Physiological effects of wearing graduated compression stockings during running. Eur J Appl Physiol

Sport and Exercise Science, Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University, Private Bag 102904, North Shore Mail Centre, Auckland, 0745, New Zealand.
Arbeitsphysiologie (Impact Factor: 2.19). 03/2010; 109(6):1017-25. DOI: 10.1007/s00421-010-1447-1
Source: PubMed


This study examined the effect of wearing different grades of graduated compression stockings (GCS) on physiological and perceptual measures during and following treadmill running in competitive runners. Nine males and one female performed three 40-min treadmill runs (80 +/- 5% maximal oxygen uptake) wearing either control (0 mmHg; CON), low (12-15 mmHg; LO-GCS), or high (23-32 mmHg; HI-GCS) grade GCS in a double-blind counterbalanced order. Oxygen uptake, heart rate and blood lactate were measured. Perceptual scales were used pre- and post-run to assess comfort, tightness and any pain associated with wearing GCS. Changes in muscle function, soreness and damage were determined pre-run, immediately after running and 24 and 48 h post-run by measuring creatine kinase and myoglobin, counter-movement jump height, perceived soreness diagrams, and pressure sensitivity. There were no significant differences between trials for oxygen uptake, heart rate or blood lactate during exercise. HI-GCS was perceived as tighter (P < 0.05) and more pain-inducing (P < 0.05) than the other interventions; CON and LO-GCS were rated more comfortable than HI-GCS (P < 0.05). Creatine kinase (P < 0.05), myoglobin (P < 0.05) and jump height (P < 0.05) were higher and pressure sensitivity was more pronounced (P < 0.05) immediately after running but not after 24 and 48 h. Only four participants reported muscle soreness during recovery from running and there were no differences in muscle function between trials. In conclusion, healthy runners wearing GCS did not experience any physiological benefits during or following treadmill running. However, athletes felt more comfortable wearing low-grade GCS whilst running.

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Available from: Ajmol Ali, Oct 05, 2015
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    • "Evaluating the possible relation between the level of pressure and the effect within each study was also a failure. From the 6 publications(Ali et al., 2011, 2010; Miyamoto et al., 2011; Sperlich et al., 2013b, 2011; Wahl et al., 2012) reporting the evaluation of several compression levels with the same protocol in the same subjects, only one study found an impact of the pressure level (Ali et al., 2011), namely an improvement in performance recovery with low (15 mmHg at the ankle) and medium (21 mmHg) compression, worn during exercise, but unchanged with high pressure compression (32 mmHg). In the other four studies where compression was worn during exercise only, no effect of compression was observed, whatever the pressure level. "
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    ABSTRACT: Compression garments on the lower limbs are increasingly popular among athletes who wish to improve performance, reduce exercise-induced discomfort, and reduce the risk of injury. However, the beneficial effects of compression garments have not been clearly established. We performed a review of the literature for prospective, randomized, controlled studies, using quantified lower limb compression in order to (1) describe the beneficial effects that have been identified with compression garments, and in which conditions; and (2) investigate whether there is a relation between the pressure applied and the reported effects. The pressure delivered were measured either in laboratory conditions on garments identical to those used in the studies, or derived from publication data. Twenty three original articles were selected for inclusion in this review. The effects of wearing compression garments during exercise are controversial, as most studies failed to demonstrate a beneficial effect on immediate or performance recovery, or on delayed onset of muscle soreness. There was a trend towards a beneficial effect of compression garments worn during recovery, with performance recovery found to be improved in the five studies in which this was investigated, and delayed-onset muscle soreness was reportedly reduced in three of these five studies. There is no apparent relation between the effects of compression garments worn during or after exercise and the pressures applied, since beneficial effects were obtained with both low and high pressures. Wearing compression garments during recovery from exercise seems to be beneficial for performance recovery and delayed-onset muscle soreness, but the factors explaining this efficacy remain to be elucidated.
    Journal of sports science & medicine 03/2015; 14(1):75-83. · 1.03 Impact Factor
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    • "Additionally, the role of compression socks on supporting somatosensory feedback that emerges from pressure on cutaneous and joint receptors of the lower leg has not yet received adequate attention in postural control research. Research on compression socks has mainly been reported in clinical and sport science journals, with the focus on physiological benefits of compression socks on blood circulation Ali et al. (2010); Blättler and Zimmet (2008). From the aforementioned findings, it is noticeable that simple tactile stimulation and localised compression in the feet and ankle positively influences joint proprioception, but not overall balance performance. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this investigation was to analyze the role of textured compression socks on somatosensory function in a sample of physically active elderly individuals when performing a static balancing task. Both textured insoles and athletic tape are deemed to be beneficial for enhancing proprioception because of the capacity for exploiting availability of “sensorimotor system noise”, which enhances movement control and individuals’ joint position perception. It was hypothesized that the compression feature in knee length socks would provide greater stimulation to lower leg mechanoreceptors, and help participants achieve better balance control. Participants (N=8) performed a 30-s Romberg static balance test protocol under three conditions (barefoot; wearing commercial socks; wearing textured compression socks), in a counterbalanced order, with four levels of performance difficulty: (1) standing on a stable surface with open eyes (SO); (2) a stable surface with closed eyes (SC); (3) a foam surface with open eyes (FO); and (4) a foam surface with closed eyes (FC). Two commonly investigated recurrence quantification analysis (RQA) measures (% Det and entropy) were extracted from the recurrence plot for multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). There were no significant interactions between the levels of performance difficulty and the sock treatments, p> 0.05 for both % Det and entropy in both Anterior-posterior (AP) and medial-lateral (ML) directions. There was no significant main effect of sock treatments, P> 0.05). However, a main effect for performance difficulty on % Det and entropy was observed in both AP and ML directions. The RQA measures demonstrated that the sensory systems in elderly individuals are able to aid the adaptive re-organization of postural behaviour in response to changing task constraints (performance difficulty levels).
    The 2014 conference of the International Sports Engineering Association, Sheffield Hallam University; 07/2014
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    • "An additional project measured blood lactate, oxygen uptake, heart rate, and muscle soreness immediately, 24 hrs, and 48 hrs after a 40 minute run in the conditions of low compression socks (12-15 mmHg) and high compression socks (23-32 mmHg). No statistically significant differences were reported [6]. Assessing the ability of CS to reduce edema, it's been recorded that socks "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to examine the effect graduated compression socks had on lower leg muscle swelling and soreness after a 2 hour (hr) run at a speed eliciting a heart rate (HR) 10-15% lower than their HR at lactate threshold established during a baseline assessment. Compression socks were worn during the run and for 8 hrs after the completion of the run. Baseline lower extremity (LE) volumes were measured using water displacement prior, immediately post and 24 hrs after the 2 hr run. Muscle discomfort was measured using an algometry prior to the 2 hr run and approximately 24 hrs after. Compression socks decreased LE volume measurements during and after long distance running in moderately trained distance runners but insignificantly. They also limited muscle soreness, but insignificantly. The results of this study support that compression stockings fail to enhance performance.
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