Compression Hosiery & Garments
Compression hosiery is specially made support socks, stockings, tights, wraps or garments for any part of the body. 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.
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.
Lymphoedema healthcare professionals and many MLD therapists are trained to assess and prescribe the type and style of compression garments that are most appropriate for each individual. People with Lipoedema often require made to measure garments which require specialist skills to prescribe.
In the UK and in many countries some specific ranges of compression garments are available on prescription. Garments are usually prescribed by lymphoedema clinics, GPs, practice nurses or other specialist clinics.
Compression is most effective when worn every day and is advisable even in the early stages of Lipoedema. Putting on hosiery is best first thing in the morning, when the legs are at their smallest. Getting garments on and off may take practice, A pair of ordinary household rubber gloves can often make it easier and there are special appliances, called donning and doffing aids, that can be a great help if people have mobility problems.
Always follow the manufacturers recommended guide for washing and drying as this will maintains the shape and support.
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 is members. www.thebls.com
The Lymphoedema Support Network (LSN) also maintains a list of clinics.
MLD UK’s website has a list of UK MLD therapist contacts.
When prescribed successfully compression garments should be comfortable, give support and increase mobility.
If you are having problems obtaining garments or with the fit most manufacturers of prescription garments have helplines and advisory services.
There are also specialist prescriptions services that offer a range of manufacturers and styles who can process your prescription by post and deliver to your home address.
Click on the logos below to find out more information on the ranges of compression on offer from specialist suppliers and lymphoedema clinics.