The use and necessity of the compression stockings

STOX compression stockings You see them more and more nowadays: compression stockings. What exactly is a compression stocking, and why should you wear one?

What is a compression stocking?

The use and necessity of the compression stockings

A compression stocking (also called compression socks) is an aid based on the support stocking. The stocking puts pressure on the lower leg. This pressure decreases from the Achilles tendon to the knee.

What effect does a compression stocking have?

Wearing compression stockings has the following effects:

  • the compression stockings stimulate the blood flow to the muscles
  • the muscles are supplied with fresh oxygen more quickly
  • the stocking provides extra stability for the calf and Achilles tendon
  • Besides, there are different types of compression stockings. For example, you can

Choose a full compression stocking with a foot (sock) or a compression stocking without a foot. Stockings without feet are also called “tubes” or “sleeves”. A tube is usually worn by athletes who exercise bare feet or who only need stability for the calf muscle.

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Why should you wear compression stockings?

Studies have shown that compression stockings can improve the performance of (top) athletes. For example, with compression stockings, you benefit from:

  • faster recovery after exercise and injuries
  • better stability at the Achilles tendon and calf
  • prevention of calf and Achilles tendon injuries such as shin splint, whiplash or cramp.

Improve sports performance with compression stocking

Besides, wearing compression stockings can promote the pumping function of the heart. During an exercise, the blood flows through the lower leg muscles back to the heart and the blood along the way exchanges waste products for nutrients and oxygen-rich blood. The stockings support this effect because wearing the socks ensures that the waste products are removed more easily. As a result, less waste remains in your lower legs so that the muscles can continue to work properly.

This was also shown in a study of 21 recreational runners in 2009. They performed a maximum exercise test without and with compression stockings. The exercise test’s total time was considerably higher with compression stockings, and the anaerobic threshold was also at a higher speed (14.11 vs 13.9 km / h) with the stockings. Another study found that these improvements could not be explained by a difference in heart rate, stroke volume, cardiac output or oxygen uptake during exercise.

Recovery after sports

But it also has advantages to wear compression socks after an intense run. Research among recreational athletes shows that they experience less muscle pain after a 10-kilometre workout when they use compression stockings with decreasing pressure. This may be explained by a reduced increase in the enzyme CK when using the stockings. CK is an enzyme required for recovery after high-intensity exercise and is associated with muscle damage. 

So do you prefer to wear your compression stockings during intensive training or after training to promote recovery? In any case, it does not matter because in both cases, it has a beneficial effect.

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