Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Sequential compression devices are useful for the treatment and mitigation of a wide range of medical problems. From forcing fluid out of muscle tissue to forcing blood in, these specialized devices are helping many people treat and mitigate the pain and soreness that comes with diseases such as peripheral artery disease and diabetes. Sequential compression devices work by forcing air into a series of champers in a special sleeve, which can inflate in sequence to help force fluids out of tissue and to provide "milking motion" to help blood reach deep portions of the body.
Many diseases and wounds are treated with the aid of what is known as compression therapy, which is when a special sleeve or wrap is applied to an area of the body and applies mild to intense pressure. The pressure is meant to achieve one of two goals:
First, compression therapy is used to force retained fluid out of an area of the body. The human body can retain fluid for many reasons, such as in the case of some diseases or deep injuries where fluid buildup occurs deep within the body. In these cases, and because surgery can be an invasive and dangerous process, compression therapy is used because it can quickly force fluid out of the body's tissue and allow the body to process it normally. Also, because compression therapy is a noninvasive process, it can usually be applied over the course of a few visits to the doctor's office or, in many cases, at the patient's home during their leisure time.
Second, compression therapy is used to force the supply of blood to reach areas where it is being blocked from. Because many injuries cause swelling, and because some diseases can hamper the body's ability to pump blood to all areas where it needs to be, a compression wrap or sleeve can be used to force blood into the deeper parts of the human body, supplying needed nutrients and oxygen to organs and to deep tissue. Similarly to forced fluid removal therapy, compressed blood flow therapy is a noninvasive procedure that does not require surgery. Because of this, it is often used when surgery would be unnecessary, or dangerous.
Because there are many things that can disrupt the flow of blood to the deep tissues of the body, and because of the noninvasive nature of compression therapy, this new technique is seeing increased use not only in hospitals and at primary care locations, but for in-home and out-patient care as well. Compression therapy can be used for a wide range of diseases and medical problems, and because it is typically covered by health insurance, many people can see the benefits of this pain free procedure today.
Paul is a freelance writer and blogger for Spectrum Healthcare who is interested in pain management, in-home patient care, and in lymphedema compression. For more information on sequential compression devices, and to see how an SCD can help you, visit Spectrum Healthcare on the web today at spectrumhealthcare.net.