On Compression Gear
Sep 7, 2015 at 8:20 am #1332366
I'm sure people know what they like, but here is an article from earlier this year: link to article: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/03/30/392378800/compression-clothing-not-the-magic-bullet-for-performance link to research article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24911991 Even though you see 90% of people wearing compression tights in Japan, even in the extreme humid and hot summer, I never heard any sports physical therapist here say they are beneficial. Like in the article, they often say if you use compression gear, it might be helpful for recovery.Sep 7, 2015 at 1:33 pm #2225408Andrew USpectator
@anarkhosLocale: Colorado, Wyoming
Just another fad, trying to squeeze more money out of runners. Gear companies are very good at selling products for a sport that only really requires shoes. Yeah, I've read other places as well that compression has limited uses in recovery but virtally no point to wear while running. I was at a half marathon today and it seemed that maybe a third to half of the women were wearing compression socks, at least that I noticed. Very few men. Is it just more of a fashion thing? I've noticed most female runners here in Colorado wear an awful lot of extra crap compared to the men I see.Sep 7, 2015 at 2:04 pm #2225411Jake DBPL Member
To me they make a bit of sense for AFTER. lots of pro cyclists use socks for after training/race days and during bus rides and flights. Same as with diabetic socks they improve blood flow while seated. When you are moving there should be no problem with blood flow. good marketing and product placement in things like Tough Mudder, crossfit, triathlon etc that people think it helps.Sep 7, 2015 at 7:46 pm #2225481Sep 7, 2015 at 7:52 pm #2225484
Jake, I had very sore Tibialis Anterior muscles for a couple of weeks and I don't know if circulation was improved or not (I mean that literally, could be, I just don't know). The calf sleeves did seem to help with the muscle pain while speed hiking and running and especially on down hills. It felt like the compression gear kept the muscle compact/in place and was shaking less, relieving some of the pain.Sep 7, 2015 at 8:27 pm #2225494Jake DBPL Member
That is more support for the muscle during the activity. I don't see how the calf sleeves do any circulation change since they are open at both ends. also normal muscle contractions circulate blood. For long periods of sitting blood pools in your feet so the socks can help keep pressure down there to prevent it from pooling. for ant. Tib pain you should think about stretching your calves.. when they are tight it makes the front have to work harder to pick up your toes.Sep 7, 2015 at 10:26 pm #2225512Tom D.BPL Member
@dafiremedicLocale: Southern California
Some compression stuff has a legitimate use, diabetics for one as was mentioned. Calf sleeves have helped me in my recovery from a muscle injury to the lateral head. I don't see how they would help performance at all, but they do seem to provide support for a healing muscle.Sep 8, 2015 at 11:42 am #2225592Jordo _99BPL Member
My brother has a masters degree in Sports Medicine and is very knowledgeable and well read on studies like this…I talk with him about this kind of stuff quite a bit and this exact topic came up a few years ago…he said this: "It can help for recovery but they're overpriced and getting plenty of rest/water has a much bigger impact than anything else." For what it's worth, he was working with professional soccer (futbol) players at the time who used "recovery boots", which work on a similar principle but are far more advanced. http://www.recoverypump.com/recovery-boots-w-integrated-hoses There are similar products as well…these were just the first that came to mind. Since we're talking about fastpacking, which tends to deprive us of sleep/rest it might have a bigger impact. I'd think that if nothing else, it would help with the issues of swollen legs that some people get at altitude. I'll try to ask him about this the next time we talk (next few days) and post back what he says.Sep 8, 2015 at 12:24 pm #2225605Allen CBPL Member
White Compression sleeves plus running shorts are great for fastpacking and long runs. They provide much of the warmth and sun protection of tights with better airflow and breathability in warm/sunny/constantly changing conditions. I like the CEP brand as they are thin and light and breathe better than others I've tried. For me these benefits are more important than the compression. The compression does seem to provide some reduction of soreness in long efforts (for me anyway), probably due more to support than bloodflow. I have 2 sizes, I use the tighter ones for running and the looser ones for fastpacking.Sep 10, 2015 at 7:34 am #2225883Jordo _99BPL Member
I spoke to my brother again yesterday regarding compression (specifically it's application to fast packing) and his opinion seems to have changed. The gist of it was that he seemed to have changed his mind a bit in terms of how effective compression was…To be fair to him, I was quoting him from a time when it was still fairly new–when Allen Iverson was still playing in the NBA and appeared to be a "pioneer" of compression sleaves. That would've also been while he was still an undergrad too. In regards to fastpacking, he said it would definitely have an impact at altitude; He also mentioned that it's becoming common for elite athletes to wear compression on plane flights now as well. When I asked about that he said it was more to do with them being in tune with their bodies and the level to which their pushed; It's benefits are less tangible for someone like myself who's simply in shape and not exercising at the highest levels. Anyway, I hope that helps. I was expecting him to say it would help at altitude but was a bit surprised that his opinion had changed overall like it id. He's not only opened up to the idea but seemed to be promoting it a bit (he said he's been waiting for some to go on sale for a while now).Sep 15, 2015 at 5:10 pm #2227136Aaron SorensenBPL Member
