If you've been looking for lymphedema treatments, you have probably come across lymphedema compression garments.
The Use of Compression Garments in Treating Lymphedema
There is still no cure for lymphedema. Hence, the goal of lymphedema 'treatments' is to minimize the swelling and to control the pain or discomfort. There are several treatment options that can do this; one of which is the use of lymphedema compression garments.
The use of these compression garments is considered to be an integral part of managing the symptoms of lymphedema. The pressure from these garments helps in controlling the fluid build-up and in promoting proper drainage of the lymphatic fluid.
Sizes and Compression Classes
Lymphedema compression garments are typically worn on the affected limb following a complete decongestive therapy. Depending on the therapist's discretion, the compression garment may be custom-fit or purchased over-the-counter.
Compression garments come in several sizes and in different compression classes. Each compression class provides a certain level of compression. Class 1 provides the lowest level of pressure (20-30 mmHg) while Class 4 provides the highest level of pressure (over 60 mmHg).
Making the Most of Lymphedema Compression Garments
A lymphedema compression garment will only be effective if there is a gradual decrease of pressure from the most distant part of the extremity to the nearest part. This is to encourage good flow of the lymph. If there is no gradient in the pressure, the flow of the lymph will be obstructed.
In order to maintain edema reduction, compression garments should be worn 24 hours a day, every day. Initially, you will be advised to wear the garment a few hours a day. The time will be gradually increased until you can wear it for most of the day.
If the affected limb is too swollen for you to wear your lymphedema compression garment, the lymphedema specialist may recommend the use of a special kind of multi-layer bandages.
Image: Illusive Photography via Flickr