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.

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Giveaway for Lymphedema Fashionistas!

Lymphedema never looked this good! For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this week we will be giving away a LympheDIVAS compression armsleeve of your choice! See the giveaway box below to enter.

Many breast cancer survivors develop lymphedema after the removal of lymph nodes and have to wear a compression armsleeve every day for the rest of their lives. However, not all armsleeves have to be boring beige. LympheDivas was founded by two breast cancer survivors, Rachel Troxell and Robin Miller, who were not fans of the typical armsleeve. These amazing ladies decided to make compression fashionable. Instead of heavy, hot, rough textured armsleeves, they decided to make fun, comfortable sleeves to inspire breast cancer survivors to feel beautiful, confident and strong.

If you’re feeling crafty, you can make your own “designer” armsleeve too! Pick up a pair of girl’s patterned tights. Just cut off the tops and bottoms and slide them over the armsleeve. They’re a great, affordable way to spice up any outfit. Check out the video below for instructions. Have ideas of your own? Comment on this blog post to share how you express your style.

LympheDivas compression armsleeves are available in 15-20mmHg and 20-30mmHg compression levels. These seamless, lightweight garments feel like a “second skin” and provide 360° stretch to keep you comfortable. LympheDiva armsleeves are made with state-of-the-art moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool and dry, as well as an infusion of unscented aloe vera to moisturize and soften skin. All sleeves come with the option to include the DIVA Diamond Band to help keep the garment in place. These gorgeous armsleeves are machine washable – just place them in a garment bag and use warm water and gentle detergent. Washing your sleeve frequently helps to sustain the effectiveness of the garment and prolong its lifespan. All LympheDiva armsleeves are made latex and silicone free in the U.S.A.

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Here are some of our favorite sleeves inspired by Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This adorable Breast Cancer Awareness shirt is available from New York and Company for $9.95 and is made of 100% cotton. NY&C will donate $2 of each shirt to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

This week’s winner can choose any LympheDivas pattern, compression level and the optional DIVA Diamond Band. 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.  Click here for more help. Good luck!! Remember, you can enter once (per entry type) every day. The contest for the LympheDivas armsleeve ends Sunday, October 25th at midnight. The winner will be announced the following week. Don’t forget to check back next week for our last giveaway!
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Kathy Bates – “The Human Side” + Giveaway!

Kathy BatesAcademy Award winner Kathy Bates has earned 40 wins and 68 nominations including Emmys, Golden Globes and an Oscar. Over the past year, Kathy has taken on a new project – becoming the Lymphatic Education & Research Network’s (LE&RN) National Spokesperson. After being diagnosed with ovarian and breast cancer, Kathy Bates underwent a bilateral mastectomy to remove 19 lymph nodes from her left armpit and three from right. She developed lymphedema shortly after and has to wear a compression armsleeve for the rest of her life unless a cure is found.

To help spread awareness of breast cancer and lymphedema this month, we are giving away an armsleeve each week. Check out the giveaway at the end of this post to enter for your chance to win.

Every day, Kathy connects with others suffering from lymphedema and their families by writing letters to thank them and comfort them. She has made great strides in building awareness and education. She recently spoke at a two-day NIH symposium that took place on September 29-30. Bill Repicci, Executive Director of LE&RN, believes that this conference is a turning point in the field of lymphatics.

In her speech, “Lymphedema: The Human Side,” Bates explains that she was shocked to find out that millions of people suffer from lymphatic diseases, not just breast cancer survivors. Many people are born with it or develop it later in life. With about 10 million Americans and hundreds of millions worldwide, it is surprising that most primary physicians haven’t heard of this condition. To make matters worse, many people are not even aware they have lymphedema and suffer in silence. Without treatment, lymphedema symptoms can get worse and infection may occur, which can cause serious complications.

Many doctors who are aware of lymphedema don’t understand the severity of the condition, brushing it off as a “cosmetic issue” or blame symptoms on obesity or other causes. One woman suffered for eight years before being diagnosed with stage 3 lymphedema. Another patient, Marie Apodaca, was told by her doctor that she had to lose weight. She wasn’t diagnosed until she was accidentally hit with a cardboard box on her leg, which caused a clear liquid to drain out of her leg instead of blood. After months of therapy, Marie was able to remove 35 lbs of lymph from her legs.

