Lymphedema on Ellen + Armsleeve Giveaway!

For our final giveaway in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you can win a Solidea compression armsleeve of your choice! We hope that promoting awareness about lymphedema will help to educate both patients and doctors. Many people develop this condition after undergoing cancer treatment, and others are born with it. Lymphedema can affect many parts of the body, but most common are swollen arms and legs.

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The Washington Post recently released an article about a newborn twin who was born with lymphedema. The doctor could not figure out what caused the twin’s badly swollen legs. The mother, Heather Ferguson, was simply told to keep an eye on it to see if the symptoms got worse.  “That was the worst moment,” she recalled. “It’s so horrible to know that something’s wrong and to get the brushoff. I felt like we were on our own and that the medical system had just washed its hands of us.”

When a doctor figured out that the baby was suffering from lymphedema (thanks to searching the Internet), Ferguson was told to go back to the pediatric surgeon, not a lymphedema therapist. The surgeon again just advised to keep an eye on it. Without treatment, people with lymphedema are prone to infections and can develop  complications. Going untreated can also make everyday tasks very difficult if not impossible. It is extremely important to educate medical professionals and patients who are at risk about this condition to catch it early on before symptoms get worse.

Many people are unaware that they have lymphedema until it is already moderate to severe due to the lack of awareness and education about the condition. Hundreds of millions of people around the world suffer from lymphedema, yet many doctors know nothing about it and just brush symptoms off. While there is no cure for lymphedema, compression garments are used to manage and provide relief for symptoms.

BrightLife Direct wants to help promote education and awareness about this condition to better the lives of people suffering lymphedema and to get patients the treatment they need. You may have seen people posting #LymphedemaOnEllen videos on YouTube to help build awareness. We hope to see lymphedema on Ellen soon! You can check out our video above. Comment on our blog to share your favorite #LymphedemaOnEllen videos.

CMYK baseSolidea compression garments and shapewear are designed in Italy with fashion and function in mind. Many Solidea products are uniquely made using 3D Micro Massage technology that helps to stimulate lymphatic system. The 3D wave knit fabric expands and contracts on the skin to moveup to 78% of sluggish lymph back into circulation. The unilateral and bilateral sleeves benefit those who have a hard time wearing a traditional armsleeve because of constricting the upper arm. Graduated compression increases circulation to reduce swelling and fatigue.These products are breathable and are infused with silver ions to reduce the risk of infection as well as bacteria and odor to keep you comfortable and cool. All Soldiea compression armsleeves and gauntlets are made latex free.

To enter, log in with your email address or Facebook information below. Then, choose how you would like to enter: You can answer a question, leave a comment about the blog post, follow us on Twitter or tweet a message. Good luck!! Remember, you can enter once (per entry type) each day. The contest for the Solidea compression armsleeve ends Tuesday, November 3rd at midnight. The winner will be announced the following week.

SHOP SOLIDEA

Workout Essentials – TheraSport, Solidea and Dr. Comfort

As the weather starts to cool off, check out your ultimate workout guide to get you through the Fall without skipping workouts.

BLD Workout Essentials
Workout Essentials featuring:

First things first, make yourself a killer gym playlist filled with all of your favorite songs. Nothing gets you motivated like music! Get yourself a pair of comfortable headphones. The B&O Play headphones pictured feature a detachable cord, microphone and great sound quality. If you and your workout buddy both have these headphones, you can use the daisy chain functionality to link your headphones so you’re both listening to the same thing.

Another great piece of technology to help meet your fitness goals is the Everlast Sport Watch. This high-tech bracelet keeps track of calories burned, steps taken and how many miles you walk or run each day. The Everlast Sport Watch is a great way to see how much progress you have made. It even tells you the time so you can stay on track.

When you get to the gym, make sure to stretch. Using a foam roller is ideal to target specific muscles to work out kinks. It also works well for physical therapy, yoga balance and strength training. During your workout, it is extremely important to stay hydrated. The Camelbak water bottle featured in this guide has a loop to clip it to your bag or carry with your finger so you don’t misplace it at the gym. This durable bottle is spill-proof so you never have to worry about it leaking. The Camelbak water bottle is made BPA free and is available in a large variety of colors.

