Compression Socks for Arthritis

Arthritis causes pain, swelling, stiffness and limited range of motion. There are hundreds of different types of arthritis that can affect men and women of all ages. Here are some tips for managing arthritis and some products that will help prevent and sooth the pain.

First things first, comfortable shoes are a must. Forget the cute flats with the pointy toes and ditch the heels for shoes with arch support. Invest in shoes that provide shock absorption and stability to keep your ankles from rolling. Shoes with an open toe box help to alleviate pressure. You can also use shoe inserts for comfort and protection. If you have arthritis in your ankles, start wearing shoes that protect your heel and prevent you from rolling your foot inward.

A lot of the time, injury can be a factor in developing arthritis. When you sprain your ankle, the ligaments are stretched. Depending on how bad the strain is, the ligament fibers can be damaged or even completely torn. Ankle fractures may also contribute to arthritis. To prevent ankle pain and injury, take it easy instead of pushing yourself. If you are injured, make sure to rest, apply ice, keep the limb elevated and wear compression socks to reduce swelling. If you do not experience swelling, apply heat to relieve soreness.

Wear ankle braces or compression socks to reduce ankle swelling, joint stiffness and pain. If you have swollen, weak or injured ankles, try wearing an ankle brace or wrap. Choose from top of the line ankle braces and wraps by manufacturers like Therafirm, Juzo, Mediven, Solidea and more to find the best product for your condition. If your arthritis makes it hard for you to get your compression stockings on, consider trying the Sigvaris Select Comfort line. These socks are designed for easy donning, which is ideal for those with arthritis or limited hand strength. Sigvaris Select Comfort includes knee highs, thigh highs and pantyhose for men and women in 20-30mmHg and 30-40mmHg compression levels. You can also use the Jobst Stocking Donner to get your socks on without the hassle. This is ideal for those who have a hard time bending at the waist or have a hard time getting the sock on their foot. If you have arthritis in other areas of the body, here are some other awesome products for all types of arthritis. The Therall products are very popular because they use heat to provide soothing relief to painful areas.

Try to walk on flat, even ground instead of gravel or sand to avoid ankle pain or injuries. When you are sitting down, keep your feet flat or use a foot rest. Sitting with your feet pointed behind you or crossing them is bad for your ankles because it puts pressure on them, which can cause stiffness and discomfort. It is important to strengthen your ankles with exercises. Use a resistance band to strengthen your shin and foot muscles, which support your ankles for stability. You can also go for a swim to strengthen your ankle muscles without experiencing as much pain. You can also try The Foot Gym, which incorporates seven exercises in one device for foot, ankle and calf strengthening and rehabilitation. This clever device is designed to help you achieve stronger and more stable feet and ankles.

Resources

Understanding Arthritis

14 Foot Health Tips

Look Up Arthritis Symtoms By Body Part

Arthritis & Your Feet

Products

Shoe Inserts, Foot Braces & Supports

Ankle Braces & Supports

Other Arthritis Products

The Foot Gym

Jobst Stocking Donner

Sigvaris Select Comfort Line – Men & Women

Diabetic Socks

Dr. Comfort Shoes

New Lower Bandage Pricing – Lohmann & Rauscher

Lohmann & Rauscher was formed in 1998 with the merger of the German company Lohmann Medical, and Rauscher of Austria.  Together they form one of the largest medical products companies in Europe, with more than 150 years of experience manufacturing bandages, surgical dressings, and medical devices.

lohmann-blogBrightLife Direct is very happy to announce that our Lohmann & Rauscher bandage prices have been significantly reduced.  And unlike most of our competitors, we offer free shipping on any size order.  Just choose Super Saver Free Delivery at checkout.

Anyone who has been through decongestive therapy for lymphedema, or wound care, knows how important quality compression bandages are to the success of their treatment.  Poorly made bandages or the wrong type can slip and slide, requiring lengthy re-wraps.  Lohmann & Rauscher’s dedication to quality is unmatched, and they manufacture the greatest variety of stockinette, padding, gauze and short-stretch bandages in the world.

Can you wear compression stockings at night?

The short answer is no, at least for high compression garments over 30mmHg, unless you have been instructed to do so by your doctor. Lighter compression garments like anti-embolism stockings can be worn at night, as well as mild compression of 8-15mmHg.  If you need compression round the clock, your doctor or therapist will probably recommend a different type of compression garment when you sleep, like bandaging or a nightwear garment.

Short stretch bandaging or wrapping is often worn at night by individuals who have lymphedema or chronic edema.  This type of compression is very mild when resting.  The bandage only provides resistance and significant compression when the underlying muscles are active and pushing against the bandage.