Managing symptoms is no walk in the park either. Finding a lymphedema therapist isn’t easy. Since there aren’t many, it can be hard to find one that’s available or is located in your area. This can result in long commutes, which can aggravate symptoms. Zalee Harris who suffers from severely swollen arms can’t get regular treatments because of a long waiting list, causing her to be in more pain.

LE&RN focuses on raising awareness and education, but even more so, encouraging people to stop hiding their condition and share their story. Kathy took the Face of Lymphedema Challenge to inspire people to find comfort by sharing stories and to know they’re not alone. Dancer Pearl-Ann Hinds developed LE and decided to choreograph a dance dedicated to lymphedema called “Hello World.” She says “If I continued to hide the reality, the power to change the legs of future generations would be lost.”

Seven-year-old Emma Detlefsen was born with lymphedema in both legs and often battles infections that cause her to be hospitalized. This inspiring seven-year-old appeared before the NY State Legislator last year and convinced lawmakers to pass a bill for research funding that had been languishing for 12 years. She was awarded with the LE&RN Youth Ambassador Award on September 19th at the 5K Walk to Fight Lymphedema & Lymphatic Diseases on the Brooklyn Bridge. Kathy hopes that by bringing Emma’s message to us, it can inspire “even one of us” to accomplish her challenge and hopes you will join the fight for education and research.

Mediven Harmony Armsleeve Giveaway

bld-harmony-giveaway-pinterest For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, each week we will be giving away a compression armsleeve. Every week, we will feature a different brand. This week, you can win a Mediven Harmony armsleeve in your choice of compression level, size and color. 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. To tweet the message, click the “Tweet” button then go to your profile. Click on the timestamp on the tweet and paste the url in the box below. Click here for more help. Good luck!! Remember, you can enter once (per entry type) every day. The contest for the Mediven Harmony armsleeve ends Friday, October 16th at midnight. The winner will be announced the following Monday. Don’t forget to check back next week for our next giveaway!

 

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RESOURCES

Kathy Bates – Official Website Kathy Bates’ Secret Health Struggle – The Doctors “How I Turned My Lymphedema Into Something Positive” – People Magazine Kathy Bates Awards and Nominations Kathy Bates on Larry King Kathy Bates Hosts the American Cancer Society Ball Lymph Nodes and Cancer – American Cancer Society Hello World – Lymphedema Dance by Pearl-Ann Hinds Emma’s Youth Ambassador Award Acceptance Speech Key Speakers from the NIH Conference in DC

Lymphedema Treatment Act Update + Giveaway!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This month, BrightLife Direct will be spreading awareness about a condition that many breast cancer survivors face after a mastectomy – lymphedema. This condition refers to mild, moderate or severe swelling (edema), and is often caused by the removal of lymph nodes during cancer treatment. Blockage in the lymphatic system results in the buildup of lymph fluid, which is why swelling occurs.

Lymphedema can develop in the legs, arms and other parts of the body. Some people are born with this condition and others develop it. Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from lymphedema. Breast cancer survivors who develop lymphedema have to wear compression garments over their arms and hand everyday to increase circulation to help manage their condition.

In addition to sharing information on lymphedema this month, we will be doing a weekly giveaway in honor of the many brave Breast Cancer survivors. See below for more information and your chance to win!

Today we want to share information and updates on the Lymphedema Treatment Act.

According to lymphedema specialist, Sue Enerson, many of her patients who are covered by Medicare are only allowed one visit after being diagnosed with lymphedema and more often than not, compression garments are not covered. The financial burden on lymphedema patients is huge. Patients often require frequent visits to doctors and lymphedema therapists to receive treatment and also to learn how to manage lymphedema at home. Patients must also purchase a supply of compression garments to wear continuously, for the rest of their lives, which comes at no small cost.

The Lymphedema Treatment Act is a federal bill that will improve insurance coverage for treatment, mandating that insurance companies provide the medical supplies to patients that are required to manage lymphedema symptoms (including compression garments, bandages, etc.). This in turn will reduce the total healthcare costs associated with lymphedema by reducing the number of complications and disabilities that result from poor treatment of lymphedema symptoms. Currently, most insurance policies including Medicare do not cover lymphedema treatment.

