Compression therapy is a complementary treatment that can help alleviate a variety of conditions related to pain, inflammation, and poor circulation. When added to a treatment plan, compression therapy can help create significant improvements in symptoms and overall health. Compression therapy works by addressing the underlying causes of pain and inflammation using – yes! – compression to specific areas of the body applied from inflatable devices. Because of its versatility, compression therapy can be a valuable part of a comprehensive approach to pain management.
The words ‘compression’ and ‘treatment’ bring up images of compression stockings or socks used to aid circulation for athletes, for those with vascular injuries, or the elderly. Although compression hose is still widely used for many conditions, compression therapy may use special garments, compression sleeves, and/or inflatable devices to apply pressure to specific areas of the body, such as the legs, abdomen, and arms.
The application of pressure, measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), is specifically used to increase circulation with gentle, sustained squeezing that alternates with periods of relaxation. Air compression therapy uses specific inflatable sleeves or partial body suits to promote blood flow to the soft tissues,
which can improve athletic performance and hasten recovery. Compression may be short and intense, long and slow, or a combination of patterns. The timing of sessions may range from a few minutes to half an hour.
A person can relax during compression therapy sessions as they are often gentle, non-invasive, and feel relaxing. You may be sitting or reclined during a compression session. Compression therapy may also be used during active exercise, such as weightlifting.
Compression therapy is often used to treat conditions such as lymphedema and muscle soreness. Compression therapy also has a long history of use after surgery in hospitals to improve wound healing, prevent blood clots, while we use it to reduce swelling by improving circulation. The compression helps the blood move through the body to the heart, which allows the body to heal and provide additional nutritive resources to the injured area.
Although one goal of compression therapy is to increase blood flow and reduce swelling, which can help alleviate pain and discomfort in the affected area, compression therapy can also be used help stimulate muscle strength and hypertrophy response after exercise.
Many patients love using the NormaTec Compression system in our Bay City office! By improving circulation and reducing swelling, compression therapy can help facilitate the healing process and improve the outcomes of their treatment.
There are some devices that can be used at home or at the gym. These devices may be smaller, portable, and powerful, but it is important to know how to use the device. If you are considering using compression therapy, it is essential to work with a qualified and experienced healthcare provider at Lake Effect Chiropractic who can customize a treatment plan that meets your specific needs and goals. Your healthcare provider can help you determine the appropriate type of compression therapy for your condition, as well as the frequency and duration of treatments needed to achieve the best results.
Like any device, it is valuable to know when to use compression therapy. Here are some reasons why:
- Correct use. Not all conditions respond well to pressure. Improper use may worsen an injury or have no benefit.
- Correct pressure. The device can apply pressure, but pressure can vary in intensity. If a condition does respond well with compression, some may require more pressure than others, less pressure, or require pressure only under certain conditions.
- Correct timing. Consistency is important. A compression therapy device or pneumatic pump will yield the best and most effective results when used as instructed by your overseeing doctor.
- Correct area. Compression should not be applied in certain areas, such as the neck. It is valuable to discuss compression therapy with the knowledgeable doctors at Lake Effect Chiropractic.
In conclusion, combining compression therapy with the many other forms of care found at Lake Effect Chiropractic can provide a comprehensive and effective approach to pain relief, improved circulation, and overall health and wellbeing. With the right treatment plan and support from a qualified healthcare provider, you can take control of your health and live a more comfortable, active, and pain-free life!