According to the National Blood Clot Alliance, there are about 300,000 new cases of DVT annually. DVT is short for deep vein thrombosis. It signifies a clot that forms in a vein in an arm or leg. There are a lot of risk factors that might cause it. Surgery, pregnancy, smoking, age, immobility, obesity, and cancer are just a few.
Compression Therapy for DVT
But many cases occur spontaneously, and overall you have a 2% to 5% chance of developing it during your lifetime. While the risk might be fairly small, its consequences can be grave. If a clot breaks off and travels back to your lungs, it can lead to a pulmonary embolism, which is always serious and occasionally fatal. Fortunately, compression therapy for DVT is well established. Compression helps blood to flow; or at least it helps to prevent it from pooling.
Peak Recovery & Health Center is not a medical facility. But we do offer compression therapy. Our RecoveryPump pneumatic garments don’t just put pressure on a particular part of your body. They systematically apply pressure and release in patterns designed to enhance blood flow, which in turn promotes oxygenation and detoxification. They aren’t limited to the lower legs, either. We can provide compression therapy for your entire legs, for part of your legs, for your arms, or for your torso. If you think you may be at risk for DVT, compression therapy could help prevent it. Talk to your doctor.
Why Leg Compression?
Your arteries, which convey your blood from your heart to the rest of your body, maintain a strong flow on their own. Your veins, which bring the used blood back, need special mechanisms to keep the blood moving. One of these mechanisms is leg movement. Repeatedly contracting your calf muscles, which you do when you walk, acts like a secondary heart and pushes the blood through the veins. Walking is good for your heart! Your veins have little one-way valves that also help the process by preventing the blood from flowing back. When you age, some of these valves wear out, which is why older people are at greater risk for DVT than younger ones. Overweight people are also at greater risk, as are sedentary people.
Compression socks, of course, help to keep venous blood flowing by squeezing the veins and making it difficult for the blood to flow back. But compression socks, even when they apply graduated compression, offer only static pressure. This is not as effective as the sequential pressure provided by Peak’s compression garments. Sequential compression creates a sort of milking action to move the blood, while compression socks in the absence of movement just support the veins. The American College of Physicians has recommended against graduated compression socks for treating medical and stroke patients.
Compression Therapy for Wellness?
Compression therapy is routinely prescribed before and after surgery, in pregnancy, and for bed-ridden patients. But little attention has been paid to its promise for promoting circulatory health in a wellness context. The American Venous Forum, for example, is still defining compression therapy as compression socks.
But if you are troubled by DVT or the possibility of it, ask your doctor whether your veins can tolerate peristaltic pneumatic compression. Then consider booking a 30-minute session at Peak Recovery & Health Center. For a brief — and relaxing — half hour, you’ll give your veins the kind of workout they need to stay healthy.
Even if you aren’t concerned about DVT, a compression session will give you enhanced blood flow that flushes waste products from your cells naturally, reduces inflammation, and can improve both flexibility and range of motion. It may even help reduce your 2% to 5% chance of developing DVT.