Compression Sleeve Guide
Posted by Richard Miller on Jul 5th 2022
Compression wear is an increasingly popular choice for athletes, patients with certain medical conditions, and even regular consumers. Why? Because compression wear can help alleviate a wide variety of negative symptoms in the body, from inflammation to chronic joint pain. Additionally, many types of compression clothing can double as shapewear. This even applies to compression sleeves for the arms, legs, feet, and ankles.
A common misconception about compression sleeves is that they are only meant for people who have recently undergone surgery, experienced an injury, or currently suffer from a medical condition. While medical compression sleeves are extremely useful and commonly used as part of recovery programs and chronic treatment plans, they can also be very beneficial to people who do not have any major health issues. In fact, the right compression sleeves can actually help keep your body in peak condition and reduce the risk of injury or serious health issues in the future.
For this reason, many professional athletes and exercise enthusiasts use compression sleeves to help reduce muscle pain, increase blood flow to the extremities, provide extra support to joints, lower inflammation, and generally make physical activities more comfortable. Improving the flow of blood throughout the body is particularly important to people of all lifestyles — active, in active, or somewhere in between. Consequently, many people who live more sedentary lifestyles or want to prevent blood clots and other medical issues wear compression sleeves to help keep the blood pumping, even when they plan to stay relatively inactive for a while.
However, you still may have some questions about what compression sleeves do. For example, how is a compression undersleeve different from a compression oversleeve? If you are shopping for compression sleeves, what degree of pressure do you need? Finally, what do you need to know about compression sleeves designed for different parts of the body? In today’s guide, we will answer all of these questions and more, but first, let’s examine exactly what compression sleeves are and how they work.
What Are Compression Sleeves?
Generally, a compression sleeve is simply a garment made of stretchable fabric (usually a polyester blend) that applies pressure to a specific part of the body. While compression wear comprises a wide range of clothing types that can compress virtually any part of the body, from the shoulders to the lower back, compression sleeves are generally reserved for the arms, legs, feet, and ankles. This is due to the fact that they are actually sleeves that need to be pulled over one or more of your limbs and positioned correctly.
So, what do compression sleeves do? By applying varying degrees of pressure to specific parts of the body, compression sleeves can serve a variety of purposes. Some people wear compression elbow sleeves to reduce joint pain when playing sports. Other people wear calf sleeves to help treat varicose veins or increase blood flow to the lower parts of the body. Still other people wear compression sleeves on the feet or ankles during long trips to avoid feeling discomfort or numbness due to a lack of movement.
As you can see, compression sleeves offer a great way to meet the needs of people who want to feel more comfortable, avoid injury, or even treat underlying conditions. Additionally, compression sleeves come in many different styles and designs based on your personal tastes. Undersleeves usually refer to compression sleeves that are worn under the clothing or are otherwise in direct contact with the skin. Alternatively, oversleeves are compression sleeves that can be worn over clothing or even be worn over undersleeves to provide additional support and pressure as needed.
Compression Sleeves For Arms
Compression sleeves for arms are common, as many people experience pain, inflammation, stiffness, and even numbness in the upper arms, elbow joints, and forearms. Additionally, many of these issues can extend down to the wrist, palm, and fingers. As a result, many people choose to get a compression sleeve with a gauntlet, which provides pressure and support to the wrist, palm, and even part of the fingers. Alternatively, if you want to have greater dexterity with your hands or you do not have any issues in the area, you can opt for a more traditional compression sleeve without a gauntlet.
Elbow Compression Sleeves
Elbow compression sleeves usually just cover the elbow and the surrounding part of the upper and lower arm. These are great options for people who have problems with tennis elbow or chronic joint pain as a result of arthritis. If you want a more customized product, you can choose an elbow wrap that allows you to control exactly how much pressure to apply whenever you put it on your arm.
Forearm Compression Sleeves
Forearm compression sleeves can either just cover the forearm or can extend to cover the wrist and palm as well. In either case, these can help anyone who likes to exercise and wants to avoid blood clots in the arms. Additionally, patients with tendonitis often use forearm compression sleeves to reduce pain and swelling.
Wrist Compression Sleeves
Wrist compression sleeves work in tandem with a gauntlet to ensure that the wrist can remain secured in a straight position. These are often used after surgery or during recovery from an injury to the wrist. In many cases, people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome use wrist compression sleeves to alleviate symptoms and provide support to their wrists and hands.
Leg Compression Sleeves
Leg compression sleeves are some of the most commonly used compression products among athletes, patients, and everyday consumers. The degree of pressure can vary based on your personal needs, as well as the exact positioning of the sleeve. While you can get compression wear that covers your leg from the bottom of your foot all the way up to your hips, most compression sleeves target specific areas like the thighs, knees, and calves.
Thigh & Hamstring Compression Sleeves
A hamstring or thigh sleeve applies pressure to the upper part of the leg. These are great for people dealing with poor blood flow to the legs or even muscle pain as a result of exercise or injury. In any case, these sleeves specifically target the area below the hip and above the knee.
Knee Compression Sleeves
Compression sleeves for knees are extremely useful because the knee is a very delicate part of the human body. Whether or not you live an active lifestyle, the knee is prone to injury. Moreover, the natural wear and tear of walking or running can damage the tissue in knee joints, making it more and more difficult to remain mobile as you age. Fortunately, knee compression sleeves provide support and help take some of the pressure off of your knees whether you are in motion or not.
Calf Compression Sleeves
A calf sleeve is especially common for people who suffer from varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis. It can also help those with Lymphedema, as it can decrease the build-up of lymphatic fluids and help increase the flow of fluids in the lower legs. Even if you are not suffering from any of these issues, you may want to consider calf compression sleeves if you sit down for extended periods of time, as they can help keep your circulatory system working properly and reduce the risk of blood clots.
Recovery Leg Sleeves
A running sleeve is often specifically designed to help you recover from an injury to one or both legs. Sleeves provide support to your legs, reducing the strain put on your muscles, bones, and connective tissues. Additionally, recovery sleeves can help speed up your recuperation after surgery.
Foot & Ankle Compression Sleeves
Finally, foot and ankle sleeves are very similar to compression socks, as they can provide support and pressure to the same areas. A foot compression sleeve can easily be worn with or without shoes. However, more heavy-duty sleeves may be worn on their own. These are particularly useful for people suffering from chronic pain in the area or conditions like plantar fasciitis.
We hope you found this guide on compression sleeves both useful and informative! Are you currently in the market for compression sleeves or other compression wear? If so, be sure to reach out to Compression Health today!