Hohenstein Institute investigates effectiveness of compression clothing
Wearing knee-length compression socks was long viewed by sports enthusiasts as uncool, but more and more active sportspeople have reported the positive effects of wearing compression garments. Various sportswear manufacturers are advertising the many therapeutic effects of compression clothing during and after sport. However, the benefit of the compression socks is disputed amongst scientists.
A team of experts in compression textiles from the Hohenstein Institute and CEP, the sports brand of compression sock manufacturer from Bayreuth, investigated these questions in a pilot study. The objective of the investigation was to determine in detail to what extent compression socks increase muscle power and the recovery of their stressed muscles after sport.
The specialists sent a team of 10 triathletes onto a running track. The study did not indicate a significant effect of the compression socks on performance of the athletes—no bigger jumps or faster runs. However, in the blood of the majority of athletes with compression socks, markers were found suggesting faster muscle recovery.
“It seems that with them the time up to physical exhaustion is extended, because not only during sport, but also by wearing them afterwards, compression textiles could, for example, reduce strain-induced muscle pain and swelling or restore faster the maximum performance, sprinting and jumping strength of the body,” said Professor Dirk HÃ¶fer from the Hohenstein Institute.
The test methods developed within the pilot project may help manufacturers in the future in the development of performance-enhancing sportswear.