Compression boots: what they are & how they may assist in lymphedema.
The following guide serves to outline everything you need to know in regards to compression boots, alongside the various aspects in which they may assist in relation to lymphedema. Below we carefully cover what compression boots are, alongside the potential benefits you may reap from harnessing their potential: and the means by which they provide them.
Lastly we guide you through how to utilise them for this purpose - for optimal results.
Carry on reading to find your overview and guide!
What is lymphedema?
Lymphedema is an ongoing, long term condition that essentially results in excessive fluid accumulation within the tissues: primarily resulting in swelling. It may present itself in numerous areas of the body, most typically the major limbs like your arm or leg. However swelling may additionally occur in genital, head or chestal areas.
Lymphedema is currently incurable but controllable: with treatment centralising around management strategies. It may occur due to obstruction or backing up in the lymphatic system, consequently resulting in a number of potential symptoms - including:
Swelling (of either a partial or entire area)
Impaired movement or mobility of the area affected (for instance, limbs)
Reduced ability to fit into clothes or wear tight fitting items (e.g watches/jewellery)
Development of blisters/warts on the skin
Pins and needles in the affected area/tingling sensations
What are compression boots?
You may have heard of or be familiar with compression stockings? Well: compression boots are a similar premise, however in a slightly altered more modern technology format - as a boot worn instead of a stocking.
They may be referred to by numerous names: from compression boots, to lymphedema boots or PCD’s (pneumatic compression device) however irrespective of the term used: they possess a few key benefits:
Most notably, they serve to increase blood flow to the designated area alongside optimising circulation.
Boots may differentiate from other compression means in that they rise up as far as the thighs
They make use of pneumatic (air) compression technology, through chambers in the boots that apply compression upon leg muscles
Flush out excess lactic acid post exercise
Result in swelling and inflammation reduction.
- See The Massage Boot we recommend for Lymphedema here
Means in which they may assist:
Swelling control and increased mobility:
Use of a compression boot may significantly aid in swelling reduction, as the pressure applied works to alleviate congestion and hence swelling, in multiple ways. Through increasing blood flow and circulation to the area the boots may decrease inflammation and buildup - in turn easing swelling and possibly resulting in increased movement alongside higher ease of wearing fitted items/clothing.
Research suggests that intermittent pneumatic compression may serve as a facilitator for swelling and edema minimisation in lymphedema patients (3).
Prevention of fluid buildup and redirection, hence reducing edema:
Compression boots can further assist in promoting fluid drainage and preventing additional build up (both preventing worsening and simultaneously alleviating/treating the issue.) Application of pressure can redirect fluid alongside stimulating decongestion - hence resulting in greater lymph flow movement throughout the affected tissues. Both swelling and fluid retention may be diminished through this mechanism, and limbs may resume a more normalised shape due to fluid redirection.
Discomfort and symptom reduction
For both of the above reasons, usage of a compression boot may offer some desired assistance in symptom reduction. As mentioned, both the practical/functional difficulties (such as wearing of clothes, and mobility) are aided, but symptoms like discomfort, pins and needles (due to compromised circulation) and a variety of others may be alleviated as the compression boot optimises circulation and addresses some of the root symptom causes, in turn offering relief.
Non invasive treatment mechanism
On occasion, particularly in the case of severe cases of lymphedema - more invasive treatment methods such as surgery may be required. A compression boot is an entirely non-invasive treatment method which in any instance possible is highly preferable for a variety of reasons - from cost to risk.
Supports the lymphatic system: hence boasting potential system wide benefits:
The variety of above factors from circulation stimulation, fluid drainage and redirection and optimised blood flow can have systemic effects alongside those previously discussed. A primary concern of lymphedema in patients is the compromised ability of the body to fight infection as a result of fluid buildup and hence lymphatic block up. It is critical for proper overall functioning of the lymphatic system to be occurring in relation to many aspects of health, this being just one.
Supporting the lymphatic system through usage of boots may result in an array of systemic benefits alongside those already previously mentioned: like increased capacity to fight infection if edema and lymphatic blockage begins to be cleared.
User comfort and higher convenience, plus affordability.
Other forms of compression treatment - for instance lymphatic massage, may prove to be both less convenient and accessible in both a cost and practical setting than compression boots.
As they can be purchased for ongoing home use and require no external travel nor repetitive cost, both affordability and feasibility are increased. Furthermore, they are simple, straightforward and convenient for home use at any desired time with little degree of personal intervention required.
How to use them:
Compression boots are easy and convenient to use. The user will simply wear them on the legs, which can be done at home as desired - with the boots typically riding up to about the knee.
Endurance Massage boots for Lymphedema are a new age, innovative technology that allows for a convenient, home treatment alternative that may assist with lymphedema in a variety of ways. Refer to the above guide as desired in order to understand the means in which they may assist and the benefits that may potentially be provided.
From the reduction of symptoms to improvement of the overall root issues present in lymphedema: there are numerous benefits to be obtained through trying this helpful and accessible method, and achieving the relief yourself.