Pneumatic Compression Therapy can be used to assist with oedema, poor circulation, ease sore muscles, and athletic recovery (1,2,3).

How does it work?
Pneumatic compression therapy improves recovery by using active compression to accelerate the body´s healing and recovery process by eliminating metabolic waste, decrease inflammation and speed up the delivery of nutrients for repair to the muscles faster than some traditional modes of recovery such as static compression, massage or rest alone (1, 2,3).

Pneumatic compression therapy is sequential (used in sequence) or peristaltic (progressive wave like contractions one zone at a time) and starts in the foot or upper thighs and moves upwards, zone by zone massaging the limb and mobilising fluid out of the extremities. It works in three ways:

  1. Sequential Pulse Technology uses dynamic compression (pulsing) to mimic the muscle pump of the legs and thighs to enhance the movement of fluids and metabolites out of the limbs.
  2. Gradients, use hold pressures to keep fluids being forced in the correct position mimicking the veins and lymphatic vessels that work by having one way valves to prevent fluid backflow.
  3. Distal Release works by releasing the hold pressure in each zone as soon as possible to allow the portion of the limb to gain maximal rest time.

Sessions are recommended for 30 minutes though shorter sessions are available.

Sessions at Tweed Coast Chiropractic Cost: $15 for existing chiropractic patients, $20: for non-chiropractic patients. If you think it could help call us on 02 66744032 or go to our contact page by clicking here.

If you have a medical condition you should always seek advice first from your practitioner as the  following contraindications are listed in the Lymphedema Framework’s international consensus document “Best Practice Guideline for Lymphedema” (4):

  • Non-pitting chronic lymphedema
  • Known or suspected deep vein thrombosis
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Thrombophlebitis
  • Acute inflammation of the skin (erysipelas, cellulitis)
  • Uncontrolled/severe cardiac failure
  • Pulmonary oedema
  • Ischemic vascular disease
  • Active metastatic diseases affecting the edematous region
  • Oedema at the root of the extremity or truncal oedema
  • Severe peripheral neuropathy


  1. Cody T. Haun, Michael D. Roberts, Matthew A. Romero, et al. Concomitant external pneumatic compression treatment with consecutive days of high intensity interval training reduces markers of proteolysis, European Journal of Applied Physiology117, 12, (2587), (2017).
  2. Zaleska M, Olszewski WL, Durlik M. The Effevtivness of Intermittent Pneumatic Compression in Long-Term Therapy of Lymphedema of Lower Limbs. Lymphat Res Biol; 2014 Jun1; 12(2): 103-109
  3. Partsch H, Compression Therapy: Clinical and Experimental Evidence. Ann Vasc Dis.2012; 5(4):416-422
  4. International Best Practice Guideline for Lymphedema (page 35)