Seniors who suffer from lymphedema should not be punished for taking the necessary steps to treat their condition,” said Reichert. “By rectifying Medicare’s failure to cover compression garments we give seniors their best chance and real hope to fight back against this chronic disease. I am pleased to be joined by my colleagues from both sides of the aisle in this fight against lymphedema. – Congressman Reichert

On March 26, 2015, the Lymphedema Treatment Act was introduced to the current Congress, including a “Findings” section to explain the need for medical coverage. Treatment for lymphedema includes manual lymphatic drainage, wearing compression garments and Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), which the bill will make the standard of care for lymphedema.

The Lymphedema Treatment Act currently has over 100 cosponsors. BrightLife Direct as well as many other compression garment companies are showing their support for the Lymphedema Treatment Act. Compression garment makers Sigvaris, Jobst, Medi, Juzo, Solaris and LympheDIVAS also support the bill.

How can you help? Contact your members of Congress to make sure they support the bill. Learn more here: http://lymphedematreatmentact.org/

Win A Prize Every Week!

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While there is no cure for lymphedema yet, compression garments help to provide relief. Every Friday during the month of October, we will be hosting a giveaway to win the featured armsleeve of the week. To kick of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this week we are offering a Juzo Soft Compression Armsleeve. Juzo Soft is available in six different colors as well as a variety of new colors for fall and winter. Juzo Soft Armsleeves are available in three compression levels and in a variety of sizing options. Winners can choose the color, compression level and size.  Don’t forget to keep checking our blog for your chance to win!

You can enter below by logging in with an email address or through Facebook and following BrightLife Direct on Twitter, answering a question, commenting on the blog post or by tweeting a message in the giveaway box below. To tweet the message, click the “Tweet” button, then go to your profile. Next, click on the timestamp on the tweet and paste the url in the box below. Click here for more help.

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RESOURCES

Breast Cancer Navigator

Shop Lymphedema Products

Managing Lymphedema

Kathy Bates – Life With Lymphedema

March is Lymphedema Awareness Month

Sigvaris Supports the Lymphedema Treatment Act

Congressman Reichert’s Involvement in Reintroducing the Bill

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.

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Common Measuring Mistakes To Avoid

 

  1. Do not measure late in the day

Everyday our legs and feet swell. This is normal. For this reason, it is important to measure for compression stockings early in the morning to get the most accurate fit. If you measure later in the day or at night, you may purchase a size that is too big and will not get the maximum benefits of compression. The same applies for armsleeves as lymphedema swelling can increase during the day – measure in the morning!

  1. Do not estimate – be precise!

Compression socks and sleeves are not a one-size-fits-all product. In fact, a size medium in one brand could be a large in another. Sizes can even vary within brands as well. This is why it is important to check the measurements. You may think you need to “fit” into this sock, but in reality there’s another one that matches your measurements better. If you find yourself between sizes, try another brand or style. You can also try our Size Machine to determine the what size garment you need. If you have any questions about measuring or sizing, you can call our customer service team Monday through Friday from 9-6PM for help. Try to measure in centimeters as much as possible for more precise measurements. This may help you if you are struggling to see where your measurements fall on the size chart.

  1. Do not try to take your measurements yourself

Lets face it. We’ve all tried to carry in too many groceries at one time and ended up dropping everything. Sometimes, an extra set of hands makes all the difference. When measuring for compression socks or armsleeves, it’s important to have measurements that are as accurate as possible. This is extremely hard to do by yourself. Getting the placement right and bending at odd angles to try and measure your leg or arm doesn’t exactly scream “fun.” If you can, try and get someone to help take your measurements. That way you can be sure that you’re getting the right size without dealing with the hassle of returning socks that don’t fit. Our knowledgeable staff is available for fitting appointments if you would like help determining your size. All you have to do is ask!

  1. Do not guess where the measurements should be taken

Medical compression sock sizing is based on the leg circumference. Knee high socks require ankle and calf measurements. Always measure the smallest part of your ankle. You do not want to measure over your anklebone. You do want to measure around the largest part of your calf. It is also important to measure from the floor to the bend behind your knee. For thigh highs and pantyhose (waist high), you will also need to measure around your upper thigh, about 3” below the crease of the buttocks. Some pantyhose may also require the length, your height and weight, or hip measurements. If you are measuring for an armsleeve, you need to get three measurements: around your wrist, right below your elbow and around your upper arm (just below your arm pit). Some brands like Mediven or Juzo will have you measure the length of your arm as well. When you are measuring, make sure that your arm is bent slightly. You will want to measure the outside length from your wrist to the upper arm measurement. For gloves and gauntlets, simply measure around your wrist, avoiding the wrist bone, and the palm of your hand above your thumb.