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
I have yet to find a compression calf or sock that works for me for anything over 12 hours. I have a CEP calf and have worn it once for a 24 hours. The top part that is just a little thicker always manages to rub or chafe, what ever you want to call it, so bad that I end up with puss filled blistering. I had a pair of calf compression socks on one time for 24 hours that had this 1/2" wide soft gel to grip and it gave me blister 360 degrees around the top and bottom. It was so bad it took a few months to get back to normal.Sep 16, 2015 at 10:58 am #2227261Allen CBPL Member
Aaron, This is not to dispute your experience in any way – but my experience was quite different. I just wore a pair of CEP calf sleeves for about 65 hours straight on the JMT, didn't take them off until I bailed at Red's Meadow. They did not cause any problems for me – No chafing, blisters, etc. I mostly did not notice them at all and my calves feel surpisingly good today considering what I just put them through. I did use the size IV which is a looser fit than the size III that I use for running. When I ordered them I wasn't sure which size to get so I ordered both, and ended up keeping both as the tight fit is better for running and the looser one is better for fastpacking. I got both in white for the sun protection and cooling.May 4, 2016 at 8:41 pm #3399941Ryan KBPL Member
Posted to a similar old thread on the Gear forum, but the Fastpacking forum is a better place to ask.
I can’t stand compression shorts, and I don’t like wearing socks at all, let alone compression socks. But I’m just starting to get into more trail running/fastpacking, and I was thinking calf compression sleeves might help reduce calf/shin fatigue and post-run soreness?
But more importantly, I probably just need to work on improving my form, maintain faster strides/min, more midfoot-strike/less forefoot-strike. Form and training are more important than depending on any gear.May 6, 2016 at 6:10 pm #3400529
I agree with working on form and proper training is more important. With regards to compression gear, I personally don’t like it while moving. I think you can find some of other peoples experiences here, but for me I sometimes use it post exercise. I can’t tell if it works more as support for sore muscles, or through the compression, or a factor of both.
If you try it would love to hear your thoughts about it.May 8, 2016 at 7:31 am #3400836Jennifer MitolBPL Member
@jenmitolLocale: In my dreams....
Interestingly – I’ve been having quite a think about this lately. There’s a new “hot topic” in the PT world called low intensity blood flow restriction training. It used to simply be a niche thing in the realm of body builders…but lately there has been quite a lot of work done to see if the low intensity blood flow restriction helps with rehabbing injuries. And the early reports are that it shows some promise.
I wonder if compression sleeves may work with the same mechanisms??? As a scientist I’ve been very skeptical of the claims, assuming they were mostly placebo (feels good to have the overall compression, etc etc) but now I’m questioning my questioning…………May 8, 2016 at 9:09 am #3400849
Jennifer, you mean like a process similar to training with a Kaatsu device?
Here in Japan compression gear is quite big. Also during just hiking.
From the PT’s I have talked to here (I visit one that does a lot of work with/on trail runners and my nephew is a PT providing support to runners on the Ultra Trail Mount Fuji and other races) – they say could be beneficial, post workout.
Now like you are saying, with the link you are making with blood flow restriction training, there could be something to the people saying to use it during exercise. Or, alternatively, during low intensity recovery runs or walks.
I don’t know much if anything at all about this but just as one guy pushing himself I have a small bit of personal experience, and I’m very interested.
Would love to hear more thoughtsMay 8, 2016 at 5:00 pm #3400965Roger CaffinBPL Member
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
I have not found any published refereed medical research which showed any real use for so-called compression clothing – apart from helping some people with SERIOUS problems in their valves in the veins in their lower legs.
We (BPL) get this topic every now and then. The vendors are all so keen and full of hype, but when challenged to produce reliable data they just fade away. Sometimes quietly, sometimes noisily.
Marketing hype. Come in sucker. Bring your wallet.
CheersMay 8, 2016 at 6:03 pm #3400989Jennifer MitolBPL Member
@jenmitolLocale: In my dreams....
Roger I always thought that, too. But check out some of the new stuff about low intensity blood flow restriction therapy. Long way to go before anything is definitive, but I love the science behind where this could be headed. Fascinating, actually….Sep 7, 2016 at 6:46 pm #3424919Matthew Alan ThyerBPL Member
@feetforbrainsLocale: Pacific North West
One of my favorite things about compression socks is that they do a fair job of protecting my legs when I’m running over grown trails. Like armor for your shins.
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