Pumped About Leg Relief

Compression therapy eases chronic swelling, pain of lymphedema.

Anita’s* dream of being a teacher dates back to when she was 5 years old and her students were her dolls. That dream eventually became a reality as Anita went on to teach kindergarten through fourth grade during a fulfilling 30-year career in childhood education.

Anita loved her work, but all those years of standing while teaching contributed to a chronic ailment that has plagued her for two decades.

“About 20 years ago, just after I retired, my legs started to swell,” Anita relates. “Along with the swelling, I also developed terrible pain in my legs. During the day, the pain hovered around a seven on a scale of one to 10. The longer I was on my feet, the worse the pain got, but by the end of the day, it was always a 10.

“I Initially thought the swelling was related to a medication I was taking, so my doctor took me off of the medication. My legs, though, never went back to the skinny little twigs they used to be. In fact, they only got worse. They often became so swollen that it looked like I had tree trunks just above my feet.”

When physical therapy failed to ease the pain and swelling, Anita’s physical therapist recommended that she visit a vascular surgeon. That surgeon diagnosed Anita with venous insufficiency, a condition that causes the one-way valves in leg veins to fail and the blood that is supposed to flow back to the heart to pool in the lower legs.

Venous insufficiency may then lead to a condition called lymphedema. Lymphedema causes fluid accumulation in the limbs and abnormal swelling in the legs or arms. In Anita’s case, she initially tried to combat the problem with simple home remedies that included elevating her legs and taking diuretics, or water pills, to help remove excess fluid from her system.

When those treatments failed to provide relief, Anita tried wearing compression stockings. The stockings didn’t alleviate the pain and swelling either, so Anita’s doctor next suggested that she try using compression pumps from Acute Wound Care.

Effective and Noninvasive

Acute Wound Care specializes in hospital-grade compression devices and specialty wound-care dressings and is a fully accredited home medical equipment provider. The compression pumps are approved by most insurers and are designed to improve circulation and assist the venous and lymphatic systems while reducing fluid accumulation in the legs or arms.

Acute Wound Care’s limb-sized sleeves work with the compression device that gently massages the limbs. The massaging action helps drain excess fluid back into the body’s circulatory system so that it can be naturally eliminated. This process alleviates swelling and many painful symptoms.

Each of the compression pump’s limb-sized sleeves contain four or eight chambers, depending on the patient’s needs and preferences. During the treatment, each chamber fills with air. The chamber then releases the air, and the pattern repeats in a rhythmic fashion, moving excess fluid out of the limbs.

“After I’ve used the pump, the swelling in my legs always goes way down, and my legs just feel a lot better.” -Anita

The safe and painless compression pumps not only reduce fluid retention in the limbs, they also improve overall blood flow. By circulating healing factors in the blood, they can even be used to heal the chronic wounds and ulcers that often come with venous insufficiency.

“The pump boosts circulation by contracting the calf muscles, assisting blood flow back toward the heart,” explains Ana Gonzalez, a certified compression therapist with Acute Wound Care. “Better blood flow helps prevent any future ulcers, infections of the skin and other wound care problems due to venous insufficiency.”

How often a patient uses the pump depends on the severity of their condition.

“For most cases, the initial recommendation is for patients to use the pump daily for a minimum of 45 minutes to a maximum of 90 minutes. This can be in the morning and or evening,” Ana explains “While using the pump, patients simply sit back with their limbs elevated through the treatment session.

“And results are often apparent immediately. Many patients see a noticeable difference in the swelling and the size of their limbs after their first 45-minute pumping session. I also want to point out that the pump’s sleeves are durable and antimicrobial. And if patients have open wounds, they can use the pump with the wounds covered to aid in healing.”

Physicians throughout Florida have been recommending Acute Wound Care’s compression pumps to their patients for years. For decades, patients have been getting great results from them.

“Many doctors encourage patients to use the pump to reduce limb swelling and improve circulation,” Ana states. “ The compression pumps are a safe, noninvasive prescription device. It’s a great treatment option when conservative options have not provided relief.”

Dramatic Results

After receiving the compression pump prescription from Anita’s doctor, the staff at Acute Wound Care helped Anita complete the necessary paperwork with her insurance provider. A compression therapist from Acute Wound Care came to Anita’s home to set up the pump and give Anita a tutorial.

“Acute Wound Care’s compression therapists go to the patents’ homes and sit down with them to complete their first session using the pump,” Ana explains. “We go over the operation of the pump step-by-step and give them instructions on how to use it so they can get the best outcome.

“Anita received her first compression pump from us in 2016. She suffered with severe lymphedema in her lower extremities, and the swelling was significant. Because lymphedema is a progressive condition caused by a buildup of fluid in the tissues, Anita became eligible to receive a new compression pump in 2021 and continues to effectively manage her lymphedema.”

Acute Wound Care is proud of its hands-on approach. Not only do compression therapists go to the patients’ homes to set up equipment and instruct on usage and care, they also adjust the pump pressure to each patient’s comfort level within the prescribed range.

“When we are in the patient’s home, we set the pressure based on the severity of the condition and physician’s prescription,” Ana informs. “We then adjust the pump so the patients are comfortable and will meet the requirements of the treatment, so they can achieve the greatest results.”

Anita says the impact compression pumps have had on her well-being is “dramatic.” She uses her compression pump after breakfast, after lunch and in the evening for an hour each time and notes that the difference it makes is often felt immediately.

“After I’ve used the pump, the swelling in my legs always goes way down, and my legs just feel a lot better. The pain is no longer a 10 or even a seven,” she confirms.

“If I don’t use the pumps, the swelling gets really bad. Once, we went to Key West and I forgot to bring my pump. We were there for just two nights, but I was miserable the whole time because my legs swelled up terribly.

“I’m so glad that I discovered these pumps. I wish I would have known about them 20 years ago.”

The retired teacher thinks highly of Acute Wound Care and, especially, its compression therapist.

“Ana is very knowledgeable and helpful, and she answered all my questions,” Anita raves. “Acute Wound Care was very efficient in working with my insurance company and got the compression pump to me quickly. I have nothing but compliments for them.”

© FHCN staff article. Photo courtesy of Acute Wound Care.js
* Patient’s name changed at her request.
Print This Article
    • Acute Wound Care

      Acute Wound Care is conveniently located in the heart of Bonita Springs and has been serving wound care, lymphedema and venous insufficiency patients in the Southwestern part of Florida for many years. Their team has more than 25 years of exper... Read More