  1. Do Not Choose To Wear The Wrong Size

Wearing the wrong size can result in more compression being applied than is desired. You shouldn’t wear something that you need to fold down at the top to fit your leg, or something that feels like it’s cutting off your circulation. This can be harmful and complicate existing conditions. Check for special sizing if you have a hard time finding something that’s comfortable. There are petite sizes, plus sizes, socks for wide calves and stockings made for longer legs. There are even compression stockings to wear during pregnancy, socks for diabetes and garments designed for men and women with sensitive skin. If you are really struggling to find a comfortable compression garment, don’t forget that customs are an option! Remember, sizing between brands is not universal. If you find that your measurements aren’t matching any of the size charts, try a different brand. Some collections run longer, some run shorter and others are smaller or larger. You can always give us a call at 877-545-8585 if you can’t find what you’re looking for or have sizing questions.

Preview the Juzo Dream Colors for Fall/Winter 2015

Preview The New Juzo Dream Colors for Fall/Winter 2015!!

It’s that time again! With Fall right around the corner, we are welcoming warm socks, jeans and comfy jackets back into our wardrobes. Every six months, Juzo introduces a new set of Dream Colors available in their Juzo Soft and Naturally Sheer collections. As always, we have a sneak peek of the colors for this Fall and Winter!

juzo-dream-fall-winter-2015

Juzo Dream colors are available in solid colors, tie-dye, black tie-dye and sheer styles in knee highs, thigh highs, leggings, pantyhose, armsleeves and gauntlets in a variety of options to find the perfect garment for you. The Juzo Dream Collection is available in 15-20mmHg, 20-30mmHg and 30-40mmHg compression levels. All tie-dye garments are made to order, so no garment is alike.

A few of the popular Dream Colors from the Spring/Summer collection – Boho Berry, Mystic Waters and Pink – are featured again for this Fall and Winter. These colors are available in a large variety of styles and sizes. You can check them out below. If you want to order any of the 2015 Spring/Summer Dream Colors, make sure to do it before they sell out for good!

Juzo Dream Boho Berry, Pink and Mystic Waters

Check back soon for the revealing of the Fall/Winter 2015 Juzo Dream Collection!

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Introducing…OrthoSleeve!

If you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Arthritis Pain, Patellar or Achilles Tendonitis, you’re going to love OrthoSleeve. These products aid in recovery, relieve pain, reduce swelling, provide support and improve circulation using Compression Zone Technology and medical-grade orthopedic support. Made from a lightweight fabric that is easy to take on and off, OrthoSleeve will have you feeling comfortable in no time. The OrthoSleeve line consists of products that help you recover after surgery or a sports injury.

FS6-ZoneGraphic

To better understand Compression Zone Technology, check out the diagram above of the FS6 Compression Foot Sleeve. Both the Foot and Calf Sleeve incorporate six zones that vary in the level of compression to most effectively provide muscle support and improve circulation. The first zone uses light compression to prevent pinching or binding for maximum comfort. The second zone provides support and helps to increase circulation to speed up recovery by removing lactic acid. The third zone gently stretches the plantar fascia with firm pressure. The fourth zone features a shaped-to-fit design, provides moderate compression and prevents pinching as you move your foot. The fifth zone also provides firm compression to support the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia while further enhancing circulation. The final zone features light compression to keep you comfortable with a wide-knit band that’s non-binding and won’t pinch you.