Now for the most important workout essentials: compression socks. The new TheraSport Athletic Performance Sock provides 20-30mmHg graduated compression to improve circulation to energize your legs. Once you put these on, you’ll finish your workout strong. These socks will have you feeling better than ever, even after pushing yourself through a grueling workout. Check out this TheraSport product review on the and see for yourself! These socks are made with tons of cushioning to support your feet and reduce impact. TheraSport socks are anti-microbial to prevent odor and are made with moisture-wicking fibers to keep your feet cool and dry. After your workout, slip on TheraSport Athletic Recovery Socks to reduce fatigue and heal faster than ever.

The only thing that’s worse than sore legs is sore feet. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes that don’t rub or irritate your feet. Nothing’s harder than trying to run with a blister! Our recommendation is the Dr. Comfort Women’s Athletic Refresh Shoe. These lightweight shoes are great for people with sensitive feet. These shoes support side-to-side movement unlike regular running shoes, making them ideal for kickboxing, Zumba, weight training and stretching. Choose from a variety of colors and two different lace options. They even come with a gel shoe insert for maximum comfort.

Say goodbye to cellulite! Last but not least, the Solidea Strong Advanced Micro Massage Compression Bike Short is made with a breathable fabric that reduces bacteria and odor to keep your skin clean, dry and healthy. This bike short smooths the silhouette helping to shape mid-thighs and to reduce scar formation, fibrosis and the ever so dreaded cellulite. It also helps to sooth symptoms of lymphedema, edema and swelling by using 3D wave knit fabric to stimulate the lymphatic system. As you move, the fabric expands and contracts creating a massage affect.

SHOP WORKOUT GEAR:

SHOP ALL ATHLETIC COMPRESSION SOCKS

Stop Snoring and Start Wearing Compression Socks

Did you know that there are a few simple things you can do to stop snoring loudly at night? It’s as easy as wearing compression socks during the day, or changing the position you typically sleep in. If you’re sick and tired of snoring and keeping your loved ones awake, here are some tips to help you sleep better, without modifying your routine much.

Although snoring is a somewhat normal occurrence, your body is trying to tell you something. Most people don’t recognize the symptoms of a sleeping disorder early on to be able to treat it properly. If you often snore loudly when you sleep, it can be a sign of sleep apnea, a condition that occurs when you stop and start breathing while you rest. This may happen hundreds of times a night and can last for 10-20 seconds each time. This prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep, which is why you feel slow or tired the next day, no matter how long you slept the night before.

Some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, irregular breathing while sleeping, morning headaches, memory or learning problems, waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat, being unable to concentrate, and feeling tired or have trouble staying awake during the day. Sleep apnea may also be the reason why you feel depressed, irritable or experience mood swings. It is important to understand the difference between snoring and a sleeping disorder to make sure there isn’t a serious problem going on. Sleep apnea can cause diabetes, heart disease, weight gain and even increase your risk of a stroke if left untreated.

Whether you have a sleeping disorder or if you are just a loud snorer, there are tons of things you can do to get a better night’s sleep. Start by wearing compression socks during the day. Those with chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) wear compression socks to reduce the how much fluid builds up in their legs during the day. At night, this fluid moves into the neck area, which can lead to sleep apnea and snoring. If you have to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom a lot, wearing compression socks will also help to reduce this. Compression stockings are also great to energize tired, achy legs, reduce swelling, improve blood flow and to wear while traveling or exercising. Choose from tons of everyday and dress styles in knee highs, thigh highs and pantyhose options. After a long day of being on your feet, you will love how great your legs feel.

“The Toronto study found that by the end of two weeks, patients with CVI who used compression stockings cut the number of apnea episodes in half while patients who didn’t use the socks showed no change.”

Some quick and easy things you can do to stop snoring is to use a humidifier when you sleep, take a shower or change your sleeping position. Taking a shower helps to open your nasal passages, which eliminates a stuffy nose and helps you breath better. Dry air can lead to snoring, so try using a humidifier to cut down on snoring. One of the best solutions to stop snoring is to change how you sleep.  Start sleeping on your side instead of your back. When you lay on your back it makes it harder to breathe as the airway narrows, which may be the source of your snoring. Use nasal spray before you go to bed to keep your nasal passages open so you can breathe better at night.

