Why Compression Therapy Is Important in Lymphedema Management

When the lymphatic system begins to fail in certain areas of the body, lymphedema occurs. Managing the build-up of fluids in the body with compression is an important part of most treatment plans that are developed to control the disease.

The lymphatic system can become damaged over time due to various other health conditions. The swelling associated with the disorder can cause lasting damage if not sufficiently treated in a timely fashion.

Here are the reasons why compression therapy is important in lymphedema management:

Supports Damaged Fibers
If lymphedema is not treated, the muscles and tissues surrounding the disabled lymph vessels can be damaged. This prevents them from allowing lymph fluid from adequately flowing through the area. Using compression helps to support the fibers that have been damaged and protect others from being stretched or allowed to harden in an unnatural way.

Maintains Proper Fluid Exchange
Lymph fluid is moved in and out of the lymphatic vessels. Compression helps to maintain the proper exchange of fluids and helps to maintain balance within the body. This eliminates fluids from building up in one particular area.

Supports the Flow of Lymphatic Fluid
Muscles and tissues contract and release as the body moves. This action helps to keep lymphatic fluids in motion. When the lymphatic system becomes sluggish, compression sleeves and wraps help to maintain constant pressure that stimulates more vigorous movement within the muscle.

By “massaging” the lymph vessels, the fluid within them is gradually forced to move forward. Compression garments support the lymphatic system as well as the muscles and tissues around the vessels.

Counteracts Muscle Force
Muscles are continually applying force against the lymphatic vessels. By counteracting muscle pressure with compression garments, lymphatic fluids are gradually allowed to move throughout the body. Evacuating these fluids reduces swelling and helps fibers to retain their elasticity for as long as possible.
When fibers become hard or lose their elasticity, they can damage the tissues around them causing uneven pressure. Compression helps to eliminate this and allows the lymph system to function more efficiently.

Newport Orthopedic Center offers compression stockings, gauntlets, sleeves, and custom compression garments are also available.