Frequently asked questions
What exactly is compression wear?
Compression garments are pieces of clothing that fit tightly around the skin. In medical contexts, compression garments provide support for people who have to stand for long periods or have poor circulation. These come in varying degrees of compression, and higher degree compression sleeves, such as sleeves that provide compression of 20–30 mmHg or higher, typically require a doctor's prescription. Compression garments worn on the legs can help prevent deep vein thrombosis and reduce swelling, especially while traveling.
What are some of the benefits of compression wear?
There is a wide variety of compression garments out there, each with its own intended purpose. From compression leggings for athletes to compression socks and sleeves to help with medical issues, these types of garments can offer enormous benefits for a huge number of people.
If you’ve considered purchasing compression garments, but weren’t sure if they were right for you, consider these 7 benefits of different types of compression clothing.
Improving Athletic Performance
Compression shorts and other types of compression clothing designed for exercise can actually improve your athletic performance. How? Recent studies have suggested that compression shorts can:
- Reduce muscle fatigue during workouts
- Lower your level of perceived exertion
- Help improve oxygen flow to your muscles
These three factors can have an enormous impact on your overall athletic performance. Plus, they offer less friction and chaffing as you move, and provide you with some extra support, making them more comfortable than other athletic clothing options. So, if you’re a serious athlete, or just want to increase your overall health, compression gear could be a good investment for you.
Decreasing Athletic Injuries and Improving Recovery
In addition to helping your performance during exercise, compression garments can also help with your recovery. Various studies have shown that wearing compression clothing during exercise can help you to recover more quickly from strenuous exercise, including resistance-based workouts like weightlifting. Compression gear can also help to reduce your muscle soreness post-workout. And, that extra support and improved oxygen flow can also reduce your risk of straining a muscle during exercise.
Reducing and Preventing Varicose Veins
Compression socks and compression tights are often a prescribed treatment for those suffering from varicose veins. This is because these types of stockings gently squeeze your lower legs, encouraging the blood to return your heart. This reduces the aching and swelling associated with varicose veins, and can even reduce their appearance.
Many women develop varicose veins during pregnancy, so wearing compression stockings throughout your pregnancy can help to prevent the development of varicose veins. Plus, they can help to reduce the swelling in your legs and feet that most women get later in pregnancy.
Treating Leg Ulcers
If you have an ulcer on your leg—typically on the lower leg, around the ankle—the first step in treating it is to keep it clean and prevent infection. The next step is to wear compression socks or stockings. Typically, you want a strong elastic and graded compression stocking for this type of treatment; these will help to accelerate the healing process so you can get back to normal more quickly.
Treating Lymphoedema after Surgery
Lymphoedema typically develops after surgeries connected with cancer treatment. If a lymph node is removed during the surgery, this may impact how fluids drain from the limbs. For example, after breast cancer surgery, many patients suffer from lymphedema in the arm. Wearing a compression sleeve can help fluid return to the heart, which reduces swelling and pain, as well as preventing other complications.
Preventing and Treating DVT
If you’ve had a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the past, or you are considered to be at high risk of developing one, you should wear compression tights or socks any time you’re going to be immobile for an extended period of time, such as when travelling. This can help to prevent the development of a DVT.
If you’ve recently had a DVT, you should be wearing compression stockings every day for at least two years afterwards; you may also need to wear them at night, if your doctor recommends it. In these cases, it is best to get professionally fitted compression socks.
Helping Tired, Achy Legs
You don’t need to be an athlete or have a medical condition to benefit from compression garments. Simply being on your feet a lot, and being prone to tired, achy legs is a reason to wear compression socks or tights. Much of the discomfort you experience after being on your feet all day is due to the pooling of blood in your legs. Compression stockings or support tights can gently squeeze your legs, preventing that congestion in the veins and reducing your leg pain and discomfort.
As you can see, People across all walks of life can benefit from wearing compression garments, whether they’re an avid athlete, a patient recovering from a medical condition or surgery, or simply someone who is on their feet for most of their day.
Is wearing compression garments worth it?
The evidence suggests that wearing compression garments while training may not directly affect performance. However, wearing compression garments for up to 24 hours after training seems to speed up recovery and decrease the feelings of soreness. This is particularly useful if you are training multiple times per week.
Does compression wear aid in weight loss?
Compression wear isn't a magic bullet. There is no magic bullet when it comes to weight loss. However, what compression wear does do, is to help hold your body together while you exercise, thereby reducing the amount of "jiggling" that takes place while moving.
That reduced movement in turn makes exercise more comfortable ad tess taking on your body. You'll feel better, you'll move more and subsequently lose more weight.