room is spinning), lightheaded (like you might faint), or nauseous (like you might throw up). If you have this problem a lot, your doctor might recommend thigh-high or waist-high compression hose. Compression therapy can keep blood from pooling in your legs, which is what causes orthostatic hypotension.
Lower Risk of Blood Clots If you are in the hospital for a long time or have surgery that keeps you off your feet for a while, you are at a higher risk of developing deep vein thrombosis. This is when you get a blood clot or clots in a deep vein. Deep vein thrombosis can have serious consequences. Compression therapy makes it less likely that you will get a blood clot while you are in the hospital. You might also need to wear compression stockings when you go home from the hospital and as you recover. Travelers are also at a greater risk of developing a blood clot because they are seated for long periods of time. You are three times more likely to have problems with blood clots while flying than at other times. Your risk goes up even higher on longer flights. Compression socks can lower your risk of blood clots while traveling. They can also reduce swelling and leg discomfort that are common on long flights.
Healing Leg Ulcers Ulcers are open wounds on the skin that can be hard to heal. Leg ulcers can be caused by: Diabetes, Vein problems, Kidney failure, High blood pressure, & Heart disease. Compression therapy is a very effective treatment for leg ulcers. It helps heal ulcers by improving blood flow. During the healing process, compression therapy reduces the symptoms of leg ulcers, such as pain, swelling, and itching. Up to 97% of people who have had leg ulcers will get another leg ulcer in the future. Compression therapy can help keep you from getting new leg ulcers.
Results may vary.