Physical exercise is good for mind, body and spirit. Furthermore, sports, and mainly team sports, are good for learning accountability, dedication, and leadership, among many other traits. Putting it all together by playing a sport is a winning combination and this is why it is important to help our body and boost it when being active.
Compression has become popular in the sports world in the past few years. It started with some of the top triathletes wearing medical compression stockings during their events. Since then, all kinds of athletes from Olympic runners to weekend warriors have been wearing compression socks on a regular basis.
Although there is no evidence that compression stockings boost sport performance, studies have shown that wearing compression stockings during exercise helps reduce muscle soreness.
In a study that meant to examine the effect of wearing graduated compression stockings (18-22 mmHg) effect during and after exercises, 14% of athletes who wore compression stockings reported muscle soreness after 24 hours in comparison with 93% of those who didn’t wear compression.
Another study conducted by Dr. John Jakeman has suggested that compression may affect the rate of cellular membrane turnover in damaged muscle following exercise, and alter the inflammatory response to muscle damage, accelerating the repair process.
How do compression stockings work during sports?
Compression stockings provide graduated compression that is tightest at the ankles and gradually less constrictive towards the knees. They assist the calf muscles to perform their pumping action in the veins more efficiently. The better the veins are perfused, the more oxygen and therefore more nutrients, such as magnesium and calcium is supplied to the muscles.
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M. L. (2010, December 10). Compression Gear: Hype of Helpful? Web. http://www.runnersworld.com/rt-web-exclusive/compression-gear-hype-of-helpful
W. Kemmler, S. Von Stengel, C. Kockritz, J. Mayhew, A. Wassermann, and J. Zapf. “Effect of Compression Stockings on Running Performance in Men Runners.” JSPR (2009): 101-05. Web. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19057400>.
Ali A., Caine M.P., Snow B.G. Graduated compression stockings: Physiological and perceptual responses during and after exercise. JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCES VOL. 25 ,