Sale Sharks recover faster with Isobar

John Kirkpatrick of Sale Sharks talks about how his players have recovered significantly from training and games this season after wearing Isobar Compression custom-fit compression technology.

"Isobar use the most innovative technology when it comes to tailoring the compression garments to each individual athlete. Isobar use a 3D scanning machine to attain a perfect fit for each leg. This process ensures that the correct pressures are applied to the ankle, calf and quadriceps. This process means each athlete has a bespoke garment that is a perfect fit ensuring maximum performance in recovery.

"Isobar came into the club and provided the squad with an excellent presentation highlighting the optimal compression the garments provide in comparison with other market leading brands. They show cased the technology they use to attain the correct and accurate compression as well as sharing feedback and early research on the performance of both the calf socks and the full-length tights.

"The squad at Sale Sharks has really benefitted from wearing the garments. They have found that by wearing the garments after games and training sessions have significantly improved recovery times. We have also noticed that recovery has improved in their jump scores post game (fatigue test we use) as well as an improved score on their wellbeing survey (questionnaire on player health).

"I have personally found Isobar to be an excellent product. The ongoing support they have offered the squad has been first class. They have supplied replacement garments when necessary and have provided 3D scanning for new players within a very short time frame.

"I would recommend this product to any athlete/sports teams as I feel the garments have really helped in achieving faster recovery times allowing the players to train harder on a daily and weekly basis. The Isobar garments are an essential tool for each player’s recovery protocol and having used Isobar with the entire squad for the entire season, I am in no doubt that, they are the market leaders in sports compression garments."

Varicose veins pose 5x risk of DVT

People with varicose veins are 5x more likely to suffer deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), according to new research published this week. The study of 425,000 people suggests the condition should be considered a major red flag that someone is at risk of DVT or PE (pulmonary embolism).

Every year in the UK 67,000 people suffer a DVT and it is important that people understand their risk during situations that increase DVT risk, such as immobility through surgery or prolonged travel. Between 2-10% of people flying more than 4 hours without wearing well-fitting flight socks suffer a symptomless DVT.

You can read more in this article: 

Isobar supplies custom-fit compression to people flying regularly, those with vascular conditions and athletes to increase blood return through the calf, which in turn reduces the risk of blood clotting.

Why elite athletes should wear medical compression

By Prof Charles McCollum, MB ChB, FRCS, MD, Head of Academic Surgery and Professor of Vascular Surgery in the Institute of Cardio-Vascular Research, University of Manchester. Expert in Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE).

Elite sportsmen and women who travel frequently or on long-haul flights are at particular risk of suffering deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE). A DVT may destroy their carer in sport. A third of all PEs are fatal.

Many people develop small calf vein DVTs following a long haul trip abroad (Scurr et al, 2001). Sitting still for over four hours or repeated flights in a month allows small DVT to grow and spread into the major deep veins. Once a DVT is large enough to cause symptoms, there will have been permanent damage to the valves in the deep veins of the leg. The result may be long-term swelling with pain on standing, walking and running.

For elite athletes at their peak, this vein damage would normally ruin their careers. This risk is higher following a sporting event or strenuous training session as the calf muscle may be swollen and inflamed following vigorous exercise making DVT more likely.

Falling asleep on the plane after a sporting event or a strenuous training session increases this risk markedly as it causes profound venous stasis in the leg increasing the risk further. Athletes who do this take an unacceptable risk with their future career. A third of PEs are fatal, depriving the family of their principle bread winner.

Research shows higher levels of risk

Asymptomatic calf vein DVT (diagnosed by ultrasound but not big enough to cause symptoms) can be detected in 10% of people completing two 8 hour flights within a month (The Lancet 2001).

Elite athletes have larger calves with big veins to carry the high blood flows of peak exercise, but which cause slow blood flow on sitting still (venous stasis). I have seen many athletes with large calves who developed disabling DVT during coach or aeroplane journeys or simply after falling asleep in a chair.

In a much larger study, symptomatic larger DVTs developed in 1% of people travelling 4+ hours by aircraft (Hughes et al 2003). These patients are likely to have permanent disabilities as a result of these more extensive DVTs.

Repeated flying encourages small asymptomatic calf DVTs to develop into major clots throughout the veins of the leg. In a very large study recruiting thousands of patients, flying for more than 4 hours twice in 8 weeks more than doubled the risk of symptomatic or damaging DVT compared to a single flight (Kuipers et al 2007, McCallum et al 2011). Flying 3 or 4 times in 8 weeks increases the risk more than fourfold; 5 times or more increases the risk more than seven fold.

NHS advises wearing compression that fits

The NHS offers the following advice for long-haul travellers: “It's vital that compression stockings are measured and worn correctly. Ill-fitting stockings could further increase the risk of DVT” (NHS Choices. Prevent DVT when you travel).

It is important to note that independent research shows that standard ‘off-the-shelf’ elastic stockings often do not fit and, in some cases, create a bigger risk.

