Compression therapy is a treatment approach commonly used in occupational therapy to manage swelling and pain in various conditions. It involves the application of pressure to the affected area using specialized garments or bandages to promote the reduction of swelling and improve circulation.
In occupational therapy, compression therapy may be utilized for patients who experience swelling and pain as a result of conditions such as:
These are specially designed garments, such as socks, stockings, sleeves, or gloves, made from elastic materials. They are available in different sizes, lengths, and compression levels. Compression garments exert graduated pressure, meaning they provide the highest pressure at the extremities and gradually decrease as they move upward. This compression helps to improve venous and lymphatic circulation, reducing fluid buildup and swelling.
In some cases, compression bandages made of elastic or inelastic materials may be used instead of garments. Occupational therapists or healthcare professionals can apply these bandages in specific wrapping techniques to provide targeted compression. Bandages can be adjusted to achieve the desired level of pressure and accommodate changes in swelling.
Compression therapy works by exerting external pressure on the affected area. This pressure helps to reduce the diameter of veins and lymphatic vessels, promoting better flow and preventing fluid from pooling in the tissues. By enhancing circulation, compression therapy aids in removing metabolic waste products, reducing inflammation, and facilitating the healing process.