The World is progressing, and our lives are pacing every day. As a result, there is a sheer need of developing technologies that are portable. Particularly, when it comes to the health and fitness niche, compromising is not an option.
If we specifically talk about leg compression, there are an array of devices that could be utilized (by different means) for both medicinal and leisure purposes. However, the main motive is very simple as these machines help in relaxing the muscles of the concerned area(s) by compression.
In this book, we will look at a variety of machines that could be used for this purpose, together with their manufacturers, models and expert opinions.
There are a variety of reasons for using a compression device on the limbs, legs in particular.
A significant number of fluids run through several different channels of the body. To stay healthy, these fluids must travel in a regular fashion. Otherwise, we might face trouble.
Now, when any of these fluids faces retention in any part of the body, the condition is called lymphedema, which is caused due to an error in the Lymphatic Nervous System.
Compression is quite widely used by the physicians to cure this condition by applying an external rhythmic pressure to the affected area. The compression machines have made the task even more feasible as the patients could now practice the therapy at home, by following the instructions of the physicians.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
As the name suggests, the disease is pretty much related to some trouble in veins. Now, what is that trouble?
CVI is caused due to multiple anomalies in valves and vein walls which lead an individual towards the grave issue of blood reflux within these ‘tubes.’ Now the intensity could vary depending on the condition of your veins and general health.
Typically, the signs of CVI include ulcers in the vein(s), hyperpigmentation and chronic edema. You might have guessed the best possible treatment by now, but let us now get to the point.
When a patient suffers from CVI, a compression therapy is probably the least invasive approach to curing his condition. It should be noted that the therapy is not used to kill the disease itself but primarily, we apply compression techniques to calm down the symptoms of Chronic Venous Insufficiency.
Even if we talk about the compression therapy for CVI, there are two methods to approach the shore. Some people just go for compression garments, and that is what some of the physicians prefer as well. But if we talk about the technology, this approach is quite outdated, and there is a sheer need to replace all the manual methods with automated ones. Therefore, to treat a patient with CVI, we should always trust the machines to apply an even compression with most efficient means.
Sometimes, there might be a problem in an individual’s blood circulation. To cure the problem, an externally applied (muscle like) compression is always pivotal. Therefore, even if you do not have lymphedema, you could still pursue the application of compression machines on your legs, as directed by the physician.
A significant number of people use compression machines in their normal routines just to diminish the probability of any blood clot.
This is a primary concern, particularly for those individuals who enjoy an energetic lifestyle. Quite often, we see athletes wearing small ‘jacket’ kind of material on their legs after an injury. What is that? Well, that is the compression pack to aggravate the healing process of any wound.
Even though the compression machines are used to treat a variety of diseases and medical conditions, it is crucial to notice that if you have any of the following medical conditions, you must seek your physician’s advice with additional care:
Any unidentified pain
Varying extremities of pain and numbness
Any skin disease
Apart from this, if you have any medical condition that has not been categorized or treated specifically, there is a sheer need to consult your doctors and use additional care while heading for compression therapies.
Types of Compression Machines
The main advantage of using compression machines is that they are least invasive and could be used very easily with least knowledge required. However, in the case of surgery or even a massage, the same extent of portability is not offered nor could a patient avail these facilities at home. Therefore, the choice is triggering towards the use of compression machines.
Let us now have a look at the varieties. Please note that in this section, all of the types of compression machines have been categorized depending on their constraints. You would have a better idea about this as we move on.
A few years back, when the compression machines were not feasible, people could not even think about varying compression modes to be applied on their legs. But now, the rhythmic nature of pressure enforced by these machines could also be altered to cater to the specific needs. The alteration in these modes could be used to put the machine into the decongestive, sequential and peristaltic mode.
Fortunately, the most advanced machines are loaded with the options of accelerated wound healing by increasing the cycle times.
Quite often, you might require altering the pressure applied by your machine. Although it is not achievable in a lot of small machines, if you have bought a major one, then you enjoy the luxury of altering the pressure application.
When you are undergoing specific medical conditions like lymphedema, then the physician might ask you to bring variations to the pressure application at various instances. In such cases, there is an urgency to buy a compression machine that could serve the cause.
Apart from these constraint-based categories, we have a very trustable and user-friendly compression machine known as ‘Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Device.’ Quite often, if the blood clot lies near the surface of the skin, it is handy to get rid of it by applying relatively less compression, pressure, and cyclic movement. But when the clot is incorporated inside a deep vein, then we need dedicated machines to deal with the situation most efficiently.
