Compression therapy has gained attention in mainstream media lately thanks to its popularity among athletes. In fact, you may have seen people running, cycling, or playing in a big game with tight sleeves of spandex on their arms and legs.
While these athletes may be using the sleeves to enhance performance or recovery, these garments rely on the same scientific concepts as those used for medical purposes, like compression socks.
Think about it. When you cut yourself, the first thing you do is apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Compression therapy involves a similar process, except it exerts even pressure over a larger area to squeeze and support veins.
But this doesn’t stop blood flow like gauze pressed against a wound. Instead, the added pressure increases blood flow, which improves circulation, promotes healing, and prevents blood from pooling in your veins.
This noninvasive and novel approach makes compression therapy incredibly helpful for multiple issues. Here are seven conditions our team at Wound Evolution - Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine treat with compression therapy.
1. Venous insufficiency
Your arteries and veins work together to keep blood circulating throughout your body. Arteries carry it away from your heart, and it returns by way of your veins. Each of your veins contains a tiny valve to stop the blood from flowing in the wrong direction.
Venous insufficiency occurs when your blood doesn’t flow back to your heart properly and pools in your leg veins instead.
2. Wound healing
Wounds that develop on your lower leg are known as venous stasis ulcers. This condition often occurs when you have chronic venous insufficiency causing too much pressure in a vein.
As the blood pools in your veins, varicose veins develop, and pressure continues to build. Eventually, this pressure gets forced from the veins and into surrounding tissue, leading to skin damage and ulcers.
This condition describes swelling from fluid collecting in your legs, ankles, or feet. Unlike over-the-counter compression stockings, prescription versions apply specific amounts of pressure in certain areas to improve circulation.
To get the best results, you get measured to ensure the right fit.
4. Leg injuries and surgery
Experiencing a leg injury or going through surgery increases your chances of deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots in your legs.
The danger of blood clots is that they can break free and travel to your lungs, a life-threatening complication. This problem can happen to anyone, but trauma and surgery increase your risks.
Living with diabetes means taking extra good care of your feet. That’s because this condition can lead to blood vessel damage in your legs and feet, causing circulation problems, swelling, and higher risks of infection.
Fortunately, compression socks can help with diabetic foot care and improve healing if you have diabetic wounds that heal slowly.
6. Prolonged periods of bed rest
As we mentioned above, blood clots are a serious problem. Unfortunately, they often form as a result of inactivity or immobility. While they can occur anywhere in your body, they’re most common because of blood pooling in the lower extremities.
As a result, compression therapy is highly beneficial for anyone going through lengthy periods of inactivity, including illness, injury, pregnancy, and partial or complete paralysis.
7. Excessive weight gain or obesity
Carrying extra pounds takes a toll on your body, especially your legs, feet, and circulatory system. Compression therapy can help ease discomfort and swelling while also reducing your risk of blood clots.
Are you curious to see if compression therapy can help you? Contact us at the Wound Evolution - Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine. We have locations in Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio, Texas, and Overland Park, Kansas.