What is vacuum therapy?
IVT (Intermittent Vacuum Therapy) is born as a treatment reserved for NASA astronauts : Having to spend several hours in the absence of gravity, in fact, the risk of orthostatic complications is very high and the application of negative pressure is an excellent measure to ensure the correct blood flow to the lower portion of the body.
Since NASA developed the Lower Body Negative Pressure Device (LBNPD)-that is, the tools for the application of this treatment-vacuum therapy has been borrowed from sports medicine and not, in order to foster post-intervention rehabilitation and blood circulation.
What does vacuum therapy need to be?
Intermittent vacuum therapy (IVT) is indicated in the medical domain for the treatment of :
- Post-operative or post-traumatic swelling
- Secondary Linfedema and lymphedema / combined lipedema
- Wounds to structural ligaments in the lower extremity of the body
- Strips of muscle fibres
- Peripheral arterial occlusion (PAOD)
- Chronic venous insufficiency
In addition, it is also used in the case of rehabilitation following the application of endoprosthetics ; revascularization and cardiovascular stimulation, the latter useful especially for sportsmen and older people.
Vacuum therapy contraindications
There are cases in which it is preferable to avoid these kinds of treatments. In particular, in case of pregnancy, ongoing infections, thromboflebites and thrombosis drips, it is always good to contact your doctor before you start your therapy.
How is the treatment of vacuum therapy
The patient, after lying down, is introduced inside an LBNPD, generally a tube, with the lower part of the body being sealed at the height of the chest with an elastic diaphragm. The machinery exerts a low negative pressure at regular intervals. The duration of a session can range from 30 to 45.
Vacuum therapy benefits
Thanks to the application of this light pressure, the circulation of blood in legs and abdomen is stimulated. In reaction to this change, the body improves its peripheral vascular resistance, the blood flow transports more oxygen to the lower limbs thanks to the stimulation given by the alternation of positive and negative pressure.
In the normal pressure phase, venous and lymphatic circulation are facilitated : this leads to increased lymphodrainage to facilitate the expulsion of excess excess liquids in our body. The lymphatic drainage is also used in beauty&wellness to limit water retention and favor the disappearance of cellulite.
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After how long can I see the first results?
The first benefits of vacuumtherapy can be experienced already after the first 4/5 sessions ; however, in order to fully appreciate the effects, they are needed between 8/10 sessions.
Is it a painful treatment?
No, the pressure can be felt at first, but then the sensation vanishes because the body fits the treatment.
Is there a maximum age limit?
No, vacuumtherapy can be used at any age. In fact, it is a very widespread treatment in the geriatric area as well. The discriminant for the choice of this solution is the presence of pathologies or issues indicated within the section "When not to undergo vacuumtherapy".
Is it true that vacuumtherapy favours a faster recovery?
Yes. According to a study conducted by the Priorov Central Institute for Traumatology and Orthopaedy in Moscow on 30 patients who underwent meniscus arthroscopy surgery, people who followed a post-operative pathway with vacuumtherapy saw a much more rapid reabsorption of oedema (3.5 days of media) and suffered less during subsequent rehabilitation.