Whether you are a hardcore dedicated runner, professional athlete, gym enthusiast, or a long, slow walk fan, we bet you've heard of compression socks already. We also bet that someone might have tried to convince you to try and wear them during or after a workout—and perhaps, you've been a bit reluctant to consider that. It's understandable, as you probably immediately pictured boring old 'flesh-colored or black and blue compression socks found in drugstores and grandpa's closets.
What if we told you that not only are there benefits of working out in compression socks, but you don't have to choose a drab compression sock either? It's true! We will look at the scientific evidence surrounding the specific benefits of compression socks for athletes or all levels and help you decide if they're worth wearing on your daily walk, run, yoga session, or gym rep.
Benefits of Compression Socks
1. Improved Performance During Exercise
When you train like an athlete or push yourself when working out, you can cause stress, fatigue, tension, and restricted circulation in your legs. One of the primary reasons for wearing compression socks during exercise is to enhance performance. The support compression socks and compression therapy can help increase blood circulation and relieve foot, ankle, shin splint, and muscle inflammation pain.
A scientific study published in the National Library of Medicine in 2020 found that, while more research is needed, there is strong evidence linking wearing compression socks during exercise to improved performance. (1) Scientists believe that compression socks and compression therapy can help protect the leg muscles from the eccentric actions during running and more minor muscle oscillations.
Another study, back in 2009 published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning (2) noted improvement in running at the same time with anaerobic and aerobic thresholds. Thresholds are the magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a certain reaction, result, or condition. Aerobic exercise improves (or is designed to improve) the efficiency of the body's cardiovascular system in absorbing or transporting oxygen, and anaerobic exercise does not.
2. Reduced Muscle Soreness and Muscle Fatigue
When you've been challenging yourself to go one step further, walk just ten minutes more, or run just one extra mile than usual, you've no doubt felt "the burn" after putting yourself through an intensive workout. It's an intense sensation of tiredness and pain that sets in after you subject your muscles to lifting heavy loads repeatedly, pushing yourself a little further or running harder than usual.
But what causes Muscle Soreness and Fatigue?
There are two categories of muscle soreness, one during a workout and one after. This pain and tiredness within the muscle after working out is called DOMS, or Delayed-onset muscle soreness, and typically starts the day or two later. Pain felt during or immediately after a workout is called acute muscle soreness.
How do our compression socks help reduce these symptoms? Crazy Compression socks provide external pressure to the leg, which reduces venous pressure within the limb, with the most significant pressure at the foot and ankle trailing off the higher the stockings move up the leg. With more blood flow, more oxygen carried, and pressure support, your muscles receive more oxygen and support to help repair the micro-repairs during your workout.
3. Lymphatic Draining
Lymph is a fluid that cleans and bathes tissues throughout the Lymphatic System. It's a self-contained system that includes our vessels and nodes, but it doesn't contain a pump like the heart that our circulatory system uses. To effectively transport lymph, our muscles move the fluid—especially through contracting and relaxing through exercise. Lymphatic draining is a manual way to help increase the transportation of this fluid, which helps reduce swelling and inflammation.
Graduated compression socks help this draining process by encouraging the fluid to flow back toward the torso to be eliminated.
This is also one of the reasons those who suffer from Lymphedema are prescribed and encouraged to wear compression, as the socks of sleeves provide gentle external pressure on muscles, pushing lymph fluid through the system and away from the lower legs.
4. Reduction of Swelling
Even if you do not suffer from Lymphedema, swelling in the foot and leg can sometimes be a side effect of pushing too hard. Swelling in the feet and legs is also common in pregnant women, those who are overweight, those who stand and sit for too long, those taking steroids, those who take anti-inflammatory medications, and those who retain water.
Compression socks work the same way to reduce swelling by gently squeezing the foot, leg, and ankle, helping to prevent fluid from pooling and to push excess fluid back up to the torso where it can be eliminated and keep any painful swelling controlled.
Although science and researchers are still thoroughly studying the benefits of wearing compression socks when working out and for chronic illnesses, a growing body of evidence supports compression as an excellent tool for many issues. Whether you are a professionally trained athlete, someone trying hard to change their sedentary life, or an avid runner, wearing compression during a workout is worth it. With Crazy Compression socks, gone are the same-old, same-old-looking pairs of dull colors. Please take a look at our inventory to find the perfect pair for you: energetic and loud, nostalgic and retro, pink and preppy, and more. When it comes to compression and all it can go, we're genuinely crazy about loving what we do!