The Science

The Science Behind The SIGVARIS Athletic Recovery Sock [15-20 mmHg]
A number of medical studies support the belief that wearing medical compression socks or stockings can reduce recovery time and improve athletic performance. A partial list of relevant studies is included below.

Graduated compression stockings: Physiological and perceptual responses during and after exercise Journal of Sports Sciences, Volume 25, Issue 4 January 2007, Pages 413-419. Authors: Ali, A., Caine, M.P. and Snow, B.G.

Abstract summary: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of wearing graduated compression stockings (GCS) on physiological and perceptual variables during and after intermittent and continuous running exercise. Fourteen recreational runners performed two multi-stage intermittent shuttle running tests with 1 hour recovery between tests. A further 14 participants performed a fast-paced continuous 10 km road run. Participants wore commercially available knee-length graduated compression stockings (pressure at ankle 18-22 mmHg). In randomized counterbalanced design. During 10-km trials, there was a reduction in delayed-onset muscle soreness 24 h after exercise when wearing graduated compression stockings. There was a marked difference in the frequency and location of soreness: Wearing graduated compression stockings during a 10-km road run appears to reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness after exercise in recreationally active men. There is a need for research investigating whether GCS can benefit other user groups including untrained participants, females and older athletes.

Graduated Compression Stockings and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Engineering of Sport 7, Vol I, Springer publication. ISBN-13 978-287-99053, Pages 547-551 . 2009.

Abstract summary: Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common experience following unaccustomed eccentric exercise. The cause of delayed onset muscle soreness is poorly understood. In this study, subjects volunteered to perform a single bout of backward downhill walking exercise for 30 minutes. Following this exercise, subjects were required to wear graduated compression stockings for 5 hours per day for 3 consecutive days on one leg while the second leg was used as control. Muscle soreness and neuromuscular measures were taken pre and post walk, then 2, 24, 48 and 72 hours post-walking exercise for the two legs. There was a 28% reduction in DOMS on the leg wearing graduated compression stockings 72 hours after exercise. Additionally, the leg wearing GCS, MVT (maximal voluntary torque) starts to recover while the contractile properties had significantly recovered within 24 h, but not in the control leg. It is theorized that in this study, the GCS might have had the effect of compressing the muscle tissue to such an extent that less structural damage occurred relative to a control condition. GCS accelerated the recovery of the muscle force capacity at 24 hours beyond that achieved by the control condition.

Leg symptoms of heatlhy people and their treatment with compression hosiery, W Blattler, N Kreis, J Winiger and F Amsler, Phlebology 2008; 23: 214-221.

Abstract: We evaluated the prevalence and nature of occasional leg symptoms like feelings of heaviness and tension in subjects with no history or signs of venous disease and investigated the optimal strenth that medical compression stockings should exert to alleviate the symptoms and to prevent leg swelling.

Conclusion: Medical compression of 15 mmHg effectively relieves the symptoms, prevent oedema and are well-tolerated.

Keywords: venous insufficiency, occupational disorders, compression therapy, medical compression stockings, randomised controlled trial

Compression garments and recovery from eccentric exercise: A 31P-MRS Study, Michael I Trenell, Kieron B. Rooney, Carolyn M. Sue and Campbell H. Thompson, Journal of Sports Science and Medicine [2006] 5, 106-114.

Abstract: Compression garments have been sugggested to reduce muscle damage and maintain muscle function. This study investigated whether compression garments could benefit metabolic recovery from eccentric exercise.

Conclusion: Compression garments may alter potential indices of the repair processes accompanying structural damage to the skeletal muscle following eccentric exercise allowing a faster cellular repair.

Keywords: magnetic resonance spectroscopy, muscle damage, muscle metabolism, rehabilitation

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. SIGVARIS Athletic Recovery Sock « Tyler McCandless  |  August 10, 2010 at 3:05 am

    […] 10k record in his debut at that distance wearing white compression socks.  There have been several published journal articles that have provided evidence that graduated compression socks, such as SIGVARIS, reduce the delayed […]


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