Compression therapy is one of the most popular treatments offered at Mimi Lee, MD in Little Rock, AR, and that’s with good reason. Benefits of compression therapy have many features for adults of all ages, whether they are athletes in the prime of their lives or retirees in their golden years. Despite its growing popularity, many people are unfamiliar with the full range of health benefits that come from using compression.
What Is Compression Therapy Used for?
At its most basic, compressing the muscles helps blood flow through the body more efficiently. Compression prevents blood from pooling in the body. Most people realize that compression garments are often used to reduce or prevent swelling, but there are many other uses for compression as well.
Improved Athletic Performance
Professional athletes, trainers, and physical therapists have long understood and relied on the power of compression. But now even everyday people are beginning to use compression as an integral part of their regular workouts.
Blood Circulation During Long or Frequent Flights
Business travelers quickly learn of the aches and pains that come with poor circulation on long flights. Flight passengers can wear compression garments to prevent this from happening. These garments also help in preventing blood clots and deep vein thrombosis which can occur during long flights.
Healthy Posture and Blood Flow During Pregnancy
Pregnant women often benefit from using compression therapies during the later months of their pregnancies. The added weight of pregnancy frequently means back pain, poor posture, and poor circulation in the legs. Compression garments help improve posture and blood flow for many of these women.
Improved Blood Flow for Nurses, Teachers, and Salespeople
Pregnant women and frequent fliers aren’t the only ones who frequently suffer from poor circulation. Anyone who has had a career that required them to stand for long hours knows how hard it can be to keep your legs healthy and prevent swelling after a long week of work. Compression socks are a great option for anyone who spends their hours standing.
Treating Problematic Veins
Poor circulation often leads to visible veins. When blood pressure increases inside your veins, they become twisted and swollen. This makes it even harder for blood to travel back to the heart. These veins are often visible under the skin.
If the pressure continues to build in your veins, the fluid that builds up can create an open sore: a venous ulcer. Compression garments that improve circulation can help treat each of these issues, sometimes even when no other treatments are used.
Sometimes people experience swelling in an arm or leg or in the head and neck after cancer-related surgeries involving one of the lymph nodes. The body cannot drain lymphatic fluid from that part of the body any longer. Compression garments and therapies are used to help drain the affected area and promote recovery.
Benefits of Compression Therapy
As you can see, compression therapy is incredibly useful for many situations and for people from all walks of life. In fact, it is so useful because it offers many more benefits than the average person expects.
Reduces Appearance of Veins
Scientists have found that patients can dramatically reduce the appearance of visible veins by regularly using compression therapies. Since these veins are caused when pressure builds in the veins, causing them to twist and become engorged, compression reduces the built-up pressure and helps blood flow more smoothly.
Helps Prevent and Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite
Cellulite is the bane of many women. Scientists are still trying to determine its causes, but there are some indications that blood circulation plays an important role. A few recent studies have shown that compression therapy can be used to effectively reduce and prevent cellulite from appearing.
Compression often relieves pain. When garments or technology compress the muscles, it forces the blood back towards your heart. This makes your muscles feel lighter and also relieves discomfort.
Keeps Muscles Warm and Increases Flexibility
Compression keeps muscles warm, which is a bonus for athletes. When your muscles are warm, they become more flexible and have a wider range of motion.
By compressing the veins, blood moves faster through your system. Lactic acids and other wastes that build in the tissues are carried away in the veins and back toward the heart. Compression helps drain these metabolic wastes more efficiently, which helps speed the recovery process. This is true of both recovering after an intense workout and after many types of surgeries.
More Oxygen in Your Muscles
Medical studies have found that compression increases the amount of oxygen found in muscles. Oxygen is fuel for your muscles, and it also helps heal any soreness after exertion.
Increases Awareness of Your Body
Interestingly, studies have found that people using compression therapies feel they are more in tune with their bodies. Because compression therapies put pressure on the skin, they activate the receptors that communicate with your brain and tell you exactly where your legs, arms, hands, and feet are and what they are doing.
It’s important to meet with a professional to discuss your unique needs. Not all compression therapies or garments are made the same. You could miss out on the health benefits if you use a compression garment that’s too loose or too tight, or if you use a garment instead of compression technology that would better suit your needs. Contact Mimi Lee, MD in Little Rock, AR today to schedule your consultation and see how compression can benefit you!