There are many conditions for which compression therapy is recommended. Some of the most common diagnoses which can greatly benefit by applying graduated compression are:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Stasis dermatitis
- Varicose veins
- Venous insufficiency (CVI)
- Venous stasis ulcer
Elastic Compression Hosiery and Arm SleevesGraduated compression hosiery and arm sleeves offer a cost-effective method of treatment both for preventative and post-operative venous and lymphatic disorders. Graduated compression stockings are a safe, non-invasive medical product offering proven therapeutic benefits.
Graduated compression stockings are scientifically designed to regulate blood flow velocity through the feet and legs. Blood flows faster in compressed vessels than in dilated ones. Medical compression hosiery effectively helps promote the venous and lymphatic return by gently compressing the limb with graduated pressure—pressure which is greater distally (direction farthest from the heart) than proximally (direction closer to the heart). This is important in counter-acting the forces of gravity.
Only stockings with graduated compression will be effective in preventing the development of and controlling the extent of the edema, as well as restoring the blood flow velocity to normal. Compression is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) – the universal measure of pressure. Graduated compression stockings are available in several classes, the pressure being determined based on the diagnosis and overall physical condition of the patient.
Garments should be applied in the morning to prevent gravity from pulling fluid down into the limb. They should be worn daily while active, and removed for sleeping when the body is recumbent and the stronger external pressure of elastic garments is not necessary.
Compression hosiery can be custom made to your measurements, or ready-to-wear depending on the size and shape of your limb. Compression hosiery today is considered cosmetically acceptable, is available in many styles and colors, and patient compliance is excellent.
Inelastic Compression Wraps for Venous and Lymphatic DisordersInelastic compression wraps are applied to a limb to achieve graduated compression. They are used for management of venous hypertension, lymphedema and venous ulcers to reduce edema and aid return of venous blood and lymph fluid to the heart.
- Lymphedema: Wraps help alleviate the symptoms of lymphedema by helping to coax lymphatic fluid back into the lymph vessels for recirculation. The wraps apply gentle and consistent pressure against the skin, providing a surface for the muscles to press against, thereby acting like a pump to stimulate lymph flow. By wearing wraps, you can actually pump excess fluid out of the extremity and reduce the swelling as you go about your daily activities.
- Venous Disorders and Ulcers: Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a condition that occurs when the venous wall and/or valves in the leg veins are not working effectively, making it difficult for blood to return to the heart from the legs. CVI causes blood to “pool” or collect in these veins, and this pooling is called stasis. By countering the effects of venous pressure, compression wraps reduce edema and promote venous return. Compression therapy is the standard of care for CVI and venous ulcerations, and wraps are an alternative for those who lack the strength or dexterity to use traditional compression stockings and bandages.
Compression pumps are designed to promote venous and lymphatic circulation, and remove edema from the extremity by progressively moving fluid in a distal to proximal direction. The effect of the mild intermittent, sequential pressure is to increase interstitial pressure, thereby driving intercellular fluid into the venous capillary system. The most effective pumps are multi-chambered, and deliver calibrated, gradient pressure. Pumps are generally viewed as being most effective when combined with other treatment methods such as manual lymph drainage (MLD®). MLD® prepares the quadrants near the affected limb to be able to accept the excess fluid being forced out of the limb and to transport the lymph to a cluster of operative lymph nodes. Treatments should then be followed with compression bandaging or garments to maintain the results.