  • 54% failed to achieve an acceptable pressure gradient
  • 20% had reversed gradients – increasing the risk of DVT
  • High-pressure bands cause swelling of the foot and ankle, frequent when flying (K Bowling et al 2015 and A. J. Best et al 2000).

Isobar Compression works with Olympic athletes, professional rugby teams and US colleges and professional teams to offer custom-fit compression for travel.

Why custom-fit flight socks are a must for business travel

Duty of care is a top-three issue for travel managers globally as increasing regulations and security means companies need to ensure their employees are safe when travelling, as well as in the office.

For many, this means considering how to support employees if a security incident occurs but did you know flying employees are more likely to suffer a blood clot while travelling than be involved in a security incident?

1 in 10 people taking a return long-haul flight within a month (4+ hours) will suffer an asymptomatic DVT; a blood clot without symptoms. Immobility through sitting for long period on flights or during coach travel causes the blood to pool in the legs meaning a clot can form, which in extreme cases can be life threatening if the clot travels to the lungs.

A blood clot spells bad news for the employee and their employer: long-term symptoms are common and the employee won’t be able to fly for up to six months, as well as needing two weeks – three months off work to recover.

Professor McCollum, Lawyer Monthly Vascular Expert of the Year 2016 & 2017, comments: “This is a largely avoidable risk. DVT, which is the inevitable precursor to a life-threatening Pulmonary Embolism, can be prevented by well-fitted elastic socks, good hydration, taking aspirin 300 mg with food before flying where this is not contraindicated and by exercising the calf muscles during the flight.”

Isobar Compression produces comfortable and effective flight socks, using a 3D scan of the employee’s limbs to capture an exact picture from which the socks are finely knitted to ensure an exact fit. Independently proven to last 100 washes, they give the employer and the employee peace of mind over travel health – and our customers tell us they reduce jet lag too.

Call us on 02476 284041 to discuss how we can help your business protect its employees with safe travel in 2018.

Making a difference to patients through innovation

By James Sopper, Chief Technical Officer at Isobar Compression

Our foundation is in innovation, bringing together 3D imaging with leading textile manufacturing to create our custom-fit Isobar Compression garments. We offer a premium experience to our customers and patients – premium service through in-person scanning at their home, office or preferred clinic to premium quality in manufacturing.

It’s important that we keep that premium service and innovation fresh, so my job is to ensure our imaging and production processes are constantly refined. We’ve recently launched a new 3D scanner in the field following feedback from our sales team and clinical partners.

Our existing scanner worked well for able-bodied people and for lower leg compression. But from our work with University Hospital of South Manchester and other medical clinics, we know there is a need for a scanner for patients who cannot stand for long – the elderly, those suffering with leg ulcers or the morbidly obese. We needed a scanner that would work for a patient sitting or lying down.

Plus, a lot of clinicians we work with wanted full leg scanning for thigh-length, custom-fit compression so we needed to change the range of the scans to capture an image of the whole leg. We’ve changed our scanner to a hand-held unit which allows the person scanning to move around a stable limb taking a 3D picture of the whole leg or arm.

When making these refinements, we’ve also managed to cut down the time of the imaging. 18 months ago, when I first started working for Isobar, the scanning process would take two minutes for each leg whereas now it takes just 10 seconds per limb. The software is surprisingly simple to use with a touch screen control.

We have many different people using the scanners across the globe, from strength and conditioning and performance staff in the sports world, to nurses in clinics. It’s so easy to use that one of our partner clinics have trained up the IT manager and receptionist to scan at busy times.

My background is in aeronautical engineering, designing and building pressure measurement systems for racing yachts and producing medical-grade devices where I have learned about quality control, regulations and traceability of parts. With Isobar Compression, I enjoy that such a simple piece of equipment can make such a difference to quality of life for so many people. A lot of medical devices for scanning cost millions of pounds, yet we can relatively cheaply make a real difference through our technology. We could save the NHS millions of pounds and have a real impact on self-care, which is an exciting proposition for us.

How Isobar helped my ankle injury recovery

Practice Manager Viv Taylor turned to Isobar Compression to reduce her ankle swelling after being in plaster for a fractured ankle. Here she explains how she wore Isobar Compression socks under her Aircast boot to allow earlier rehabilitation.

I leapt out of bed one evening to help my husband, who was unwell. My blood pressure must have been low as I fainted, collapsing to the floor and hurting my ankle.  I was in a great deal of pain and went to A&E, where I was diagnosed with a fractured tibia and fibula; vertical fractures going down into the heel.  The Consultant told me it was an unusual fracture and wanted to pin it, although he thought it was 50/50 whether surgery would improve the outcome. I’d had some health problems earlier in the year requiring surgery, so didn’t want further surgery if it wasn’t absolutely necessary. 

I work as a Practice Manager and have worked in healthcare for a long time, so I have reasonable understanding of care. I asked for an Aircast boot, rather than a cast, but was advised that with the type of fracture I’d sustained it would need to be in plaster for at least five weeks.

