The Importance of Compression Therapy Related to Running

Compression therapy has many benefits, and can aid in wound care, as well as treat circulation issues that coincide with lower leg vein conditions. It works by gently applying pressure to the ankles and legs by the process of wearing specifically designed, very tight, stockings… ultimately resulting in slowly stretching out vein walls to improve overall circulation. The health history behind the effectiveness of compression socks is well known for the treatment of vein deficiencies or lower leg circulation disorders. But the longer many medical treatments stick around, their uses are commonly attempted elsewhere to see if, what once was a necessity, could possibly be used to aid in athletes’ success during competition, as well as post/recovery sessions.

What science is quickly discovering is that, not only is compression therapy a form of rehabilitation, it is also believed, by some, to aid in athletic performance in runners. The benefits here are that medical grade compression stockings increase oxygen delivery to the muscles. This improves blood circulation to the heart by being tighter at the lower extremities, leading the blood in your veins upward. The compression also speeds the removal of lactic acid. Now, depending on who you talk to or which studies you read, the effectiveness of compression socks while running a race varies – some athletes swear by them, others don’t seem to notice a difference. Sometimes a measurable difference in performance can be recorded, other times, it’s negligible. Studying the effect of any new enhancement when it comes to sports performance is a very difficult thing to measure, because it relies on human performance, which on any given day is known to vary. However, there is one aspect of this discussion that has indeed shown measurable results, and that is the ability for compression socks, and compression therapy to aid in the recovery of runners after a race or competition.

The use of compression therapy has proven results when it comes to aiding those who live with poor circulation and weak, swollen or incompetent veins to improve their circulation and relieve pain in the lower legs. And the therapeutic use of compression seems to carry over well for runners when used for relieving muscle soreness and reducing recovery time. More research needs to be done before anyone can definitively say that race performance is improved by wearing compression socks, but the recovery aiding aspects alone seem to make it worth a try.

If you have any questions about compression therapy for either vein treatments, or athletic recovery, give us a call at Ponte Vedra Vein Institute (904) 280-0600. Our patients are our passion.