Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Study Spotlight: The Effects of Compression Garment Pressure on Recovery after Exercise

By: Joel Luedke

Utilizing compression has been something we have been a big fan of for awhile.  When we have referenced it before as we talked about general recovery as well as helping to control extra inflammation.  This is especially true when it comes to traveling and helping your body continue to evacuate extra swelling and preventing it from pooling in your lower legs.  We have no used it a lot for recovery from exercise and performance and that is what this study takes a look at specifically.  Could there be another great use for compression?

What They Did:
Forty five (45) participants were in this study and they were matched for body mass and randomly but equally divided into a high-compression group, low-compression group and a sham ultrasound group.  In the compression groups the participants worse the garments for 72h post exercise while participants in the sham group received a 10 min sham ultrasound.  The muscle damage protocol consisted 5 sets of 20 depth drop jumps.
The following measures were assed before the exercise protocol and again at 1, 24, 48 and 72h post-exercise.

  • Perceived muscle soreness
  • Maximal voluntary contraction (MVC)
  • Countermovement jump height (CMJ)
  • Creatine kinase (CK)
  • C-reactive protein (CRP)
  • Myoglobin (Mb)

What They Found:
Recovery of maximal voluntary contraction and counter movement jump height was significantly improved with the high compression garments.  A significant time by treatment interaction was also observed fro jump height at 24h post exercise.  There were no significant differences observed for parameters of soreness and plasma CK, CRP and MB.

What It All Means:
As we mentioned above, compression garments have been used for along time in recovery from injury and the control and movement of inflammation.  This study now gives more supportive evidence to show that you could utilize the same compression to help you recovery from strenuous exercise.  The benefits that compression could provide you is restoring muscle function faster which can allow for increased performance if there was a repeat bout of exercise needed for competition, practice, and/or training.

These results are promising in the fact that utilizing compression is very simple and relatively inexpensive on the spectrum of options when it comes to aiding recovery.  A good pain of compression socks or leg sleeves can be purchased for $30-$50 and they last for quite a long time if cared for.  If you're looking to try and get your performance back quicker we highly recommend taking a look at using compression along with using it for other benefits throughout the day or with travel.

Mueller Compression Socks
Mueller Compression Leg Sleeves

Source: Hill, J.  The Effects of Compression-Garment Pressure on Recovery After Strenuous Exercise.

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