Compression Sports Buyers Guide

Where Medical Grade Compression Can Help in Sport

Compression can be used across a variety of sports. The internal workings of the human body are the same, but the demands on it vary with different sports. Compression socks are designed to support your physiology, which remains unchanged.

The key areas where wearing medical grade compression can help in sport are:

  • Performance
  • Recovery after Sport
  • Injury Rehabilitation
  • Conditioning Daywear
  • All travel

Performance

While many companies provide compression clothing for performance, Vital Active realise that only medical grade graduated compression is clinically proven to improve blood flow. VR Compression is also proven at the elite level with over 600-premiership players using the sock to improve performance. The benefits are not confined to football and any sport where the lower leg is used can benefit from gctech™-nology, some of the benefits include;

  • Clinically proven improved venous return - due to the medically certified compression profile
  • Supports the calf muscle - improves oxygen delivery to the calf, reduces muscle oscillation, optimises muscle alignment/efficiency 
  • Helps temperature regulation - due to integrated wicking agents 
  • Improves calf muscle stamina - delays time to exhaustion 

VR Compression, when worn during any type of exercise will help improve performance by supporting the calf and improving the circulation. 

Recovery

Recovery is one of the most important aspects of training in elite sport and this is something many amateur athletes struggle to maximise. It has been shown that poor recovery can lead to injury, poor adaptation to the training stimulus, staleness and poor performance. A medically valid compression sock is a simple and proven adjunct to incorporate into the recovery process - even for those with busy lives. 

When to wear;

The sock can be worn straight after exercise to gain the benefits, ideally they should be worn for a minimum of 2-3 hours the benefits are;

  • Reduces DOMS - (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), so your legs feel less sore and stiff after exercise.
  • Helps flush waste products from tired muscles
  • Reduces exercise associated swelling

Injury (Rehabilitation, Prehabilitation)

Injury is and will always be a companion of sport and exercise. Strains and pulls and more serious injury cost athletes and teams considerable time; both in performance goals and in their ability to achieve consistent training.

R.I.C.E. stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation and is the procedure that will follow most injury under the guidance of medical teams. VR Compression provides an ideal way to provide compression which channels fluid up and out of the leg thus reducing swelling significantly. The conditions where this will be particularly useful include;

  • Ankle sprains - for support and to reduce swelling
  • Calf Tears/Strains
  • Chronic Compartment syndrome
  • Recovery from surgery

Prehabilitation is preparing your body for injury or surgery by getting the best possible physical condition in advance. Occasionally injury may necessitate surgery and VR compression is an ideal follow on from the surgical compression socks to help reduce DVT risk, control lower limb swelling and improve the rehabilitation process.

Travel

Travel is a significant part of any athlete's life and has a huge impact on the body.

Individuals are travelling further to view and participate in sport and the impact on the body is substantial. Residual swelling, dehydration and the risk of DVT are all increased, impacting health and wellbeing as well as performance. Travel takes many forms from road to air, all of which come with a number of inherent risks.

Of the problems encountered some are listed below:

  • Swelling in the lower limbs due to enforced immobility
  • Increased dehydration

gctech™can play a significant role in alleviating these problems related to travel.  Numerous elite teams use of this technology to reduce the risk of travel on the athlete, help improve 'away' performance and reduce the impacts of long journeys.

Compression Sleeve vs. Compression Sock

This is often a personal choice during performance

Sleeves:

- sleeves are designed for active wear, in circumstances where an athlete needs to be barefoot or would prefer not to change sock thickness or composition at the foot

- calf muscle activity, and ground force impact compensate for the lack of compression over the foot

Socks:

- perfect for recovery, travel and injury

- extra support over the Achilles and foot

- prevents pooling in the foot as well as boosting the action of the calves

Information courtesy of Compression Advisory.