Black FS6The FS6 Compression Foot Sleeve is one of the most popular sports braces available. It provides graduated compression and support for the arch, foot and ankle using Compression Zone Technology. This foot sleeve helps to relieve pain and swelling as well as improve circulation to help you recover faster. This product is ideal if you have Plantar Fasciitis, chronic arch or heel pain, Achilles Tendonitis, swelling or heel spurs. The medical-grade compression also helps to prevent plantar fasciitis flare-ups. You can wear the FS6 Compression Foot Sleeve overnight or during the day under your normal socks and shoes. It is made with a lightweight, breathable moisture-wicking fabric that will keep you comfortable and dry. Designed for men and women in Natural, Black and White in sizes Small to XX-Large.

orthosleeve-CS6-natural-largeThe OrthoSleeve CS6 Compression Calf Sleeve also provides medical-grade compression using the unique Compression Zone Technology to provide relief for those with venous insufficiency, shin splints, Achilles Tendonitis, sore calf muscles, cramping or Restless Leg Syndrome. This Calf Sleeve improves circulation, aids recovery and provides relief for tired, achy legs. The CS6 Compression Calf Sleeve is safe to wear at night and is designed for men and women. It is available in sizes Small to Large in Natural, Black and White.

orthosleeve-foot-gym-1-largeIf you have Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis or other foot pain, The Foot Gym can help you strengthen your foot, ankle and calf as well as aid in a speedy recovery after an injury or surgery. This clever device incorporates seven exercises including toe curls, toe extensions, calf raises/calf stretch, dorsiflexion, plantar fascia stretch as well as a “ice or heat” removable massage roller to massage, strengthen and stretch your muscles. The Foot Gym comes with a non-slip antimicrobial foot pad, three resistance bands (light, moderate and firm), and has a storage area underneath the device. Chiropractors, Trainers, Orthopedic Surgeons, Physical Therapists, Podiatrists, Professional Sports Teams and Olympic Athletes have all reviewed and tested The Foot Gym. To see it in action, click here.

More OrthoSleeve products are coming soon! Check our blog for the latest updates.

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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

Beat the Heat with these Summer Health Tips

 

It is important to take care of your body, especially in the warmer months. Whether you’re heading to the pool, going camping or getting some exercise outside, we have tons of tips to keep you healthy and comfortable all summer long. Plus, check out some of the best skin care products and how to stay cool in the hottest weather.

The Basics

  1. Hydrate! The more water you drink, the easier it is for your body to regulate its temperature.
  2. Wear loose clothing to avoid overheating and to make you more comfortable.
  3. Avoid salty foods to prevent dehydration and swelling.
  4. Skin care is important! Make sure to moisturize your skin multiple times a day.
  5. Wear compression stockings while traveling and take frequent breaks on long trips to walk around.
  6. Stay in the shade as much as possible and don’t forget your sunscreen!

Skin Care

During the summer months, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun and moisturize frequently. If you have lymphedema, getting sunburn can damage your lymphatic system, resulting in overly sensitive skin. Make sure to apply sunscreen before heading out, but try to avoid applying it to areas covered by your compression garment. Suntan lotion can cause the material to deteriorate faster and can irritate the skin underneath the garment. You should also put on bug spray to avoid infections, cuts and discomfort. Try to use natural bug spray to eliminate unwanted chemicals such as DEET on your skin. If you do get bit, make sure to carefully wash and dry the area and apply a hydrocortisone cream.

“If you are going camping or hiking, be sure to take along a specialized first aid kit. The kit should include alcohol wipes to clean off any skin break, antibiotic cream for application on the skin, and bandages to protect the area.” – National Lymphatic Network

If you have dry or cracked skin, try using Remedy Skin Repair Cream. It is non-allergenic and great for those with diabetes or sensitive skin. If you are looking for a cream that won’t clog your pores, isn’t greasy and can be used with compression garments, try the Cutimed ACUTE Cream Mouse to moisturize your skin. It is perfect for people with diabetes, lymphedema or those with damaged skin. It is available in three different strengths, depending on what you need. For an everyday lotion that is also safe for compression garments, apply Medi Day Gel. This fast absorbing gel makes it easier to get your compression stockings on without the greasy residue.

Comfort is Key

During the summer, make sure to wear loose clothing to stay cool and to avoid restricting the flow of your lymphatic system. One of the most important things when you’re out in the sun is to wear comfortable shoes. Check out the new Dr. Comfort summer shoes for men and women. They are great for those with diabetes, plantar fasciitis or sensitive feet. They provide additional cushioning and shock absorption to keep you comfortably on your feet all day long. Nothing’s worse than tired feet halfway through the day!

