What Are Compression Sleeves & How Do They Work?

What Are Compression Sleeves & How Do They Work?

Do you know what compression sleeves are? They are often used to help people with musculoskeletal disorders get better (MSDs). You might have pulled a muscle or have inflammation in your wrist. You might want to wear a compression sleeve no matter what. Compression sleeves are an easy and effective way to cut down on the time it takes for MSDs to heal.

In this article, we’ll talk about the benefits of leg sleeves and arm sleeves with compression. We’ll also talk about how compression sleeves compare to other types of compression therapy, like compression socks and intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) devices.

What You Need To Know About Compression Sleeves

We can use Compression sleeves in 2 ways. To help people with lymphedema deal with its symptoms, doctors give them compression sleeves.

This condition can happen on its own or after removing lymph nodes during surgery, which is a common thing done for cancer patients. Some people have swelling in their arms and legs after a lymphadenectomy because the lymph fluids don’t flow as well as they should.

A lymphedema therapist or oncologist may suggest a compression sleeve or another form of compression therapy to help reduce the swelling.

Patients with lymphedema who are getting cancer treatment and athletes both say that compression therapy helps them. Studies have shown that athletes who wear compression gear feel less delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and recover more quickly. You don’t have to be a professional athlete to get health benefits.

Compression therapy also helps legs feel less tired after long periods of standing or sitting, and it makes the regular physical activity less painful and uncomfortable. Compression can make your legs feel lighter and more energetic by improving circulation and getting rid of waste.

How Do Compression Sleeves Work?

Compression sleeves put a light amount of pressure on the veins in the arms and lower legs. This helps to support the walls of the veins and the valves in the veins, and it also helps blood move from the extremities to the heart. Vascular structures can break down over time because of age, high blood pressure in the veins, or an injury. The extra support makes it easier for the veins to drain well.

Also, the pressure gets rid of waste from the blood vessels and the tissue around them. Lymph fluid, lactic acid, and other enzymes that cause swelling in the arms and legs should be dealt with by the circulatory system.

Compression can help fluids move through the body, so waste doesn’t stay in the legs or arms.

Compression clothes also speed up blood flow because they squeeze the veins. Think of a garden hose with a large diameter. If you put your thumb over the end of the hose, the spray would get narrower and move faster. Your veins have the same thing going on. By making your veins smaller, compression helps your blood flow faster and more efficiently.

Some compression socks and sleeves for the legs have graduated compression, which helps the blood flow. Gravity can cause blood and waste fluids to pool in the lower legs and feet, especially if you stand or sit for a long time.

Graduated compression clothes apply a different amount of pressure in different places. For example, the pressure is stronger at the ankles and less at the calves. If you want support for your lower legs and calves, look for graduated compression (measured in a range of millimeters of mercury) when you buy compression clothing.

How Do Compression Sleeves Compare to Socks and Stockings? 

A lot of compression sleeves work the same way that socks and stockings do. For example, calf compression sleeves usually cover the leg from the ankle to the calf and can be made to apply graduated compression.

A graduated compression sleeve is like a sock or stocking, but it can’t stop feet from getting swollen. Some types of injury prevention and treatment, like shin splint relief, may be helped by a compression sleeve. However, it probably won’t help with plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, or other overuse injuries that affect the feet and ankles.

Compression socks and sleeves can both be made to fit your needs. A doctor might give you a custom sleeve to fit the size of your arm or to give you a certain range of pressure. Doctors can also write prescriptions for stockings that are made to fit the patient.

Socks usually don’t come in custom sizes or compression strengths, but Comrad has sizes that are up to 20 inches wide. When it comes to compression strength, we also give customers a choice. Our best-selling Companions have 15–25 mmHg, and we also have recycled cotton socks with 15-20 mmHg.

How Do Compression Sleeves Compare to IPC Devices? 

Research suggests that graduated compression clothing, like those worn by airline passengers, may help keep people at risk of getting deep vein blood clots. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can also happen to people who have had surgery, and compression garments may help to lower the risk. But most of the research on graduated compression therapy has been done on stockings and not on sleeves.

IPC devices are different from sleeves because they use cuffs that have air. This applies intermittent compression to the veins. Doctors recommend IPC for people who have just had surgery, have lymphedema, or have just had a stroke.

IPC devices and graduated compression garments both put pressure on the veins, but IPC devices limit your movement in a way that socks, stockings, and sleeves don’t.

You can use them while sitting down and you can plug them into an outlet. Because of this, they can be hard to use. IPC devices also cost a lot more than compression garments because they are medical equipment.

What to Look For In a Compression Sleeve 

Depending on how you plan to use the compression sleeve, you may want to look at the fabric to see if it is durable or if it will keep moisture away.

For example, if you want to wear a compression sleeve while doing hard exercise, it’s important to make sure the material is breathable and easy to clean. For workouts, you should choose high-performance fabrics like nylon and spandex. Before you buy something, you can also read the care instructions.

Check the materials and compression strength of a compression sleeve before you buy it. Check the label for a range of compression in mmHg, which is made up of two numbers. This range of numbers shows that you are getting the medical benefits of graduated compression.

For example, the Theraice RX Compression Sleeve has a sleeve-like shape that can be adjusted to fit different parts of the body, such as the knee, elbow, bicep, hamstring, thigh, quad, calf, or ankle. Its super-thin material makes it easy to wear it on the go or hide it under clothes.

TheraICE RX Compression Sleeves

This is important if you want to wear the sleeve to reduce swelling and inflammation or improve your circulation.

When is the best time to wear compression products?

When running, getting back in shape, or traveling are the best times to wear compression.

During:  With compression socks and sleeves, blood that is full of oxygen, nutrients, and water goes to the muscles. It also cuts down on vibration, which can improve how well muscles work and how they move. You’ll also get rid of lactic acid and improve circulation to your calves, which will help you heal. The increased blood flow helps relieve pain from common problems like calf and Achilles tendon strains, calf cramps, and shin splints.

Recovery:  Compression socks can also be worn after a run to help reduce swelling and pain in the foot, ankle, and lower leg. This is part of the recovery process. When you work out hard, your body’s oxygen level may drop. Compression that meets medical standards gets into the deep veins and helps flush out lactic acid in the veins and muscles, sending it back to the heart. This will make sure that it doesn’t stay in your muscles overnight, which will help you get better faster.

Travel: One of the most important things for an endurance athlete to know is how to travel with graduated compression. When a piece of a blood clot breaks off and gets to the lungs or brain, it can be fatal.

About 85% of people who get a blood clot from flying are athletes, usually endurance athletes like marathon runners. People with slower blood flow at rest are more likely to get stasis, which is when blood pools and can clot. Also, they are more likely to get bumps and sore muscles, which can cause blood to clot.


So, compression sleeves work by helping to improve blood flow and reduce swelling. This makes them a popular choice for athletes and people who suffer from conditions like lymphedema. If you’re looking for an easy way to help improve your circulation or reduce inflammation, compression sleeves may be the right choice for you. Check out compression sleeves today and see how they can help you reach your fitness goals!