Compression For Wound Healing

Some “Why” to “why does Hidez compression help in healing?” – 

When faced with an injury, get a compression garment on it as quickly as possible to increase circulation and to “trap” the fluids and tissue coming from the wound site to begin the healing process: 

Wounds heal best with good blood supply to the site. To see the converse of this principle, take for example, a diabetic wound: lacking a good blood supply by definition, this type of wound, usually an ulcer in an extremity, has difficulty healing due to the fact that as new tissue tries to grow, bacteria take over. Now consider a cut inside of the mouth or rectum, where the basic principles of healing are also compromised. Bacteria are present in this instance also. Tissue is moist and in constant motion, and no bandages can be utilized. Topical medication is not easily applicable, yet, the wound will heal in three days to four weeks, depending on its size. Why? Because mucous membrane tissue has a prolific blood supply.

I believe this to be the basis principle of wound care. In over 40 years of treating catastrophic wounds, I have never seen an infection occur under any solid bed of granulation tissue (new connective tissue) unless a piece of necrotic bone or a foreign object was present. Again, to use the example of diabetes: When a sterile wound won’t heal, it’s necessary to amputate. Horses with this condition often face euthanasia. So is granulation tissue public enemy number one in wound care or is it the body’s effort to bring (a mucous membrane type tissue) blood supply to the wound site?

Platelets: The Way Toward Healing

Most experts would agree that the most beneficial agent at a wound site is platelets, most obviously for blood clotting, but also in the release growth factors at the wound site. These factors take charge of directing the entire cell activity at the wound (not just clotting blood). We know there are at least 50 growth factors in human platelets, but we haven’t determined the number in horse blood platelets yet. So there is more to be learned.

Blood platelets can be concentrated in the form of a gel. I have applied this concentrated gel to fresh wounds, even at bone level. A key factor in healing wounds is time: The sooner the platelet and healing agents are applied to the wound the quicker the new tissue begins to grow. Trapping the fluids, serum, and cells that came out of the tissue at a new wound site is very important to starting tissue to regenerate. Washing the wound with water and soap and depleting the wound site of the cells (platelets, growth factors) is actually killing the cells and therefore not a good idea. Under the guise of removing bacteria and contamination, Mother Nature’s best tools for wound healing are removed. A great alternative is using a non-cytotoxic wound wash that kills bacteria and fungus at the wound site without killing tissue. It is available to horse owners under the brand name Eclipse Wound Wash and to veterinarians as Lacerum Wound Wash. Now with an antibacterial, antifungal, non-cytotoxic wound wash, combined with a natural product in blood that organizes the cells at the wound site and speeds up healing rates, the healing can begin, along with the following regimen.

Complete article can be found here: http://holistichorse.com/health-care/healing-catastrophic-wounds/

Why Hidez Compression Socks or Suit over Elastic Bandages or Standing Wraps?

Many horses restricted to being stabled will suffer from stable fill, or swollen legs. When they start to walk again, the lymphatic retraction process normalises and lymph starts to move out of the limb. As swollen legs in horses are generally not considered an illness, many owners will try to reduce swelling by using stable bandages over some form of padding. However, what really happens is that the swelling is pushed through the superficial lymphatic vessels to higher up the leg, and gives the illusion of having dispersed. In 2006 a large veterinary study was undertaken to examine the effect of different types of bandaging on the lymphatic vessels of the lower leg. This involved injecting a continuous stream of dye into the lymphatic vessels of horses under sedation and x-raying the effects.

Horses bandaged with the elasticated bandages were found to have significantly impeded lymph flow, compared to those bandaged with specially designed compression bandages. This is due to there being no muscles below the knee and hock to provide protection to these vessels and they end up being squeezed to such a point that they can no longer function properly. Horses’ tendons have been shown to contain a high density of lymphatic vessels as compared to blood vessels, so it is vital that these are not constricted. This highlights the need for further increased awareness of the clinical effects of bandaging on lymphatic performance. The authors of the study recommended that in the future, the materials and construction of both veterinary and equine sports bandages be reconsidered, due to the detrimental effect that elasticated bandages have on the deep lymphatic vessels.

COMPARING BANDAGES

An interesting study compared the influence of traditional bandaging material with elastic compression garments on lymph flow in horse’s legs. Ten horses with a tendency for swollen legs were examined under sedation with lymphangiography. Movement of a continuous subdermal injection of x-ray contrast fluid through the lymph vessels of the horse’s legs was seen to stop with the use of traditional bandages, but maintained normal flow with the elastic compression garments (4).

The use of elastic compression exerts mechanical pressure on the skin surface stimulating circulation, rather than contributing to circulatory stasis. Equine compression garments offer evenly graded compression through fabric woven specifically for vascular support. The medical benefits of this type of elastic compression have been proven in human edema therapeutics. Few medical interventions produce so dramatic an effect for so little expense and effort.

A properly applied compression leg garment is the single most effective way to control the painful accumulation of fluid.

– see full article comparing compression wear to elastic bandages

Why Drainage of the Lymphatic System is Important:

Because of their size and anatomy, horses have a very complex lymphatic system extending through their entire body parallel to the blood circulation system. The lymphatic system supports their body’s immune system. A horse has about 8,000 lymph nodes distributed throughout their entire body; humans have only about 400 to 600. Lymph nodes clean and detoxify lymphatic fluid given off from blood vessels in the horse’s body.

Overall, a horse’s lymph flow is relatively slow and kept up especially through movements. If a horse has to stand still for a prolonged period of time, stasis may occur in the lymphatic system, and legs may swell. To support the lymphatic system in such cases, the Hidez compression suit or compression socks may be used in addition to movement of lymph drainage.

Attention: Only use compression wear if the horse has no fever!

For the horse’s health and well-being, it is important that the lymphatic system works well.

More articles on how the Lymphatic system affects the horse:

HOW THE EQUINE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM AFFECTS THE HEALTH OF THE HORSE- see full article