Compression sleeves are stretchable, elastic garments used mainly for medical purposes. They are worn in an arm or a leg to reduce swelling that is usually caused by lymphedema. These sleeves may also be used during exercise and sports. They work by reducing or limiting the movement of that particular limb so that it is not damaged further. Healing ligaments are also protected in the same manner whilst exercising.
Here are the purposes of compression sleeves and why they have so much importance.
- Lymphedema: Compression sleeves for arms are used to reduce the pain and swelling caused by this condition because it mainly affects the arms. The condition causes lymphatic fluid to accumulate in a particular tissue. It could be primary or secondary lymphedema. Symptoms of primary are very rare and the reasons are not known while secondary lymphedema is usually caused after radiation therapy, infection or surgery of the lymph node. There is no cure but the symptoms may be controlled. One of the most common and the most popular control measures is to prescribe regular use of compression sleeves.
- In the same way, if a surgery has resulted in swelling, doctors suggest wearing compression sleeves for legs or arms depending on where the swelling is in order to ward off the discomfort that may be caused due to the swelling.
- Some doctors also prescribe it for those with arthritis or severe tendinitis. In this condition, the arm compression sleeves are recommended because the condition causes a jolting pain in the arms. The sleeve keeps the pain at bay while keeping the joints and muscles warm and comfortable.
- Athletes wear compression sleeves for running in order to help ease swollen legs, increase blood circulation, prevent scratches and friction burns, warming the limb, etc. The calf sleeve is commonly used by runners. These days even soccer players and basket ball players use these compression sleeves.
- Some people suffer with soreness and inflammation after exercising. In order to avoid these, compression sleeves are worn during exercise.
Things to keep in mind:
- Compression sleeves are usually custom made according to the requirements of the patient. This is very important because tight sleeves could restrict blood flow and cause more harm than good.
- These sleeves must not be worn by those with hypertension, diabetes and blood clots.
- These sleeves may not be worn while the person is asleep. They should also not be worn when there are chances of getting wet such as bathing, swimming, etc because that could irritate the skin.
- It is ideal to buy two sleeves instead of one and alternating between them. They should be washed either with cold water or lukewarm water with mild soap.
There are many different colors and fabrics to choose from in compression sleeves. You can pick based on your convenience.