COMPRESSION STOCKINGS / GARMENTS
Compression stockings are one of the most useful and effective ways to treat lymphatic dysfunctions and venous insufficiency. Already Hippocrates, who applied bandages made of simple sponges, had underlined the importance of exerting some external mechanical pressure in those clinical situations in which the limb was suffering from “dysregulation in intra-extravasal fluid exchange”. Later on, in 1650, Richard Wiseman, who was the actual precursor of modern therapies, would recommend the use of gaiters with adjustable leather strings to fight edema of the lower extremities. More recently, new fabric technology and investigations on edema physiopathology have led to current elastic-compression methods, with stockings in different fabrics, that can be adjusted to each type of disorder and customized to each patient. They are key in limb edema control.
They belong to the family of alpha-benzopyrones and they can be of natural or synthetic origin. Although they are no alternative to combined decongestion therapy and microsurgery in the treatment of Lymphedema, they are used just like other benzopyrones as adjuvant therapy.