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Consider Air Compression Therapy for These Conditions

Have you ever tried an air compression massage? Officially called pneumatic compression devices (PDCs) - they are widely used to ease a variety of symptoms. PCDs are inflatable garments such as sleeves, boots or gloves with enclosed pressure lines that move air into and out of chambers within the garment. This increases and decreases pressure (squeezes and releases) on the tissues of the limb being treated moving blood and lymph fluid. In research, there seems to be a consensus that external pneumatic compression devices are an effective therapy, similar to the benefits you might expect of a complete manual decongestive massage.

A 2005 study looked at The Effect of Compressed Air Massage and found skin blood flow was significantly elevated throughout treatments further noting that compressed air massage causes an immediate increase in Skin blood flow.

There are a number of studies highlighting the use of compression devices, let’s look closer at 3 conditions that may be affecting you or someone you care about right now.

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) - Pneumatic compression devices (PCDs) have been shown to help ease symptoms associated with RLS, a 2008 Study* concluded that PCDs resulted in clinically significant improvements in the symptoms of RLS. Researchers compared severity of illness, quality of life, daytime sleepiness, and fatigue at baseline and after 1 month of therapy. * Pneumatic compression devices (PCDs) are an effective therapy for restless legs syndrome.

Lymphedema - PCDs have been shown to minimize fluid retention while also reducing swelling to effected areas. In 2014 a study** concluded “IPC takes over the permanently missing function of the obliterated lymphatics by squeezing edema tissue fluid to the regions with normal lymphatic drainage. The limb circumference is decreased or at least does not further increase, elasticity of tissue is increased and maintained. No complications in limb tissues were observed. The long-term, high pressure IPC, long inflation timed therapy can safely be recommended to patients with lower limb lymphedema.” ** The effectiveness of intermittent pneumatic compression in long-term therapy of lymphedema of lower limbs.

Lipedema - this underdiagnosed condition has recently made some big headway. Standard of care for Lipedema in the United States was published in May 2021 and compression devices are recommended primarily to manage pain, swelling while increasing blood/lymph flow. They can help to reduce the risk of deep venous thromboembolism after lipedema reduction surgery and help boost recovery.

From the Standard of Care for Lipedema publication – 3.9 Pneumatic compression devices stimulate lymphatic flow and are an option for at-home lipedema and lymphedema management when there are no contraindications. It states that it may be more effective than manual massage therapy when treating this often painful loose tissue connective disorder.

Science aside - these massagers feel absolutely incredible. You don’t need to have a medical condition to appreciate and enjoy the benefits. Soothe away those aches and pains at the end of the day, after the gym or whenever you can sit back, relax and let the compression do the work.

 


Lifepro is thrilled to bring you therapeutic relief and accelerated healing with our Axis Air Compression Massager. Ideal at home or travel, this foot, hip, leg and thigh massager includes 4 compression chambers, with 4 different massage modes with 24 intensity levels so you can customize to your level of comfort.

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