Recently, compression socks or sleeves have been gaining popularity among professional and amateur athletes alike. Whether during the event, or as a recovery tool, athletes everywhere are utilizing compression therapy as a regular part of their regime.
The principles of compression are simple. Graduated compression helps to increase blood flow during a workout or during the recovery period, to restore oxygen supply, remove lactic acid and regenerate fatigued muscles.
Studies have been conducted around the use of compression both during and after exercise and the results vary widely. Ali et al (2007) found that there were no significant differences in performance, where as Kemmier et al (2009) noted “significantly improved running performance at different metabolic thresholds”.
Although the research is mixed, and the placebo effect has not been thoroughly ruled out, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from runners all over the world.
What does this mean for the average runner? Compression socks might be a useful tool for your training or recovery. They are a relatively inexpensive piece of equipment to try and there is no evidence to support any negative effects.
Want more information? Contact your Pedorthist today to discuss if compression socks are a good fit for you.
Ali A, Caine MP, Snow BG. Graduated compression stockings: physiological and perceptual responses during and after exercise. J Sports Sci. 2007 Feb 15:25(4):413-419
Kemmier W, vonStengel S, Kockritz C, Mayhew J, Wassermann A, Zapf J. Effect of compression stocking on running performance in men runners. J Strength Cond Res. 2009 Jan;23(1):101-105