18 Jan Research on Compression Wear for Recovery and Performance
So what’s all the fad about? Well compression socks do help improve blood flow and imrove lymph drainage from the lower leg. This is especially important for injury recovery from any soft tissue injuries to the lower leg. The goal is to reduce inflammation and edema and compression socks are a great recovery aid to imroving lymph flow and circulation. Compression socks may also help to dampen the muscle vibration that occurs during vigorous exercise, although much of the research points to compression socks being more effective for recovery than improving performance. The amount of compression matters. In their study, Byrne et al. found 20mmHg at the ankle improved blood flow, while 30mmHg restricted blood flow at rest (Byrne et al. 2001). For performance and recovery: A compression sock that provides 15–20mmHg & 20–30mmHg of compression is recommended. What’s the Big Take Home Message? Compression socks used as recovery, worn at night do help improve blood flow and likely can reduce post workout muscle soreness. Research Compression does improve venous flow. Byrne et. al 2001 Byrne, B. (2001) Deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis: the effectiveness and implications of using below-knee or thigh-length graduated compression stockings. Heart and Lung 30, 277-284. During exercise, the research is mixed. Ali et al. (2007) found that no performance or changes in physiological parameters occurred during or after a 10k run. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2013 Jan;8(1):4-18. Bringing light into the dark: effects of compression clothing on performance and recovery. Born DP, Sperlich B, Holmberg HC.Source Dept of Sport Science, University of Wuppertal, Wuppertal, Germany. Click here for resources on compression wear Sigvarisusa Compression and Diabetes and blood clot (deep vein thrombosis) prevention Results from the LONFLIT4-Concorde study are the most relevant to diabetic patients. Conducted by the A San Valentino Vascular Screening Project in Chieti, Italy, the study evaluated edema during seven to eight hours flights and whether it could be controlled with compression stockings (20 to 30 mmHg). There were 144 subjects (74 in the stocking group and 76 in the control group), all of whom had edema-associated microangiopathy from diabetes, venous hypertension, or anti-hypertensive treatment. The level of edema was comparable in the two groups at baseline. Post-flight, the stocking group’s average edema score was three times lower than in the control group (P < 0.05). Also, there were no cases of DVT in the stocking group, compared to a 3% incidence in the control group. The level of compression was well tolerated in both groups. The results were published in the March-April 2003 issue of Angiology.