A couple of other things you can do for a more long-term solution are to stop smoking and maintaining a healthy weight. Another key factor is to keep a clean house because dust often stirs up allergies and can also lead to snoring. Talk to your doctor to find the best sleeping solution for you. Over 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, and most aren’t even aware of it. For more information, check out the resources below.

Resources

What Is Sleep Apnea?

American Sleep Apnea Association

BrightLife Direct – Compression Socks

Click Here If You Are New To Compression

Men’s Health: The No-Snore Sleep Solution

Blog: Sleep Through The Night With Compression Socks

Compression Therapy and Burns

We recently had a customer inquire about compression products for burns – which products are best to reduce scarring?

Why Wear Compression Garments to Recover from Burns

Compression therapy provides several benefits for patients recovering from burns. Consistent pressure over the site of the burn can minimize the development of scarring by promoting circulation of damaged tissues and flattening raised scars. Additionally, Regions Hospital says that compression garments can reduce itching and extremity pain by supporting the vascular system.

According to the University of Washington, compression garments should be worn for at least 6 months, and in some cases up to two or three years after injury.

Importance of Fabric Choice in Compression

Compression garments are made from a variety of different materials, but wearing garments with antimicrobial properties is best for burn patients. We recommend customers wear garments or bandages that are woven with silver, a naturally antibacterial fiber. Silver fibers can kill almost 100% of bacteria on the skin to prevent infection as well as bad smells from forming. Silver is also known for promoting healing and reducing scarring.

Recommended Compression Products

BrightLife offers a variety of options depending on the part of the body that needs compression.

  • Bandaging: Most parts of the body can be reached with bandaging. We recommend starting with a silver fabric, like the Silverseal X-Static Tubular Component and covering it with a short-stretch compression bandage.
  • Knee Highs,Thigh Highs and Pantyhose: If your burn is on your leg, there are many different options for compression. Juzo makes a line of silver infused products from knee highs to thigh highs. Additionally, Solidea has a line of knee highs, shorts and leggings for both men and women that are antimicrobial and massaging.
  • Arm Sleeves and Gloves: Again, Solidea is a great option for silver infused compression garments.
  • Custom Garments: With the help of your medical provider, we can order custom-made compression garments (sewn to your specific measurements) in a number of different brands. Just give us a call at 1-877-545-8585 to learn more.

 

Solidea Medical in the Top 20 in LiveSTRONG’s The Big C Competition

One of our newest brands of compression garments – Solidea – has been named as a Semi-Finalist in The Big C Competition. In its inaugural year, the Big C Competition hopes to drive and support innovations that improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their families. Solidea was one of 750 companies that entered this year’s competition.

The Top 20 companies represent projects from six countries on four continents and 10 states within the U.S. When LiveSTRONG announced the competition, it said it was “open to entrepreneurs, trailblazers, technology whizzes, fashionistas, medical geeks, game changers and anyone with an audacious product, service or innovation that helps those facing cancer today.” The range of companies and products in the final 20 is truly impressive. It includes, a smart pill bottle to improve medication adherence, wireless orthopedic bras,  and a web platform that helps make relocating for medical treatment less daunting, among other companies and products. The finalists are all remarkable, and we’re so excited that Solidea was included in this group. Learn more about the Top 20 and the Big C Competition here.

BrightLife Direct began carrying Solidea products one year ago and the response has been great! Over the past year, some of the best selling Solidea products have been the Ankle Socks, the Advanced MicroMassage Capris, and the Wonder Model Pantyhose. What we’d really love to highlight is the compression armsleeves which have been real game-changers for many of our lymphedema patients:

Bilateral Compression Armsleeve – While this sleeve provides 15/21 mmhg of compression, we’ve had several customers tell us that it has replaced their 20-30 mmhg or 30-40 mmhg sleeves because of the unique micromassage fabric technology.

Unilateral Compression Armsleeve – For anyone who has edema in just one arm, this is a great option. Customers love the effective massaging fabric, but also that there is no need for a silicone top band. Many armsleeve wearers have adverse reactions to a silicone band pinching into their skin or causing rashes. This sleeve comes up and over the shoulder in a truly innovative design.

Check out their sizable collection of compression products here.

