Physiotherapy and Allied Health

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  "date": "2014-11-26T00:00:00",
  "author": "Matt Cooper",
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  "url": "/blog1/the-truth-about-compression-garments",
  "title": "The Truth About Compression Garments",
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  "metaTitle": "The Truth About Compression Garments",
  "metaDescription": "Our sports drinks article last month was so popular that we thought every newsletter should have a segment titled ‘The Truth’, to inform, entertain and help you separate the facts, the myths, and the middle ground…",
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Our sports drinks article last month was so popular that we thought every newsletter should have a segment titled ‘The Truth’, to inform, entertain and\n help you separate the facts, the myths, and the middle ground…\n

This month: Compression Garments. They’ve infiltrated almost every sport with athletes of all skill levels sporting skintight tops, pants and sleeves.\n But the question remains: Does compression really work?

\n

The truth is: No one knows for certain.That’s not to say compression clothing should be written off as a marketing gimmick, it’s worth looking at the\n science.

\n

Compression made its debut in medicine more than 60 years ago to treat patients suffering from venous disorders (such as deep-vein thrombosis, or DVT).\n While they may look very similar to the lycra tights that were popular in the 80’s there is more physiology behind compression garments than meets\n the eye.

\n

Graded compression means that the compression exerted by the garments differs for different parts of the body. If long lower body garments are used\n as an example, compression at the ankle and calf is higher than at the thigh. This facilitates the flow of blood through the deep veins back towards\n the heart.
A paper published in the British Medical Journal by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine in Oxford examined whether compression garments improved performance.The results were mixed. A total of 17 studies were reviewed.
\n

\n
    \n
  • 13 studies found no difference in performance using compression garments in a range of sports – including running, cycling, netball, cricket and\n hockey
  • \n
  • Another 10 studies reported some improvement in muscle recovery and markers of muscle damage
  • \n
  • 3 studies found that there was no difference in recovery between compression garments and other forms of recovery treatment (such as massage, hot\n and icy water therapy and low intensity exercise)
  • \n
  • Several studies found that compression garments increased skin temperature compared with normal clothing
  • \n
\n

It’s a stretch to say compression will get you to the finish line faster, but we can’t underestimate the placebo effect. The very idea that compression\n apparel works—and the confidence gleaned from that belief—is all the proof that many devotees need to justify their purchases.

\n

 

\n

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

\n

 

\n

Athletic compression is still in its infancy, and research to date is limited.\n
There appears to be a better likelihood that it can help with recovery rather than with performance.\n
The decision comes down to personal experience.\n
If compression feels right for you, wear it!

\n

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The Truth About Compression Garments

by Ethos Health - 26 Nov 2014

Our sports drinks article last month was so popular that we thought every newsletter should have a segment titled ‘The Truth’, to inform, entertain and help you separate the facts, the myths, and the middle ground…

This month: Compression Garments. They’ve infiltrated almost every sport with athletes of all skill levels sporting skintight tops, pants and sleeves. But the question remains: Does compression really work?

The truth is: No one knows for certain.That’s not to say compression clothing should be written off as a marketing gimmick, it’s worth looking at the science.

Compression made its debut in medicine more than 60 years ago to treat patients suffering from venous disorders (such as deep-vein thrombosis, or DVT). While they may look very similar to the lycra tights that were popular in the 80’s there is more physiology behind compression garments than meets the eye.

Graded compression means that the compression exerted by the garments differs for different parts of the body. If long lower body garments are used as an example, compression at the ankle and calf is higher than at the thigh. This facilitates the flow of blood through the deep veins back towards the heart.
A paper published in the British Medical Journal by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine in Oxford examined whether compression garments improved performance.The results were mixed. A total of 17 studies were reviewed.

  • 13 studies found no difference in performance using compression garments in a range of sports – including running, cycling, netball, cricket and hockey
  • Another 10 studies reported some improvement in muscle recovery and markers of muscle damage
  • 3 studies found that there was no difference in recovery between compression garments and other forms of recovery treatment (such as massage, hot and icy water therapy and low intensity exercise)
  • Several studies found that compression garments increased skin temperature compared with normal clothing

It’s a stretch to say compression will get you to the finish line faster, but we can’t underestimate the placebo effect. The very idea that compression apparel works—and the confidence gleaned from that belief—is all the proof that many devotees need to justify their purchases.

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

 

Athletic compression is still in its infancy, and research to date is limited.
There appears to be a better likelihood that it can help with recovery rather than with performance.
The decision comes down to personal experience.
If compression feels right for you, wear it!

Ethos Health

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