I work for Professor Charles McCollum (Vascular Surgeon) who was part of the team that created Isobar’s bespoke compression socks. He recommended I should have my leg scanned for a compression sock to fit the left leg, for DVT prophylaxis while I was immobilised with the fractured right ankle.  Isobar came to my house to perform the scan, which was an excellent service as I was having difficulty getting out of the house.

Five weeks later, when the plaster cast was removed, my right ankle hadn’t healed quite as well as the doctors had hoped; but they did now agree to me having an Aircast boot. I asked if I could put a compression sock on under the boot to improve both the swelling and the venous return. The hospital team weren’t happy to agree this as they weren’t aware of the technology (I have since shared the research with them) so, having spoken to Professor McCollum, I put the sock on myself when I got home.

I have some experience of compression stockings as I used to be a midwife and have often struggled to assist women into the traditional TED stockings.  The Isobar stockings are so much easier! They aren’t restrictive like traditional compression stockings.

Immediate results

In the first ten days of wearing the Isobar sock on my injured right ankle the circulation and swelling improved considerably. It was very comfortable to wear under the boot. The enormous advantage was that I could remove the boot to perform my physiotherapy exercises, improving the movement in the ankle joint considerably.

I will be wearing the Isobar socks for a while, until my ankle is back to normal. The black colour of the sock is perfect and they are not nearly as irritating as other compression socks. I have considerable experience with TED stockings and, although the Isobar socks are much more expensive, I think they are superior and would recommend them to other ankle fracture sufferers.

Can Isobar custom-fit compression help you? Get in contact now.

How Isobar Compression is helping me with leg ulcer recovery

Alex Grannum contacted Isobar Compression when he couldn't find prescription compression to fit. Here he explains how Isobar custom-fit compression is helping him with venous leg ulcer prevention and recovery.

I’m 52 years old and I live in Southampton. Back in July 2016, I was prescribed compression socks after having been found to have a venous ulcer on my right ankle. I began receiving treatment through antibiotics and four-layer bandages to heal the ulcer. The doctors suggested that surgery was inevitable.

I was given a prescription and told to get compression socks to prevent my left leg suffering the same. I would have to wait for my right leg to heal before I could use the stocking on both feet.

I took the prescription to my local pharmacy and asked for the biggest size socks but they didn’t fit. My wife shopped around and couldn’t find any either. You see, I’m 6ft 7ins and have size 15 feet. There was nothing available that would fit me.

Out of desperation, I found a phone number on the socks I bought and enquired for a larger size. They suggested I contact Isobar Compression. Having googled them, they assured me that they could help me. I can’t describe the wave of relief that came over me. After some discussion, they came to my home, scanned my legs and soon after my socks arrived in the post.

Reassurance and comfort

The socks are fantastic. Sometimes I forget they’re actually on my feet. They are so comfortable and it’s reassuring knowing they’re helping pump the blood back to my heart. I have a friend with the same problem who’s wearing prescribed compression and he cannot believe the quality of my Isobar socks.

Two weeks ago the wound on my right ankle finally healed. As I’m nearly at the end of the treatment, I’m looking forward to finally wearing the other Isobar sock instead of the four-layer bandage, which has been very uncomfortable.

I was told I’d have to wear compression socks for the rest of my life but I don’t mind as I know they will prevent the ulcers appearing again.




Partner scanning centres in Dubai launched

We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Mediclinic City Hospital and Mediclinic Dubai Mall who will become official Isobar Scanning Centres, providing scanning for the world’s most precise 3D manufactured compression garments.

Over 70 million travellers fly via Dubai each year, with many traveling for 4 hours (long-haul) or more to reach their destination. A recent YouGov survey showed many UK passengers are unaware that 1 in 25 will develop DVT. The NHS recommends passengers wear well-fitting compression to reduce this DVT risk.

Isobar produces exact-fit compression garments clinically proven to increase blood return to the heart. This reduces the risk of DVT during long-haul flights as blood clots are less likely to happen.

Professor Charles McCollum, Professor of Surgery and Head of Academic Surgery at the University of Manchester and Isobar Chief Medical Advisor, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mediclinic City Hospital and Mediclinic Dubai Mall as Isobar Scanning Centres in Dubai. Isobar Compression delivers the precise pressures needed for each indication, whether increasing performance and recovery for elite athletes, DVT prevention, or treating lymphedema and leg ulcers. This cannot be achieved by any existing compression stocking or bandaging system and Mediclinic City Hospital and Mediclinic Dubai Mall Medical Centre will be able to exclusively offer this service to their customers.” 

Customers can book their 3D scan under Dr Taohid Oshodi FRCS at the Vascular Clinic at both Mediclinic City Hospital and Mediclinic Dubai Mall Medical Centre by contacting or phoning the numbers below.

Mediclinic City Hospital

Mediclinic Dubai Mall
+97144495111 / +971529084047