The doctors just recently recommended me getting a Jovipak, because the tissue in my lower legs seemed to becoming harder and harder despite of exercise, compression stockings and lying in the compression pump. I have now used my Jovipak for a few months and so far the results have been very interesting.
You can read more about the Jovipak below.
- What is a Jovipak?
- The use of a Jovipak
- Wash and dry
- My experience so far with the Jovipak
What is a Jovipak?
The Jovipak is (usually) used as a way of giving your limbs with lymphedema the compression effect during the night. Night compression is normally not necessary unless you have a tricky/difficult lymphedema.
The Jovipak is considered to be a supplement to compression stockings and is used when the person with lymphedema experiences problems with his or her tissue becoming hard and where is it difficult to control the lymphedema with just the regular aids, as stockings.
The idea of the Jovipak is that the foam in it can help soften hard tissue and increase the drainage of the lymph fluids. When the foam is pressed down into the tissue, it will give a sort of massage of the limbs.
Jovipak exists in many different shapes and for different areas of the body; you can get it for the face, the arms, legs, genitals and for the chest area.
The use of a Jovipak
The best effect of the Jovipak is said to be when patients use it around 8 hours a day (as in: while they are sleeping at night). But if you have difficulty falling asleep or difficulty sleeping through the night wearing the Jovipak, it is adviced to wear it during the evening hours when sitting in your couch instead.
Besides the Jovipak itself, you will usually receive a black “jacket” for the Jovipak. The jacket is supposed to be worn on the outside of the Jovipak, as a sort of extra pressure and to give extra compression effect. I have been recommended to sleep with just the Jovipak the first 2 days after washing the blue Jovipak and then on the 3rd to the 6th day wear the jacket over the Jovipak as well. However, I feel a much bigger effect of the Jovipak wearing the jacket every night, so that is what I do. The Jovipak is generally not as tight around my legs when I do not wear the jacket and the Jovipak then also has a tendency to slide down a bit on my thighs which lessens the effect on my thighs.
It can be difficult to sleep properly when you are wearing the Jovipak. In my case it has been a matter of getting used to wearing those huge blue legs during the night – and now I do not have any trouble sleeping while wearing them.
You should expect it to get very warm during the night. The “enclosure” of your legs in the special foam will generally have a tendency to warm up your entire body. I myself do not wear any night clothes when I sleep in the Jovipak as a result of it simply getting to hot for me if I do.
In relation to how long you can use the same Jovipak, I have been informed to expect to have to get a replacement every 2 years. This is probably also a matter of how often you actually use the Jovipak, how often you dry it in the dryer and how your lymphedema is acting; if the measurements are suddenly much smaller than when you first got the Jovipak, you might need to get a new one that fits your updated measurements.
Wash and dry
I have been given the following instructions in relation to the washing and drying of my Jovipak:
- Wash the Jovipak every 6th day.
- It can be washed on 30 degrees Celsius.
- You can dry the Jovipak in your dryer. This is actually good for the foam in the Jovipak. The downside, however, is that the life of the Jovipak might be shortened because the machine drying tears it more.
My experience so far with the Jovipak
The first few months I had my Jovipak, I experienced a lot of trouble sleeping (not related to the Jovipak). Because wearing the Jovipak – and getting used to wearing it – made it more difficult to sleep, I did not wear it very often those first few months. Instead I wore it at a maximum of twice a week.
When I wore the Jovipak only a few a times a week, I was a bit disapointed with the effect of it (even though I know I probably should not have expected much since I did not wear it every night as instructed). There was no doubt – judging on the marks on my legs in the morning – that the Jovipak had been massaging my legs all night, but it did not seem to have an actual effect on my legs in relation to bettering my measurements or softening the tissue.
When I began to sleep to better at night, I started wearing the Jovipak 4-5 nights a week. Suddenly it seemed that the Jovipak actually had an effect on my lymphedema. It felt like my legs was getting a bit thinner and that the hard tissue was actually softened (which I was very surprised about since the hard tissue has been there for about 5 years).
At this point it is still relatively new for me to wear the Jovipak practically every night, so I cannot give my final judgement just yet. But so far the results seems to be quite good when you wear the Jovipak almost every night.