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Compression garments: Do they work?

Most studies look at compression socks during running. Compression garments have been shown to help blood flow to working muscles during exercise, but that necessarily doesn’t translate to better performance. (U.S. Navy photo) Most studies look at compression socks during running. Compression garments have been shown to help blood flow to working muscles during exercise, but that necessarily doesn’t translate to better performance. (U.S. Navy photo)

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Compression garments come in a variety of sleeves, socks, shorts, and full-body suits. The amount of pressure, or compression, they provide depends on the type and size of the garment. Compression garments help push blood toward your heart and prevent it from “pooling” or collecting in the compressed areas. Compression sleeves also are used in clinical settings for those with lymphedema, where blood circulation is poor, or to prevent blood clots.

But can they increase your performance and decrease your recovery times? Compression garments have been shown to help blood flow to working muscles during exercise, but that necessarily doesn’t translate to better performance. Most studies look at compression socks during running, and most evidence suggests no difference in athletes’ performance levels during runs when compared to those not wearing compression socks. In addition, there’s no decrease in recovery time or blood-lactate levels.

Still, those wearing compression socks report “feeling better” and “less tiredness” in their legs during their runs. They also feel less sore following the exercise bout. And while there might not be an actual benefit of wearing compression gear, if you feel better wearing it – either during or after exercise – then keep doing what works!

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

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