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Updated: May 31, 2023

What is a Compression Therapy?

Compression therapy entailing the application of putting air pressure to the lower extremities is a fundamental component in the management of athletes’ recovery and rehabilitation between training sessions or during competitive events. Its main function is to counteract gravity which is a key factor for the disturbance of venous and lymphatic return from the lower extremity.

Compression therapy helps increase blood circulation in the lower legs, ankles, and feet.

What are the types of compression therapy?

There are several types of compression therapy that are commonly used for patients and for athletes for various purposes. Some of the most common types include:

  • Gradient compression: This type of compression therapy applies pressure that is highest at the ankle and gradually decreases towards the top of the leg. Gradient compression is commonly used for treating conditions such as varicose veins, lymphedema, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

  • Sequential compression: This type of compression therapy involves the use of compression devices that inflate and deflate in a specific sequence to help promote circulation and reduce swelling. Sequential compression is commonly used in hospitals and clinics to prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of DVT.

  • Intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC): This type of compression therapy uses a device that applies intermittent pressure to the affected area, typically the legs or arms, to improve circulation and reduce swelling. IPC is commonly used to treat conditions such as lymphedema and venous ulcers.

  • Active compression: This type of compression therapy involves the use of garments or devices that provide mechanical pressure to the affected area during physical activity. Active compression is commonly used by athletes to improve performance and reduce muscle soreness.

What is Normatec compression therapy?

The Normatec boots use pneumatic compression to massage the legs and provide a sequential compression that promotes circulation, reduces swelling, and aids in muscle recovery. Normatec boots are commonly used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts to improve performance, reduce muscle soreness, and speed up muscle recovery after exercise.

How? Why?

During a compression therapy session with Normatec boots, the patient will typically wear the boots for a period of 30 to 60 minutes. The boots will be attached to a control unit that will regulate the compression sequence and pressure. The pressure will increase and decrease in a specific sequence to mimic the body's natural circulatory system and promote the movement of fluids. Normatec provides an enhanced compression therapy experience.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Flushing of lymphatic fluids and lactic acids, helping remove toxins from your muscles

  • Reduced inflammation.

  • Improved circulation

  • Reduced water accumulation.

  • Accelerated recovery and rehabilitation.

For Whom?

Normatec compression boots are used by a wide range of people, including athletes, fitness enthusiasts, people recovering from surgery or injury, and individuals with certain medical conditions. Here are some specific groups of people who can benefit from using Normatec compression boots:

  • Athletes: Normatec boots are often used by athletes to improve recovery time and reduce muscle soreness after intense training or competitions.

  • Fitness enthusiasts: If you regularly participate in high-intensity workouts or endurance training, using Normatec boots can help to speed up your recovery time and reduce muscle soreness.

  • Post-surgery patients: After certain types of surgery, such as joint replacement surgery, patients can use Normatec boots to reduce swelling and promote healing.

  • Individuals with medical conditions: People with certain medical conditions, such as lymphedema or chronic venous insufficiency, can benefit from using Normatec compression boots to improve circulation and reduce swelling.

The Physiology behind compression therapy

(Partsch, 2012) has showed in their study that, Normatec boots cleared blood lactate significantly faster than passive recovery over a 30-minute recovery period. A study by (Kevin Stetter, 2013) with female student-athletes complete a Wingate Test followed by a 20-minute recovery session. Comparing the Intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC), Active recovery and passive recovery. They found that using an IPC device was more effective at clearing blood lactate than passive recovery and just as effective as active recovery.

Increased clearance rate of blood lactate with Normatec is a result of the muscle pump increasing venous return, which would facilitate an increased blood flow to the working muscles (Monedero & Donne, 2000). This increase in blood flow would help to distribute the lactate more quickly to the rest of the body, so it could be metabolized by muscle.

The faster blood lactate clearance with the Normatec boots is most likely due to an increased venous return, consequent to the sequential, pulsating compression provided by the boots. It has previously been shown that both low- and high-pressure pneumatic compression can increase venous return velocity (Malone et al., 1999).


Kevin Stetter, E. H. (2013). An Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Device Reduces Blood Lactate Concentrations More Effectively Than Passive Recovery after Wingate Testing. Journal of Athletic Enhancement, 02(03).

Malone, M. D., Cisek, P. L., Comerota, A. J., Holland, B., Eid, I. G., & Comerota, A. J. (1999). High-pressure, rapid-inflation pneumatic compression improves venous hemodynamics in healthy volunteers and patients who are post-thrombotic. Journal of Vascular Surgery, 29(4), 593–599.

Partsch, H. (2012). Compression Therapy: Clinical and Experimental Evidence. Annals of Vascular Diseases, 5(4), 416–422.

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