Compression socks in sport by Sara Packard
Compression socks in sport by Sara Packard
Over the past few months I have been searching for a good, reasonably priced pair of compression socks. Why am I looking for compression socks for sport? Here is a brief explanation!
As most of you know I am currently in the middle of my Chinese medicine acupuncture course. As part of this we also do a naturopathy course, which when I qualify next year I will be able to give advice on subjects learnt.
During this course, we discussed blood groups. This was something that really grabbed my attention. It was such great information. We discussed all the blood groups and how they have an effect on the body.
There were many things talked about but the one thing that stuck with me was the actual thickness of the blood for each group. So for an example Blood group A has thick blood, so we clot easily, we are the type of people on a plane where our legs swell from the pressure. When I heard this, I thought this sounds like me. So off I went and gave blood, found out that I was Blood group A. It was like a lightbulb went off. There were occasions where I felt that my circulation was poor, even though I did exercise, it still didn’t increase and then there are my lovely varicose veins!
That’s when I thought compression socks for sport, would they help? Here is what I found out:
When you watch any sport you are likely to see an athlete wearing compression socks, vests and arm bands. But the question is why? What are they trying to achieve by wearing these? Are they trying to enhance their sport or help an injury? I got researching and here is what I found:
Reading through trials today on compression socks was quite an eye opener. The outcome is not really what I thought it would be. They all say roughly the same that they can’t find any significant difference between either reducing muscle damage or maintaining muscle function.
No evidence to suggest that it can enhance someone’s performance. However there is one particular trial that examines the high to low grade compression for running (which means the actual socks, thickness etc) and it shows that the low and medium grade GCS proved better in maintenance of leg power during endurance training.
They do say that the placebo effect of wearing compression is very possible and this is by making the athlete feel stronger and better. However there is proof that they assist in preventing muscle soreness by wearing up to 12 hours post training. They also help lactic acid. Lactic acid forms when you over exert and there is not much o2 is left, so the body makes lactic acid in order to protect and not allow any damage. You will experience this as a burning sensation when you train. Wearing compression socks prevents this because even though the lactic acid still forms it remains in the muscular bed. Therefore the pain normally received from over exertion doesn’t happen.
What did I think?:
So I have done 3 runs with the compressions on. 2 of them were sprint work. I found them very comfortable and almost supportive in a way. I felt I had more bounce and my lower legs felt more solid. From now looking at the above I can agree with some of the science. My legs felt good and like they had more energy in them.
Maybe it was placebo effect of wearing them and feeling sportier than normal, I am not sure. Do I intend to carry on wearing them when running? Yes, I believe that they are doing my blood flow some good and hopefully reducing any more spider veins that may come my way from running. I am feeling more support on my joints, is a good thing too…..if only they could make me run faster!!
So the burning question is, where did I buy them from? Decathlon store £14.99.
Best pair I got and they even do width measurements for those of us that have big calf muscles!!
There you have it, so are you going to buy yourself a pair?
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- Sperlich. B, Haegela. M, Achetcehn, Setal. (2010). Available at: http://goo.gl/UcddZK . (Accessed 26/7/2016)
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