Which leg compression machine is best?
Gravity is not always our friend. Gravity is constantly pulling at the blood flowing through our veins and is especially felt in our lower legs as we age, or as we battle certain illnesses or recover from surgery. Pain and swelling can arise as veins become permanently enlarged to help with circulation.
Leg compression machines use air pressure to improve the blood supply to major blood vessels in the lower legs and drain lymphatic fluid to nearby lymph nodes. They are recommended medically and are now available for in-home use too for many different applications. For pain relief and reduced swelling, the recommended leg compression machine is the Fit King Leg Air Massager.
What to know before you buy a leg compression machine
There are three types of blood vessels in the human body that carry blood and nutrients to our cells and organs. Arteries carry blood away from the heart to the body tissues. Veins transport blood back to the heart after its oxygen has been used up. Capillaries are very small blood vessels that connect arteries and veins so that nutrients can reach the body’s tissues. Leg compression machines primarily increase blood flow through the veins.
Reasons to use
There are many reasons for using a leg compression machine. There may be medical reasons post-surgery to prevent blood clots and aid recovery. Some medical conditions like varicose veins or lymphedema benefit from increased venous circulation. Some use leg compression machines to help with recovery following intense physical labor or exercise. How you use the machine in terms of frequency and intensity will be based on your intended outcome. Review the product instructions and seek the advice of your healthcare professional for further guidance.
Leg compression machines look like high-tech inflatable boots with handheld control. However, each machine has a different array of features and options that affects the overall cost and could be more applicable to your situation. For more information on the different machines available, check out the Best Reviews summary on best leg recovery systems.
What to look for in a quality leg compression machine
Some leg compression machines feature an automatic shut-off feature, usually after 20 minutes of operation. This is an important safety feature for elderly patients or anyone who might fall asleep while the machine is running. If your machine doesn’t come with an automatic shut-off, you might want to set a kitchen timer when you use the leg compression machine.
While most leg compression machines have a pair of leg wraps, they don’t always fit all leg sizes, especially taller people. That is why some leg compression machine models come with leg extensions that allow the air compression wrap to be elongated to fit longer legs. If you are taller than average, look for machines that include these extensions.
Multiple modes and intensities
Having a variety of massage and therapy options is important depending on your pain level and overall therapeutic goals. Sometimes a deeper massage is needed, while other times a light, relaxing massage can still get your circulation going. Some leg compression machines come with as many as 20 different options. Most will have at least two or three modes and intensities.
How much you can expect to spend on a leg compression machine
Leg compression machines start at $50 for basic recovery machines with minimal modes and intensities. Most models cost between $60 to $100 and have plenty of features for the at-home user, while commercial machines used for medical purposes can cost over $1,000.
Leg compression machine FAQ
What causes pain in the legs due to poor blood flow?
A. According to the Mayo Clinic, too little blood flow to the muscles causes pain when a person is using their muscles, such as walking. The pain typically goes away with rest but can continue hurting at rest if the condition worsens. This is medically known as claudication and is often associated with peripheral artery disease.
Who shouldn’t use a leg compression machine?
A. Pregnant women should consult their doctor before using a leg compression machine. Anyone with a pacemaker or other medical device that could encounter electrical interference should also consult their health professional. If you have varicose veins, conditions caused by claudication, or a history of blood clots, seek medical counsel before using a leg compression machine.
What’s the best leg compression machine to buy?
Top leg compression machine
What you need to know: Full of features, massage modes and adjustable leg wraps, this leg massager is excellent for reducing swelling and lessening pain.
What you’ll love: The handheld control runs two massage modes and three intensities with 10 different massage techniques. There is a 20-minute shut-off function for safety. Airbags reach from foot to calf, and the leg wraps come with two extensions.
What you should consider: You will need to be careful in applying the large Velcro wraps since they can easily get caught on fabric.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top leg compression machine for the money
What you need to know: This affordable and versatile set of leg massagers can be used on the legs, feet and even arms.
What you’ll love: This massager is very durable and made with high-quality materials. It has two massage modes and three intensities. Adjustable wraps fit small and large legs and arms. It comes with a handheld controller and carrying bag.
What you should consider: Some users reported that it was a bit noisier than expected with a low droning sound.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This leg massager is made from high-quality materials and includes a heating function for extra comfort.
What you’ll love: The leg massager features three massage modes and three intensities for a variety of applications. It has two heating levels for added promotion of circulation. The inner part of the leg wrap is removable and washable.
What you should consider: There were some concerns reported with the controller cord being too short.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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