Vascular compression products have been around for a very long time. They are designed to help improve blood circulation in the veins by applying graduated compression. Vascular compression garments allow proper blood flow through various body parts typically after surgery when a patient is immobile for extended periods of time and reduce the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Vascular compression products have been clinically proven by physicians to significantly lessen the risk of developing DVT. The benefits people receive by wearing vascular compression products are pretty incredible.
When and Why Were Compression Garments Invented?
Back in 1950, a German mechanical engineer and inventor by the name of Conrad Jobst suffered from varicose veins. He invented a very tight sock that created pressure on the muscles, bones, and connective tissue to help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and edema. These socks raised the temperature of the skin underneath which then promoted blood flow and healing. When Mr. Jobst passed away in 1957, his wife Carolina grew the business and expanded the compression product lines into plastic and reconstructive surgery garments and anti-embolism stockings. Jobst has since been acquired by Essity, a leading global hygiene and health company that develops, produces, and sells personal care products and solutions.
What Are the Benefits of Wearing Vascular Compression Products?
Whether your job requires you to sit or stand for long periods of time, you frequently travel by plane, or you are an athlete, compression garments can offer amazing health benefits. Compression garments like socks, leggings, and stockings can help reduce the buildup of lactic acid and the prevention of varicose veins and swelling. Vascular Compression Products are used for various reasons all aiming to promote blood circulation and healing.
Some Reasons Vascular Compression Garments Might be Used
Pregnancy – Pregnant women may be able to find relief in wearing compression socks due to the extra weight on their legs as their baby grows.
Post-Reconstructive Surgery – For those that have just had cosmetic or reconstructive surgery, wearing a compression garment such as the Surgi-Bra by Cardinal Health can help with the blood flow to that area of the body to promote healing.
Pre-Operative Procedure – Many medical professionals choose to use compression sleeves such as the Kendall SCD Express Sleeve on their patients that are undergoing surgery. These compression sleeves apply gentle pressure to promote blood flow and prevent blot clots from forming. These compression garments are put onto the patient before undergoing general anesthesia and usually removed during recovery.
Running – Vascular compression socks are widely used by runners to increase the amount of oxygen delivered to their muscles. The onset of muscle soreness is reduced after running by wearing these compression garments as well.
What Are the Different Types of Compression Products?
Vascular compression products are made for all different parts of the body depending on where the pain or issue is that is being targeted. We will discuss the different compression products for various parts of the body and how they may offer health benefits.
Vascular Compression Garments for the Legs
Offered in open- or closed-toe, knee- or thigh-high, and a multitude of colors and designs, vascular compression stockings are used by those of all ages, shapes, and sizes. These garments aim to increase the blood flow in the lower extremities such as the calf, shin, and hamstring. They may also help reduce swelling and pain. Plus, they may work to prevent varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is when a blood clot forms deep in the leg that can potentially lead to an embolism if that clot breaks loose and travels throughout the body, eventually getting stuck somewhere dangerous. Vascular compression stockings help the arteries to relax causing more oxygen to reach the muscles and the veins to circulate blood to and from the heart more effectively.
Many surgeons order the use of vascular compression sleeves as part of their DVT prevention process. Using vascular compression sleeves during surgery such as the Kendall SCD Comfort Sleeve has been clinically-proven to aid in the prevention of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. These sleeves compress a larger surface area and deliver therapy using a ‘milking’ action as they squeeze the leg to increase blood flow as the chambers increase at different pressures.
Compression Garments for the Knee
When the knee is sprained or strained, swelling and irritation can occur. With gentle compression from a product such as the Leader Neoprenen Patellar Knee Support, pain can be reduced by keeping the patella in proper alignment with the rest of the joints in the knee to relieve pressure. This therapeutic compression delivers the warmth from the improved blood circulation that then stimulates recovery.
Compression Garments for Hands
The hand is made up of about 30 bones, over 100 ligaments, approximately 48 nerves, and 30 arteries. In the digital age, we are living in, who isn’t using their hand every minute of the day. Whether we are typing on the computer, texting on our phones, using a gaming controller, or pushing the buttons on the remote, we are constantly using the muscles of the hand. Because of this, many are developing arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and tendonitis, just to name a few. When a joint in the hand becomes swollen and tender, everyday activities can be uncomfortable resulting in stiffness and pain. Compression garments such as the Brownmed IMAK Arthritis Compression Glove can help to improve circulation and reduce swelling, allowing the joints to heal.
Vascular Compression for the Feet
One of the most common reasons compression garments are used on the feet is to treat a condition called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia (the tissue that connects the heel to the toes) is injured leading to heel pain and inflammation. When compression is applied to the foot such as with the Kendell SCD Express Foot Cuff, there is added support and blood circulation improves, therefore reducing pain and promoting healing. Other conditions that can benefit from compression garments for the feet are heel spurs, edema, Achilles tendonitis, and any other foot pain, swelling, or soreness.
Compression Garments for the Chest, Ribs, and Abdomen
After undergoing reconstructive surgery, a biopsy, or breast augmentation, women often leave the hospital with a compression bra such as the Surgi-Bra by Cardinal Health. These compression garments work to firmly hold dressings in place without the use of tape or wraps and make it easy to adjust to the desired compression.
If the ribs are injured, a compression garment like the Leader Rib Belt may be used after surgery to aid in the healing and support of fractured or bruised ribs. It provides comfortable compression as it contours to the body and helps to reduce pain from the chest wall and ribs by limiting the motion allowed.
After undergoing post-natal or abdominal surgery, the stomach muscles can become weakened or strained. A compression product like the PROCARE Support for the Abdomen can provide the compression needed for support as the patient heals. Most of these types of compression products are designed to be unisex and easily adjusted for comfort.
Are Vascular Compression Products Covered by Insurance?
The only time compression products are covered by Medicare is if the patient has a wound that is being treated by a physician. If you have a secondary insurance provider, they might cover these products, but the request will first need to be denied by Medicare.
Most private insurance companies will cover compression, non-stretch, or bandage alternative garments. Insurance companies are all different, so it is always wise to call your insurance provider and find out if compression products are covered. It is also suggested that calling a medical supply company that specializes in compression products is helpful. Often, they will know if they are in-network with your insurance provider and can assist with certain forms needed by your physician or therapist.
For any questions about the vascular compression products we carry, or for assistance in choosing the right compression product for you, our Personally Delivered Product Experts are ready to help and just a phone call away.