What is compression therapy?

Compression socks are one of many therapy options.

Compression socks are one of many therapy options.

When you have a cut, what's one of the first things you do? You apply pressure. Pressing gauze or a compress against the wound helps to prevent blood loss and promote clotting, essentials for any serious injury. 

While compression is a common answer to a bleeding wound, open cuts are far from the only medical problem that can be answered with this strategy. If you are experiencing pain caused by arthritis or another chronic condition, compression therapy could be a possible treatment to help you find relief.  

What is compression therapy?
Compression therapy is the process by which pressure is applied evenly over a sore or painful area, squeezing to support the veins. According to the American Venous Forum, this type of treatment usually comes in the form of tight stockings or socks that are worn during the day and removed at night. 

Though it may seem counterintuitive, the pressure applied during this period through compression doesn't slow blood flow – it increases it. The improved circulation can help to promote healing and the pressure prevents blood from pooling in the veins. This process can also reduce swelling in the affected body part. 

As suggested by the AVF, most compression therapy tools are made to be worn by the user. Though they usually come in the form of socks or stockings,y ou can also find shin sleeves, elbow sleeves and even masks that use the same principles to help treat pain, swelling and other symptoms. 

These wearable therapy aids are used in the treatment of many common chronic conditions, including fibromyalgia, lymphatic diseases and overuse, but perhaps the most common use of compression therapy is for arthritis pain relief. 

As strategies implementing compression therapy become more frequent in health care, a growing number of patients are using these tools in the U.S. In fact, a report by Persistence Market Research  estimated that the compression therapy market is expected to increase to a value of about $3.2 billion by 2020.

Illustration of compression therapy being used on the calf.Because compression therapy can help to prevent the development of blood clots it is often recommended for patients following surgery.

The benefits of compression therapy
Compression therapy offers a number of benefits to your body. The most widely promoted, of course, is pain relief. One of the ways that this is accomplished is through reducing the swelling in the area, which can be especially helpful for aches and pains. The increased circulation encouraged by compression therapy can also promote healing and the heat can reduce stiffness. 

Compression therapy can additionally help to prevent the development of blood clots. Consequently, it is often recommended for patients following surgery. 

If you have a condition that could benefit from compression therapy, consider trying a product from the IMAK® Compression line. These products, including the Active Gloves, Shin Sleeve, Pain Relief Mask, Arthritis Socks, Arthritis Elbow Sleeve and Arthritis Knee Sleeve, are designed to relieve pain and help your body heal.   

Talk to your health care provider today to determine if compression therapy could be an effective solution for treating your pain.