Healthcare Technology Featured Article

February 19, 2020

Does Compression Technology Help Performance Recovery?

Compression garments
have become extremely popular in recent years amongst athletes, regular gym-goers, as well as common people. Comfort, aesthetics, and performance recovery are said to be the most important benefits of these garments. Compression garments are used by many athletes to improve performance by recovering quickly. It is claimed that compression garments help improve blood flow, decrease muscle soreness after exercise, and reduce swelling as well as muscle oscillations. Most importantly, it has been noticed that they don’t create any negative impact on performance.

As a result of intensive training and competitions, athletes often end up damaging their muscles. This can very easily lead to a condition known as Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness or DOMS. The use of compression technology is quickly emerging as the leading alternative to staying safe from DOMS.

What are Compression Garments?

A compression garment may be referred to as a type of clothing that is compressive and tight, usually made of elastin and nylon. These garments are used by athletes for quickly recovering from exercise and improving their performance.  Based on the influences they have on the human body, it is believed that these garments are useful for improving recovery and performance.

  • Reduction of post-exercise edema
  • Increase of local blood flow
  • Better removal of waste products
  • Reduced perception of DOMS
  • Reduced muscle oscillation or vibration
  • Reduced concentrated creatine kinase in the body
  • Increased perfusion
  • Increased proprioception or joint awareness
  • Increased oxygen levels in the muscles
  • Reduced perception of fatigue
  • Increased skin temperature

How do Compression Garments Work?

Whenever compression is applied to certain body parts accurately and in a balanced manner, there is acceleration in the blood flow. This accelerated blood flow provides increased oxygen to the working muscles of the body. This, in turn, helps the body get rid of lactic acid as well as other metabolic wastes. The result is not only improved performance but also the ability to maintain a higher level of performance for a longer duration. Moreover, the presence of more oxygen in the blood minimizes the impacts of DOM and speeds up the muscle repairing process.

Application of Compression Therapy:

With an understanding of the underlying technology, let us now find out how compression therapy can be applied. 

  • Compression Boots: Compression boots are the easiest of all applications of compression technology. This post-workout recovery tool is ideally used for 20-30 minutes to quickly flush out lactic acid and other metabolic wastes.
  • Message Therapy: Another excellent alternative is to get a sports massage from a therapist trained in neuromuscular or deep tissue massage. As the therapist performs a lymphatic type of massage, there will be the removal of metabolic waste. Also, the trigger points and tight muscles causing pain will be relieved by neuromuscular massage.
  • Compression Clothing: Training in compression clothing helps improve proprioception as well as sensory feedback. By continuing to wear clothing after training, it is possible to get relief from inflammation.

Do Compression Garments Work?

To a great extent, the answer to this question is yes. Experts suggest that compression garments may help reduce Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness by utilizing the veinous return system. As far as damage to the muscles is concerned, CK or creatine kinase functions as a biomarker. It has been observed that compression garments and other compression technologies can effectively decrease the concentration of CK. This improves the process of waste removal and accelerates the repairing of muscle tissues.

Compression garments may also improve the awareness of joint position or proprioception because while exercising, the external pressure reduces oscillations or vibrations in the muscles by acing on skin receptors. This aids post-workout recovery because the damage to the muscle tissues is less.

If you want to find out more about compression socks, please visit the experts at SockWell.   


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