Compression fabric is a technical fabric often made from nylon and spandex. It is used for various purposes, from sportswear to medical compression garments.
It can improve blood flow, reduce muscle soreness and help you recover faster from injury. These benefits are significant during certain sports and activities.
Increased Blood Flow
Compression fabric places substantial pressure over key body zones, reducing strain and boosting blood flow. This is particularly helpful in supporting and preventing injury to veins. It also assists the flow of fluids and prevents waste materials such as lymph fluid and lactic acid from lingering in the legs or arms.
The increase in blood flow associated with high compression fabric has been linked to improved limb (femoral artery) oxygenation and increased nutrient uptake post-exercise17,20,41,43. However, there are still some questions about how these changes occur. For example, compression-induced increases in venous return may act as a protective mechanism against post-exercise hypotension39 and promote accelerated nutrient uptake via enhanced endothelial shear stress42.
To investigate the effect of sports compression garment type on resting lower-limb blood flow measures, 22 elite, junior male basketball players underwent a randomized controlled study with a within-subject crossover design. Participants were able to choose from a non garment control (CON) or compression tights (TIGHTS), or shorts (SHORTS). Markers of venous return and muscle blood flow in the popliteal and common femoral veins and calf and thigh muscles were measured using Doppler ultrasound. Additionally, near-infrared spectroscopy assessed muscle oxygenation in the gastrocnemius medial and vastus lateralis muscles. The NIRS method is noninvasive and continuously measures concentration changes in oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin.
Reduced Muscle Soreness
Compression garments are a popular option for improving muscle recovery after exercise. They reduce muscle pain, relieve your chance of injury, and make getting back to your workout routine much more accessible.
Compression garments help you recover after working out by increasing muscle blood flow. This increases oxygen intake in the body, which in turn helps your muscles repair themselves and grow stronger.
Another benefit of high-compression fabric is that it reduces lactic acid production. When you exercise, your body releases lactic acid molecules to get the energy it needs. However, lactic acid only provides temporary energy. This means that after you finish exercising, your muscles will be sore for a few hours until they can naturally replenish themselves.
This soreness can be very uncomfortable, and it can be challenging to get out and do anything again, so be sure to take the time to rest your muscles properly after a workout. If you experience intense, long-lasting, or unusual muscle pain after exercise that does not go away, speak to a healthcare provider about it.
While compression garments can help you recover after exercise, knowing which ones are effective for which activities and body parts is essential. If you are still determining what type of garment is best for you, talk to your healthcare provider about your options.
Reduced Risk of Injury
Several studies have shown that compression garments are an effective and affordable way to promote improved circulation, reduce muscle soreness, accelerate recovery, and prevent injury. Compression gear consists of elastomeric fibers and yarns woven into technical fabrics with moisture-wicking properties to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable.
The most important part of this technology is the underlying elasticity of the fabric, which is typically enhanced through polyurethane or poly trimethylene terephthalate (PTT) fibers and olefin-based elastomeric yarns. These textiles are able to stretch over 200% of their original length in a very short period, and they do it in a way that feels natural and intuitive to the wearer.
Besides providing a friendly nudge to the blood flow, a well-made compression shirt can reduce strain and chafing while improving your look’s aesthetics. In addition, high-quality compression shirts are designed to be breathable and comfortable and are usually available in multiple sizes to suit different body types and activities.
As you can see, the benefits of using high-quality compression shirts to improve your look and performance can be impressive and are well worth the splurge. If you need help determining which product will suit your needs, a qualified healthcare professional can help recommend the best compression garment.
Compression garments increase muscle blood flow, resulting in faster recovery after physical activity. This can also reduce muscle pain, stiffness, and lactic acid buildup.
These benefits can benefit athletes, as they can help improve performance and speed up injury recovery. However, it is essential to note that a healthcare provider should check out any sharp or persistent muscle pain or swelling.
This can happen for many reasons, so listening to your body and taking time to rest is essential. If any sharp or lingering pain persists, it could be a sign that something more serious is happening.
If you feel discomfort while wearing a compression garment, try wearing it for less time or changing to another brand. Always read the product label to ensure you buy a product that suits your needs.
Compression garments can be made from various materials and fabrics, including spandex, nylon, elastin, polyester and other synthetic fibers. Some fabrics offer specific support levels, while others are designed for various applications. They are a great way to boost your sports performance and speed up recovery, but you should always choose the right compression level.