Interested in learning more about compression therapy?
From athletes to those with circulation problems and everything in between, compression therapy is catching on as a way to improve performance and address a variety of medical conditions.
But what exactly is compression therapy?
We’ll take a closer look at what compression therapy is, its benefits, and how to get started with this treatment to improve your quality of life.
We hope that this information will help you decide if compression therapy is right for you. Keep reading to learn more!
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What Is Compression Therapy and Why You Should Try It
Compression therapy is a type of treatment that uses gentle pressure and/or elastic compression to improve blood flow.
This therapy is used to help treat a variety of medical conditions, including edema, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and lymphedema, but it can also be used to improve blood flow for sports performance and help prevent injuries.
Compression therapy aims to promote circulation and healing while reducing inflammation. It is often used in combination with other treatments such as physical therapy.
If anyone is a working professional, you probably have attended your industry trade shows. Standing all day for multiple days on that awful heavy carpet.
I decided one year to wear compression socks to ease the pain in my feet and WOW what a difference. Not only did I experience pain relief, but I also had so much extra energy as well.
For over 20 plus years, I’ve observed doctors recommend and prescribe the use of compression stockings after total knee joint surgery to promote healthy blood flow and reduce swelling and pain. It is used because it works!
Benefits of Compression Therapy
Compression therapy can help benefit many individuals with varying needs.
Medical compression can be an effective treatment for conditions such as:
Compression therapy can help prevent these conditions from developing, which is why compression stockings are prescribed after total knee surgery. The risk of blood clots and leg ulcers is always a concern for those who are immobile for long periods (sitting or standing), such as during a hospital stay or long-distance travel.
Compression therapy isn’t only known for its pain-relieving benefits; it can also help people with cellulite reduction and those associated with varicose veins. That’s why the aesthetic (cosmetic market) has started to invest in compression devices as a part of self-care regimens.
How Compression Therapy Works
Compression therapy works by applying pressure to the body, which helps to reduce swelling by moving excess fluid out of the tissues and back into the circulatory system. This not only prevents new fluid from accumulating but also helps support weak or injured muscles and joints.
The compression level or pressure of therapy devices and garments is represented in mmHg (millimeters of mercury). The higher the amount pressure, the greater level of compression. Depending on your needs, you may need a specific prescribed amount of pressure from a doctor.
Treat with Cold or Hot
Depending on your condition, compression therapy can be used in cold or hot temperatures.
Cold therapy is typically used to reduce swelling and pain after an injury. It works by constricting the blood vessels, which reduces inflammation. Cold therapy is also often used to help reduce the risk of injuries during physical activity.
Compression with heat can help increase blood flow and loosen tight muscles, which is helpful in a warmup to exercise.
We often used weighted heat packs on our athletes when I was coaching, especially during the middle to late season when the body starts taking a toll.
Heat compression therapy is often used to relieve pain from arthritis or fibromyalgia.
The frequency of compression therapy treatments will vary depending on the condition being treated as well as the recommendation of your healthcare provider.
Compression therapy treatments are generally administered multiple times per week for several weeks or months.
Length of Time
The length of time it takes for compression therapy to work will also depend on the condition being treated and the frequency of treatments.
You can generally expect to see some improvement within a few weeks, with the most noticeable improvements occurring after several weeks or months of treatment.
Risks of Compression Therapy
While compression therapy can help a lot of people, it’s not right for everyone. If you have blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT), talk to your doctor before starting this kind of therapy. Other reasons why compression might not be recommended are if you have open wounds, arterial disease, peripheral neuropathy, or sensitive skin.
How To Get Started With Compression Therapy and What Does it Cost?
Getting started with compression therapy may be as simple as knowing which body part is ailing you and finding the best compression garments to address it.
One example might be a nagging tennis elbow and you want to pickup a compression sleeve to gain some relief as you continue with activity. You can usually pick these up for $12-20.
But if you are experiencing real medical conditions, you will need to check with your doctor to see if it is right for you.
They will be able to determine the best course of treatment based on your individual needs.
Compression therapy is often covered by insurance when it is used to treat a medical condition.
So depending on your insurance coverage as well as the frequency and duration of treatment. Many insurance plans will cover at least a portion of the cost of compression therapy if it is prescribed by a healthcare provider for a medical condition.
Have Questions? We Have Answers.
Compression therapy is a versatile treatment that can be used to relieve pain from conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia, as well as reduce swelling and aid in recovery after an injury.
If you are struggling with a more severe medical issue, talk to your doctor about whether compression therapy is a good option for you and how often you should receive treatments.
Whether you’re looking to improve your athletic performance or you’re seeking relief from a medical condition, might be just what you need!