How Compression Can Help with Some Chronic Illnesses
For those suffering from chronic illnesses, finding symptomatic relief is the top priority. Many chronic illnesses have treatments that help patients to manage pain, discomfort, and other symptoms of their conditions. While compression may not be beneficial to every chronic disease, it can aid in the relief of some symptoms. Here is a brief explanation of how compression can help with some chronic illnesses.
What is chronic illness?
Illness is chronic if it lasts more than three months, medicinal solutions cannot prevent or cure it, and it cannot heal independently. Many people suffer from chronic illnesses. According to the National Health Council, chronic illness affects about 133 million Americans. This means most Americans either have or know someone who has a chronic illness.
Which chronic illnesses may compression help provide relief for?
While many chronic illness patients may not benefit from compression, a few conditions may see significant symptomatic management by the use of compression garments. Below are some of the chronic conditions that compression may help with.
Diabetes is a condition that affects blood sugar levels in a person’s body. This condition has many negative symptoms patients deal with daily. Diabetics are prone to developing venous insufficient, edema, and deep vein thrombosis. All these conditions can lead to swelling and extreme discomfort of the feet and lower legs.
Edema is a chronic condition that results in swelling. This is when there is too much fluid trapped in the tissues in a body. The swelling caused by edema is not always due to an identifiable or even treatable underlying cause, making it a lifelong struggle for some patients.
Lymphedema occurs due to a blockage in the lymphatic system. It greatly affects the circulatory systems and typically results in excessive swelling, discomfort, and pain. This is a condition that usually stems from cancer treatment or the removal of or damage to one or more lymph nodes.
Heart defects and cardiovascular diseases
Heart defect and cardiovascular diseases affect the circulatory system and can create a blockage and increased risk for developing blood clots or deep vein thrombosis. Cardiovascular disease is the overarching term for all chronic illnesses that affect the heart or blood vessels.
How does compression work for these conditions?
Compression works similarly for each of the chronic conditions. Each of these chronic conditions affects the circulatory system in some way or another. Compression assists the circulatory system by promoting normal blood flow. For example, items such as compression thigh highs encourage blood to flow correctly through the legs, which prevents pools of blood that cause swelling.
If you suffer from one of these chronic illnesses or another chronic illness and think you may benefit from compression usage, talk to your doctor. You should always consult a doctor before acting on any treatment methods.
- Elyse Aufmann