Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Compression Therapy Edema: The Use Of Compression Therapy For Edema

Edema or oedema and formerly known as dropsy is swelling of any organ or tissue due to accumulation of excess fluid. Edema has many root causes but its common mechanism is the accumulation of fluid into tissues. If edema occurs in the entire body, then it is called generalized (anasarca). In some cases, it can be limited to only some parts or organs, where it is called as localized. Edema without a modifier is usually referred as peripheral edema, which is edematous swelling from the legs upwards. There are two types of edema namely pitting edema and non-pitting edema. While the former is present if pressing of the affected body part creates a small pit that disappears within a few seconds, the latter that is non-pitting edema is not compressible. One in three Americans over the age of 45 is affected by vein diseases and an approximate 3 million Americans suffer from lymphedema. Compression therapy is nothing but non-invasive treatment methods that help by relieving pain and swelling, improving mobility and restoring lost energy associated with venous and lymphatic disorders. Compression therapy edema has been used and found effective in many patients. Here is some information on compression therapy edema -

Compression therapy edema-
Compression therapy is used for various disorders like for tired, aching legs, for edema (swelling), for varicose veins, venous insufficiency and for deep vein thrombosis. The degree of compression depends on the disorder and its seriousness. Compression therapy edema is generally mild and the compression is around 15-20 mm Hg. However if the edema is more severe this can be more also. Below are some ways and means used in compression therapy edema :

�Compression Bandages and Supplies
Cotton stockings
Elastic gauze bandages
High density foam rubber pads, moldings
Padding bandages
Short stretch compression bandages

�Compression Pumps, Appliances and Specialty Garments
In compression therapy edema, compression pumps are designed for promoting venous and lymphatic circulation and for removing edema from the extremity by progressively moving fluid in a distal to proximal direction. The pumps and appliances available are -
Sequential multi-chambered pneumatic pumps
Gradient sequential multi-chambered programmable pumps
Custom and prefabricated pneumatic appliances

�Directional Flow Compression Systems
A directional flow compression system is a sleeve-like unit filled with hundreds of foam chips, designed with channeling system to help direct the lymphatic flow to alternate pathways and to bypass the areas of obstruction. In compression therapy edema, this system should be used under short-stretch bandages, with a pneumatic compression pump or even under an outer compression unit.

Edema is serious and prolonged edema should not be ignored as it could be a sign of any serious disease or chronic venous insufficiency. Compression therapy edema should be used to deal successfully with edema. Which form of compression therapy edema to use should be discussed with a doctor.

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