Compression garments for the lower body have been part of athletic performance gear for many top athletes. But, even if you’re not an Olympian or professional athlete, lower-body compression gear may be for you. There are several types of compression garments available including full legging tights and specially designed knee and calf compression sleeves.
Do compression garments make a difference?
According to research studies, compression fabrics help keep the body warm, are a viable option for reducing pain and even delay onset muscle soreness. Due to the elasticity of the fabric that provides compression of these garments, they increase body temperature by aiding in circulation. Compression garments can also help prevent deep vein thrombosis and edema and may be recommended for many people after surgery or other medical issues.
Compression leggings may be too hot or feel too restrictive for many people whereby knee and calf compression sleeves may be a better option.
Even if you don’t have a knee injury, a compression sleeve for your knee can help your performance and may reduce the risk of injury. Compression sleeves are made of an elastic type fabric that grips the muscles. This helps circulation and may help the muscles to stabilize the knee joint. The knee joint is a hinge joint that has a circular compression that may help the knee to avoid side slipping or twisting the knee. This twisting injury can tear the ligaments or tendons which is very painful.
It may not be a surprise that the best time to wear the knee sleeve is during your workout. Whether you’re doing lunges, squats, or leg presses which can put tension on the knee joint, it will help you keep the knee in alignment. Compression helps the body with proprioception which helps the body move in space. Research shows compression garments aid in muscle recovery. Thus, wearing a knee sleeve for several hours after your workout would be recommended. However, it is not recommended to wear these types of compression garments while sleeping unless advised by your doctor.
Calf sleeves can be great for runners because they help control blood circulation while running, but they are also a good option for anyone who works out or just walks regularly. Calf compression sleeves can help ease pain and leg fatigue. Compression garments help reduce swelling and can help with muscle recovery in your workouts. Another benefit is helping to deter blood clots and varicose veins. This may help reduce swelling in the feet. If you’re having calf cramps while sleeping that wake you up at night, wear a calf compression sleeve during the day. There is some evidence that wearing a compression sleeve throughout the day can help reduce the occurrence of calf cramps at night. But like with knee compression sleeves, these garments should not be worn at night unless recommended by your healthcare team.