Compression gloves are therapeutic garments worn over the hand as a treatment method for helping to reduce pain, inflammation and swelling. Wearing this type of device also encourages increased blood circulation and warmth to the muscles and tissues of the hand, which can help in the healing of a variety of ailments. The gloves are designed to be tight-fitting while worn in order to provide a steady pressure to the hand without being so snug as to become uncomfortable or result in limiting the individual’s dexterity.
Lymphedema is one of the main disorders for which this type of glove is recommended as one element of treatment. Lymphedema occurs due to a disorder of the body’s lymphatic system that causes retention of fluid and tissue swelling in the extremities such as the hands. A medical professional usually advises the patient to wear a compression glove on the affected hand or hands on a daily basis during physical activity. The use of a compression garment on the hand is often accompanied by a change of diet to help reduce swelling, the use of diuretics to help reduce the edema, and a program of massage and exercise to stimulate increased blood circulation to the hands. This greatly reduces the possibility of the tissues becoming infected.
Arthritis is another malady which causes pain, stiffness and swelling in the hands which can be helped by the wearing of compression gloves. Wearing a glove that delivers a slight amount of constant pressure throughout the day while pursuing normal daily activities can help in minimizing hand pain, as well as helping to improve the patient’s range of motion that can often be severely restricted due to arthritic joints.
Care should be taken when selecting this style of therapeutic glove so that this device will have the best effect. Custom fit gloves which help to compress the tissues of the hands are preferable to over-the-counter versions in order to achieve the best fit. For the most comfortable fit, choose gloves that have seams on the outside of the glove or are seamless. The most helpful gloves feature open fingers to allow the user the most dexterity as he goes about his daily chores and activities.
Compression gloves are made from a variety of materials, such as lycra, and come in a variety of thicknesses and styles depending upon the amount of pressure the user wants to exert on the hand. Some gloves feature splints for added support, while others are made of lighter material for use while sleeping. When the elasticity or support from the gloves diminishes, a new pair should be purchased. Patients should ask their healthcare provider about the features they most need from these gloves to obtain the greatest amount of relief from pain and swelling.