Tribute by Solaris Medical is specifically designed for nighttime wear.  Tribute garments can be worn on any part of the body and each garment is custom made.  The outer layer is made of a stretchy fabric that provides compression.  The interior is filled with foam chips that gently massage the tissues while you sleep, which helps release interstitial fluids and reduce swelling.  Tribute garments are very comfortable so they won’t interfere with your sleep, and the fabric is specially treated to remove moisture and help keep you cool.

BiaCare makes a similar line of nighttime garments.  Their foam and chip sleeves can be worn at night.  Both are available in ready-to-wear sizes and custom.  In combination with  an oversleeve, the foam sleeve provides 10-15mmHg and the chip 15-20mmHg.

Biacare’s CompreFit system for legs, can also be worn at night.  CompreFit mimics the compression of short stretch bandaging, but is much easier to put on and take off.  The calf unit, which includes a boot for the foot, provides compression up to the knee.  A thigh unit can be added to provide compression from foot to groin.

Similarly, Circaid JuxtaFit and JuxtaLite products can be worn round the clock.

Before beginning any nighttime compression regimen, be sure to consult with your doctor or therapist.

Pete@BrightLife Direct

For Lymphedema Professionals

BrightLife Direct has responded to the many Professional Therapists and Nurses who have been requesting wrapping devices for their patients in the early bandaging phase of treatment.  The goal is to reduce severe swelling caused by venous disease or lymphedema.  Once swelling has been reduced, continuing treatment can then be easily self-managed with the help of over-the-counter elastic or compression garments.

The Solaris and Farrow Medical wrapping devices are made of series of short stretch bandages that wrap around the arm, leg, hand or foot and are held in place with simple Velco (R) fasteners.  This provides easy adjustments for a “custom-fit” and can be put on and taken off very easily.  These products are especially beneficial for patients who can not easily bend or who don’t have sufficient strength to pull on elastic compression stockings.

We also offer Solaris Swell Spots which can be worn with bandaging on just about any part of the body.  The innovative “chip foam-technology” gently stimulates the underlying tissue, breaking down fibrotic tissues and encouraging the release of interstitial fluids and waste products, that can then be removed by the lymphatic system.

The Solaris Joint Jackets protect injured ankle or knee joints, increase circulation to help you heal faster, and reduce swelling.   The Pro model includes the therapeutic base unit and exterior support unit with Velcro closures.  The bandage liners require short stretch bandaging over top of the garment to provide compression.

In the coming weeks we will be adding a selection of bandages and other products that Professional Therapists have requested.  Our goal is to provide a one-stop-shop for Medical  Professionals and their patients – with the full compliment of BrightLife Direct’s customer service, fast shipping – and discounted prices!

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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Does Medicare cover compression garments?

This is a question that we are frequently asked.  The short answer is “No”.  However, there is legislation currently before congress that would direct Medicare to cover compression garments for the treatment of lymphedema.

There is one exception in the current Medicare policy.  Coverage may be provided if you are being treated by a doctor for a venous statis ulcer on your leg and have a prescription from your Doctor for compression stockings and liners for this condition. BrightLife Direct sells several ulcer care stockings including the Jobst UlcerCare with Zipper and Mediven Dual Layer Stocking System.  Here’s the nitty gritty from Medicare:

The beneficiary must have an open venous stasis ulcer that has been treated by a physician or other healthcare professional requiring medically necessary debridement.  The gradient stocking must be proven to deliver compression greater than 30 mm Hg. and less than 50 mmHg.  When a covered gradient compression stocking is provided to a patient with an open venous stasis ulcer, the modifier AW (item furnished in conjunction with a surgical dressing) must be appended or the claim will be denied as a non-covered service.  Gradient compression stockings are non-covered for the following conditions:
Venous insufficiency without stasis ulcers
Prevention of stasis ulcers

The Lymphedema Diagnosis and Therapy Cost Saving Act of 2010 (HR4662) was introduced in the House of Representatives by North Carolina Congressman Larry Kissell. This is a bi-partisan effort and currently has 58 co-sponsors in the House.  This bill would establish a new benefit category to cover the compression bandages, compression garments and compression devices used in the treatment of lymphedema.  The Medicare Evidence Development Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) concluded at their meeting last November that existing evidence gives reasonable confidence that use of compression bandage systems and compression garments improve the health of lymphedema patients.

To read a summary or a the entire bill click here.

You can help get this bill passed by emailing or phoning your congressperson.

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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