Compression Hosiery & Garments
Compression garments are medically prescribed socks, stockings, tights, wraps or garments for parts of the body suffering from lymphoedema or swelling.
Compression garments encourage the flow of blood and lymph fluid within the lymphatic system which helps prevent fluid retention/oedema in the tissues and the onset of Lymphoedema. In addition fluid within the tissues is encouraged to move towards the root of the limb, where it can be drained away more easily.
Compression therapy may also reduce the level of pain and discomfort often experienced in the limbs by supporting soft tissues and painful knee joints. In addition they provide support to the loose connective tissues and help improve appearance, streamline and redefine the shape of the limbs.
There are numerous styles and sizes available and wearing compression hosiery is believed to be the single most effective way of slowing down or preventing worsening symptoms of Lipoedema. People with Lipoedema often require made to measure garments which require specialist skills to prescribe.
Lymphoedema healthcare professionals and many MLD therapists are trained to assess and prescribe the type and style of compression garments most appropriate for each individual.
In the UK and many countries some ranges of compression garments are available on prescription. Garments are usually prescribed by lymphoedema clinics, GPs, practice nurses or specialist clinics.
Compression garments are most effective when worn every day and are advisable even in the early stages of Lipoedema. Putting on hosiery is easier first thing in the morning, when the legs are at their smallest. Getting garments on and off may take practice and a pair of ordinary household rubber gloves can help, as can specialist appliances, called donning and doffing aids for anyone with mobility problems.
Always follow the manufacturers recommended guide for washing and drying as this will maintains the shape and support.
When prescribed successfully compression garments should be comfortable, give support and increase mobility. If you are having problems obtaining garments or with the fit and comfort of your garments, most manufacturers of prescription garments have helplines and advisory services.
There are also specialist postal prescriptions services who offer a wide range of manufacturers compression garments, garments in other colours and repeat prescriptions, delivered to your home address,
Compression Garments and Liposuction
Lipoedema UK Research into Compression Garments for Lipoedema
Further Information & Advice
The British Lymphology Society (BLS) maintains a list of UK Lymphoedema Clinics. Lipoedema UK is an associate member of the BLS. www.thebls.com
The Lymphoedema Support Network (LSN) provides information on Lymphoedema and also maintains a list of clinics.
MLD UK, Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MDL) is a specialist technique of draining lymphatic fluid used to treat lymphoedema and other health problems. At present, MLD UK maintains a register of therapists who have gained certification from teachers accredited by the Vodder, Foldi, Casley-Smith, Leduc schools, Klose Training and LTA Fill & Flush. Only these therapists have been adequately prepared to treat people with lymphoedema. Other training methods which purport to affect the lymphatic system may be useful in beauty therapy or for relaxation. Lipoedema UK is an associate member of MLD UK. www.mlduk.org.uk
Click on the logos below to find out more information on the ranges of compression on offer from specialist suppliers and lymphoedema clinics.