Concept of Compression Therapy
The concept of compression therapy lies on a simple and efficient mechanical principle: the application of an elastic garment around the leg.
By compressing the limb with graduated compression that is strongest at the ankle and decreasing going up the leg the compression stocking helps with:
- Venous return
- Decreased venous pressure
- Preventing venous stasis and deterioration of venous walls
- Efficiently relieving aching and heavy legs by aiding the body in moving blood up the leg against the pull of gravity
Compression treatment is usually prescribed by a physician to treat:
- Aftercare following surgery
- Sclerotherapy and any other forms of varicose vein treatment
- To relieve all conditions of chronic venous disease (heavy legs, varicose veins, oedemas, leg ulcers)
Depending on the diagnosed condition, medical compression therapy can be applied in different forms, for example:
Compression therapy can also be prescribed to prevent venous issues during pregnancy and long distance travel. If no contraindications like severe arterial insufficiency are present you may even buy compression stockings of lower pressure without prescription.
- The principle of this therapy is to exert a controlled pressure on the limb. The pressure unit is the millimeter of mercury (mmHg).
- The pressure is exerted by the application of a device on the limb such as a stocking or bandage.
- The action of the device is mechanical. It utilizes the principle of hysteresis that is defined by the stretch-relaxation curve of an elastic body. The transmission of the pressure to the vascular system by those devices is indirect.
- The principle stands against the hyper-pressure brought by a defective venous system
- The pressure is stronger at ankle level. The compression device must exert a contra-pressure where the pressure level is the strongest : at the ankle.
- The pressure is regressive. The direction of the blood stream must be respected. Therefore the pressure must be regressive. The gradual pressure decrease is defined in the requirements of the devices, and depends on the compression classes.
Effects of compression
1. Hemodynamics effect
- Increases venous blood flow
- Decreases venous blood volume
- Reduces reflux in diseased superficial and/or deep veins
- Reduces a pathologically elevated venous pressure
2. Effect on tissue
- Reduces an elevated oedema in the tissue
- Increases the drainage of toxic substances
- Reduces inflammation
- Sustains reparative processes
- Improves movement of tendons and joint
Compression Therapy Products
Knee high compression stockings
Thigh length compression stockings
Pantyhose compression stockings
Arm compression sleeves