Here, we see the positive intervention of IPCDs that do not just assist in metabolizing the clots, but if an individual keeps on using these devices on a regular basis, then the chances of getting a blood clot are quite diminished.
Basically, IPCDs aggravate the flow of blood throughout the legs. If you use ordinary compression machines, then the blood flow will increase near the surface only. But if you use these devices, the results are comprehensive and profound!
If you have ever checked your blood pressure, then it would be quite easy for you to understand the working of an IPCD. There is a cuff hugging your leg, and at regular intervals, the cuff folds itself to apply pressure and then relaxes. Thus, it encourages the flow of blood from legs towards the heart.
Since none of these devices are barred off from side effects, IPCDs also pose some (significantly low) side effects to the users. The primary one is quite rational to understand where the individual using an IPCD might face discomfort due to deep compression being applied on the legs. The less common side effect includes skin breakdown and the least common, or rather the rare side effects include pressure injury and nerve damage.
Top Notch Manufacturers and Models
Since the people are racing to ace compression technologies, the industry has seen blossoming results over the past decade. With hundreds of companies across the Globe, some of the manufacturers have established themselves as the embodiments, while the others are still struggling to reach a certain level.
Although these products are specifically designed to cater to several medical conditions, you could use them freely and confidently even if you do not have any medical conditions. Which means that these compression devices could be used in normal routines as well, just to maintain a sound health.
Let us now have a look at some of the manufacturers of leg compression machines.
Verseo is one of the top competitors in North America, in the niche of health and fitness manufacturers. Although they offer a very decent variety of items, their most widely talked about products include leg compression devices.
After several years of experience in the niche, Verseo proudly offers two main types of leg compression devices in its collection. The main differences between both of these devices cordless compressors are related to the heat option, and weight of the product where compression device with heating facility weighs about 4 pounds and the mere compressor weighs about half a pound.
Here comes the boss now. Medtronic offers a very wide range of products that could be used for fitness and treating illnesses.
Remember the types of compression machines we discussed in the previous sections? You would be amazed to know that most of the Medtronic’s devices offer all kinds of mode variations.
The Kendal SCD is probably the best for Deep Vein Thrombosis (discussed earlier), where the patient might need to treat the blood clot or its possibility in the veins embedded deep inside the muscles.
Its advantages include:
Can treat leg and foot simultaneously
Can be used anywhere, anytime
Animated icons for an enhanced User Interface
Adjusts automatically for any changes in body orientation
Fully automated rhythms
It is one of the premium manufacturers operating in this niche. Air-Relax offers a wide range of beautiful leg compression products with just a single drawback – the products are costly. However, never just skim through their products just because of their high prices.
Air-Relax Recovery System is worth giving a shot because of the following reasons:
Particularly deals with cramps, knee problems, swelling and most importantly, it relieves tension as well
Operates on an array of modes (sequential, auto, peristaltic)
Very light weight and portable
Even though it costs quite a lot, the power consumption is significantly low
Instead of just depending on the doctors for treatment, we should introduce as much technology as possible. It would not only reduce the burden, but it would also bring more efficiency in the health niche.
A lot of experts have also favored the use of leg compression devices for a variety of medical conditions. For instance, Teresa Conner-Kerr stated “A number of studies also have examined the effects of pneumatic compression therapy on wound healing and limb volume reduction in individuals with CVI. The results of these studies have been mixed. Berliner et al, 17 reviewed eight studies, three of which showed that compression pumps could alleviate symptoms of CVI and assist with the healing of long-standing chronic ulcerations.”
At another point, she said, “Some evidence also suggests that multi-compartment devices (10 chambers) are more effective in treating lymphedema than single or three compartment pneumatic compression devices.” It explicitly shows that the room for improvisation is always there, but the intensity of device must be catered on the valuable instructions of an experienced person.
While pursuing any of these devices, it should be noted that all of them could be used without any medicinal need as well, just to prevent any medical condition. But whatever you plan, do not execute it before seeking your physician’s assistance.
Once again, while considering the vitality of compression devices, it is very important to reinforce that none of these devices should be used if you have any uncategorized ailment. Even if there is a slight pain in your leg, you should identify and categorize it with the help of a doctor and then proceed to the variety of compression devices. Rest assured, the health industry has not seen any least invasive compressive treatment other than these automate devices.