 

Spotlight on Solidea

We’ve added a new brand to our inventory – Solidea. Have you heard of it? Solidea is known globally for combining fashion and compression into effective medical shapewear.

We first came into contact with Solidea through our contacts at BreastCancer.org, who recommended Solidea compression armsleeves for Lymphedema patients. We’ve found that Solidea not only carries great products for customers treating lymphedema and edema in their legs and arms, but Solidea also designs fabulous compression shapewear that slims and tones the body (something we think everyone will like!).  Read on to learn more about this line and why we’re so excited about it!

Solidea Bilateral ArmsleevesSolidea for Lymphedema: We are really impressed with the innovative armsleeves that Solidea carries. Some patients with lymphedema cannot use traditional armsleeves due to constriction of the upper arm. The Solidea sleeve doesn’t hold on to the top of the arm – the fabric actually comes across the shoulder and back. This design makes sure that the armsleeve is comfortably in place all day and that it won’t interfere with lymphatic movement. It actually helps maximize fluid movement.

Patients with edema in the upper thigh were looking for options as well. The Solidea Micro Massage Capris, when worn in combination with compression hosiery, provide full-leg compression and fluid movement.

Solidea is unique from other brands because of its patented fabric technology. The “Micro Massage” works directly with the subcutaneous lymphatic capillaries to move lymphatic fluid.

Solidea Silver Wave Abdominal BandFashion Shapewear: Want to improve your circulation, trim your tummy AND dress with style? Well, Solidea is the brand for you! Solidea, which is made in Italy with soft, luxurious fabric, is created to fit your body like a second skin. The seamless Wonder Model hosiery has a shaping panty that does wonders for your figure and looks great with dress clothes. And, the Silver Wave Abdominal Band uses Micro Massage technology to break up cellulite cells and smooth skin.

Learn more about Solidea on their website and check back on our site frequently as we add more shaping products at great prices to our Solidea collection.

By Brita @ BrightLife Direct
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Compression Shopping Guide

At BrightLife Direct we give you many different ways to find the compression garment that’s right for you.  You can shop by brandstyle or length, men or womenlow price, and perhaps most importantly… compression level.

Before you begin shopping, you need to know what compression level is appropriate for your condition.  If you already wear stockings, hopefully you know your compression.  If this is is your first time, your doctor or therapist should have told you what compression level you need.  If they have not, our compression guide can help, but this is not a substitution for medical advice.  We highly recommend that you talk to your doctor or health care provider before beginning compression therapy above 20mmHg.

Once you’ve determined the proper compression, you need to decide on the style or length of the garment, that is, a knee high, thigh high or waist high (pantyhose).  Remember the stocking has to cover the area of your body where the problem exists.  If you have an aching varicose vein in your thigh, a knee high isn’t going to help.  If you’re traveling and don’t have any existing venous problems, a knee high should do the job.

Now that you know the compression and style, the rest is easy.  Picking the weave or fabric you prefer and deciding if you want an open or closed toe.

The three main fabric choices are sheer, opaque and ribbed.  Sheers look great, but are just a bit more delicate than other fabrics.  Opaques offer the widest range of prices and sizing options.  Ribbed are very durable.  All three fabrics are usually woven from nylon and spandex.  Opaque and ribbed fabrics are available in cotton, wool, and silver blends.

The toe style does not affect the therapeutic benefit of a compression stocking, and is usually a personal preference. Open toes are great in warm weather, with sandals or flip-flops and if you have problems like corns or hammer toes.

Now it’s time to shop.  Let’s say you need a 20-30mmHg compression thigh high, and want a sheer fabric with a closed toe.  Mouse over Compression Level in the left navigation bar.  Move your cursor to 20-30mmHg, then Thigh Highs, then Sheer.  You’ll see a note at the top of the page that closed toe is standard.

Now let’s look for a 15-20mmHg compression knee high in cotton with an open toe.  Mouse over Compression Level, move your cursor to 15-20mmHg, then Knee High, and then Cotton/Wool.  See the note at the top of the page that cotton blends are closed toe only.

As mentioned in the first paragraph, there are many different ways to search our website for the compression garment you need.  If you have a question or need assistance finding what you want, our trained certified fitters are happy to help at 1-877-545-8585.

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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