Summer is one the best times for traveling, but it can also be the most uncomfortable. Whether you are flying, driving or traveling by train, make sure to wear your compression stockings! Sitting for long periods of time is bad for circulation and can lead to fatigue, swelling and more serious complications. If you are driving, make sure to use the air conditioning and stop as much as possible to get out and stretch. If you have lymphedema, try to keep your affected limb as elevated as possible. If you take a plane, the lower air pressure can aggravate lymphedema. If you have lower extremity lymphedema, try to get an aisle seat so you have more leg room and can get up to walk around more frequently without the difficulty. If you have lymphedema in your arms, make sure to carry a light carry-on or get a rolling suitcase to avoid heavy lifting. Again, make sure to stay hydrated while traveling!

How to Keep Your Cool in the Summer

If you have lymphedema, you know the importance of staying cool. When you start to feel overheated, try taking a cool shower and elevate the affected limb in an air conditioned place. You can also wrap the limb in a cold, wet towel and elevate it as well. To avoid getting your compression garment wet, the National Lymphatic Network suggests putting a plastic bag between the garment and the wet towel. This avoids skin irritation and damage to the garment. If you have upper extremity lymphedema, check out Lymphedivas. These fashionable compression armsleeves are made with moisture wicking fabric to keep your arm cool and dry. They are lightweight and are infused with aloe vera to soften and moisturize your skin. They are latex and silicone free, and made in America. To stay cool with compression socks, thigh highs or pantyhose, try an open toe stocking. This style is great to wear with sandals or other summer shoes.

It is also important to wash your compression garments daily, especially in the summer. Frequent washing is better for compression stockings because it helps to maintain its effectiveness and prolongs the garments lifespan. Regularly washing compression garments also helps to get rid of dirt and oils that can reduce the effectiveness of the garment and avoids bacteria that can cause skin irritation or other complications. Plus, lotions that aren’t safe for compression can cause the fabric to deteriorate faster.

Diet

Eating healthy is important for more reasons than getting the perfect “beach body.” During the summer, it is vital to avoid salty foods because they can lead to swelling, water retention and bloating. Instead of grabbing a soda and chips, snack on fruits, vegetables and nuts. Make sure to get lots of protein and to eat a big, balanced breakfast to keep your energy up all day long. Avoid foods with lots of carbohydrates and sugar to keep you from craving sweets and junk food. Eat 3-5 small meals throughout the day and make sure you’re not hungry. When you don’t eat enough, your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs and can lead to fainting, dizziness, exhaustion and fatigue. Most importantly, drink lots of water to give your body the oxygen it needs. Dehydration can cause you to feel overheated, so stay cool with a nice, refreshing glass of water.

Exercise

The summertime is great for exercising and playing sports, but it is important to take it easy. Physical activities you do in the winter won’t affect you as much as they do in the summer because of the heat. Even though you typically run 5 miles in the winter, you may not be able to run as far in the summer. The heat can cause your lymphatic system to “overload”, which is why many people with lymphedema dread the summer months. However, the heat doesn’t have to prevent you from going outside and enjoying yourself, you just have to be more careful. Make sure to exercise for a shorter amount of time and to take a lot of breaks. If your arm or leg starts to ache, hurt or feel irritated in any way, go inside to cool down and elevate the affected limb. This is a sign that your lymphatic system is overloaded.

Swimming is recommended for those with lymphedema. Make sure to moisturize after swimming in the pool to avoid dry skin. Once you are out of the water, remember to put your compression garment or bandages back on as soon as possible. You can use an old garment if you want to swim with one on. Remember to rinse off after swimming and dry completely to avoid infection and skin irritation. If you have lower extremity lymphedema, make sure to wear shoes at the pool whenever you’re not in the water to avoid bacteria or getting cuts or scratches that could get infected. If you have a cut or open wound, it is best to avoid swimming until after it has healed.

Resources

Cool Tips For A Hot Summer – NLN

How to Wear Compression in the Summer – RejuvaHealth

4 Tips To Get Your Legs Ready For Summer

Protect Your Skin From the Sun – American Cancer Society

Diabetes and Summer Safety Tips

Sigvaris Hypoallergenic Skin & Foot Cream

7 Critical Precautions for Summer if You Have Diabetes

How to Prevent Skin Cancer – American Cancer Society