For readers who want to learn what compression therapy is and how it works.
It’s easy to take our health for granted. For most of us, our bodies serve to just simply get us where we need to go and we don’t give them much thought. We eat, we sleep, we know that we’re supposed to work out and drink water, etc. But we don’t always know the best ways for us to take care of ourselves.
The older we get, however, the more important it is to pay attention to our bodies. It’s vital that we give our bodies the utmost care they deserve, and that includes our legs. Enter compression therapy.
But what exactly is compression therapy? You may have heard about wearing compression socks during a long flight, or if you’re plugged into the health and wellness world, compression therapy may have been bounced around as something to try in order to help with blood flow and prevent vein disease, or as a great recovery treatment for athletes. It’s a great way to take care of yourself, but don’t fret – we’ll help you understand what the heck compression therapy actually is (hint: it’s not just socks!), why you should use it, and why it’s beneficial to everyone – not just athletes.
What is compression therapy?
Compression therapy is an effective method by which controlled pressure is applied to the extremities in order to increase blood flow and the efficiency of the lymphatic and venous systems. Traditionally, compression therapy uses socks or stockings, but Restore uses newer technology like NormaTec to offer dynamic compression that utilizes compressed air to massage limbs, mobilize fluid, and improve circulation.
How does compression therapy work?
Poor circulation occurs when blood vessels and arteries narrow, making it hard for blood to pass through. Compression therapy works by adding pressure to contracting areas of restricted flow, allowing the veins in the limbs to loosen. This loosening decreases venous pressure, reduces edema, and aids the body in moving blood towards the heart. It also engages “lymphatic flush”, which facilitates the removal of waste, swelling, and inflammation from the body.
So what is NormaTec?
If you’ve begun to do some research into the world and benefits of compression therapy, there is a chance you’ve come across NormaTec. But what exactly is it?
Founded in 1998 by Laura F. Jacobs MD, Ph.D., NormaTec was the result of needing something to help aid in quick recovery for circulation-related conditions. The NormaTec Recovery System is vital to maximizing recovery time for athletes and non-athletes alike.
How does NormaTec compression therapy work?
NormaTec compression uses a specific pulse technology that employs three types of massage techniques to help with the body’s recovery process. The three techniques are gradients, pulsing compression, and distal release.
- Pulsing compression: NormaTec uses pulsing compression as compared to “static compression.” The pulsing pattern is more effective because it copies the way the muscles pump in the arms and legs. It helps move the fluid in the limbs.
- Gradients: NormaTec utilizes pressures to keep fluid in the limbs from being moved in the wrong direction.
- Distal release: NormaTec “releases the hold pressures” once they’re not needed in order to prevent backflow. The NormaTec method releases the hold pressure as soon as possible, allowing each part of the limb/leg to have the most rest time it can without a huge pause between the cycles.
What can be treated with NormaTec compression therapy?
Even if you’re just now hearing about NormaTec or compression therapy in general, it’s been around for quite a while. It can treat numerous issues such as aching, swollen legs and leg injuries to chronic venous disease, varicose veins and deep venous thrombosis (also known as DVT). Compression therapy also treats leg ulcers and improves the chances of an ulcer not coming back.
Compression therapy is also good for anyone who spends long periods of time sitting, standing or traveling on airplanes or in any type of vehicle. You also don’t have to wait until you see visible signs of vein disease in order to utilize compression therapy – it’s great preventive care. Pregnant women also benefit from compression therapy, since a number of women experience achey, swollen legs during pregnancy.
NormaTec compression therapy is especially beneficial for athletes. Recovery is a crucial part of any training regimen, and NormaTec helps maximize circulation, helping you to feel better, train harder, and most importantly, recover faster.
What are the benefits of compression therapy?
There are a ton of benefits when it comes to compression therapy. For one, it keeps our legs healthy. To be quite honest, it’s easy to take our limb health for granted or to simply not think about it. When we’re young, we’re certainly not thinking about varicose veins or any venous diseases that we could possibly encounter. But even if you don’t think you need compression therapy, you can totally still benefit from it. Talking with your doctor about treatments for limb health can be an important, preventative healthcare step.
So why should you look into compression therapy?
There are quite a few reasons. Let’s dive into it.
Have you ever felt like you were always stiff? Have you ever noticed that you were unable to touch your toes or move around with ease? You find yourself jealous of people in yoga class who can reach and twist their body in ways that you’re sure you could never do. Compression therapy is an excellent way to increase your flexibility. The compression of muscles actually relaxes them and the surrounding tissue and helps you with your range of motion.
Compression therapy also helps with blood flow – hence why it’s important for people who stand all day or sit for long stretches of travel. It helps to keep the blood flow healthy. Imagine all of the business people or pilots who sit for hours and hours in one position, flying from city to city.
It also aids with pain relief. Nobody enjoys chronic pain – it’s something that can be absolutely debilitating and hinder you from enjoying a full life. If you’re dealing with swollen and achy legs, the compression applied to the area helps reduce the swelling. Compression therapy is also used to prevent blood clots, especially after surgery.
Does compression therapy really work?
As with anything you’re not familiar with, it can be natural to feel a healthy dose of skepticism. It’s normal to doubt methods and therapies if you haven’t gone through and experienced it yourself.
But compression therapy does work. It especially works for those who suffer from deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein in your body, usually in the legs. Research shows that compression therapy helps DVT prevention in hospital patients, according to Healthline.
Compression therapy is also a highly effective treatment for venous leg ulcers (VLU). It was concluded that taking proper care of wounds paired with compression therapy will heal small venous ulcers over a short period of time.
Health studies aren’t the only thing that proves its value. Numerous professional athletes and sports teams swear by the benefits of NormaTec compression therapy and have made it an integral part of their training.
How often should you use compression therapy?
When it comes to NormaTec, it has been recommended to use before and after exercise. Sessions can last anywhere between 10 to 60 minutes with varying intensity levels.
But it must be said again: if compression therapy is something you want to look into, always consult with your doctor first. They’ll be able to guide you and help you figure out a plan that’s beneficial to you.
So…should I use compression therapy and look into NormaTec?
Putting your health first is always beneficial. There is nothing vain or selfish about wanting to care for yourself in the best way possible – and compression therapy can help with that. You don’t have to be a professional athlete or a pilot who sits in the same position for hours and hours in order to benefit from compression therapy. Taking the proper steps to keep your blood flow and circulation healthy is important for the livelihood of anyone. Whether you’re an athlete wanting to achieve peak performance or a person who deals with pain and swelling in your legs, it can be extremely valuable to your options with compression therapy. Scheduling a NormaTec appointment is absolutely worth looking into.