Category Archives: Athletic Compression

The Subtle Style and Obvious Benefits of Gradient Compression Socks

Whether you are an athlete with a high training volume, someone who struggles with lymphedema, or just have achy legs from time to time, gradient compression socks are a tool that may greatly improve your quality of life. The “gradient” in the name means that the compression is “designed to deliver a controlled amount of pressure which is greatest at the distal end (ankle) of the garment and gradually decreases towards the proximal end (top) of the stocking.” This stimulates blood flow and helps prevent pooling in the feet and ankles.

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Gradient Compression Socks for Athletes
While gradient compression socks work well for general aches, they can speed muscle recovery by improving circulation. This can be great for those who run or cycle long distances, as well as those who strength train. Increasing blood flow to muscle tissue can speed muscle recovery and relieve post-exercise pain.

Additionally, some runners prefer to wear gradient compression while running, as it can reduce muscle vibration and improve blood flow. They come in a variety of colors, styles, and can be a great way to tie together your running outfit or stand out in a race. Feeling great and looking great have been combined in a sleek package.

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Gradient Compression Socks for Those With Lymphedema and Venous Issues
Lymphedema is a condition that can be alleviated to a great extent by increasing circulation and promoting healthy blood flow. Gradient compression socks encourage the flow of lymphatic fluid back out of the affected leg(s), which can help improve your symptoms and reduce associated pain. Compression socks are useful for many venous disorders, including venous insufficiency, varicose veins, and venous ulcers. Pregnant women who wear them generally see a reduction in leg swelling and the discomfort during pregnancy as well.

Gradient compression socks don’t look like medical devices, so others will be none the wiser about your use of these socks, weather for medical purposes or just a comfortable part of your wardrobe. You can choose subtle tones that blend in with your day-to-day wear, or you can choose brighter colors that stand out.

While wraps or bandages can be used for a similar effect, patients who use them need to make sure they are creating an appropriate pressure. This can be somewhat tricky and time-consuming. With gradient compression socks, simply wearing them as normal socks without any special arrangement will be enough to provide you with the scientifically designed compression.

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Gradient Compression Socks for General Achiness
While gradient compression socks are recommended by physicians for certain circulatory issues and can be beneficial for athletes, they also are helpful for those who experience chronic aches and pains in their legs. This is especially true for those who spend much of the day standing. Because gradient compression socks help promote proper circulation, wearing them can reduce discomfort. They fit easily under clothing, so they are compatible with most work uniforms.

Gradient compression socks offer a convenient way to manage pain and discomfort associated with leg circulation. However, they also are an option with style – you can choose from a variety of colors and lengths making it easy to incorporate into any outfit. When you choose gradient compression socks, you the benefits of a medical device without looking like one.

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Injury Recovery and Prevention Tools Everyone Should Be Using

Competitive athletes and recreational exercisers alike want to avoid injuries, as even a setback from a relatively minor injury can be extremely inconvenient, stressful, and potentially expensive. The good news is that there are plenty of things everyone can do to prevent injuries. Many of these tools and techniques double as recovery enhancement for those who do find themselves injured. Below are four easy and inexpensive ways to avoid (or treat) injuries, regardless of chosen athletic pursuit.

Foam Rolling

The humble foam roller is a tool that has been around for decades, and it’s been around that long because it works. Foam rollers work via myofascial release, which essentially means that it massages out muscle tension built up that is limiting mobility and helps with blood flow. Foam rollers help to work out “knots” in the muscle, as well as general tightness after a workout.

Foam rollers come in a variety of surfaces – some have smoother surfaces, while others have bumps, grooves, or ridges. Foam rollers with bumps act like hands to “knead” the skin and muscle tissue, which can boost circulation. Some people find the bumps uncomfortable and prefer the smooth foam rollers, but either choice is useful for optimizing muscle performance and speeding along muscle recovery.

Gradient Compression Clothing

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Compression wear is common across multiple athletic disciplines because it can reduce muscle vibration, making exercise more comfortable. Compression wear can also be helpful for healing injuries. Gradient compression wear is especially helpful for stimulating blood flow, which can speed the healing of an injury as well as speed recovery from a grueling workout. Gradient compression socks, like TheraSport and Core-Sport by Therafirm have more pressure at the ankle than the calf, which stimulates blood flow from the feet to the rest of the leg. Wearing compression gear after a workout for recovery or during a workout can help to both treat and prevent injuries, but gradient compression will help further facilitate blood flow as well.

Stretching Straps

Most athletes are well-acquainted with the idea of stretching, but stretching straps, which are designed to help get a deeper stretch, can help with recovery from workouts and keep muscles limber enough to prevent injury. For those who have a given muscle group that is chronically tight, it may help to find stretching routines using straps. Additionally, stretching straps are designed to help eliminate the need for partner stretch assistance.

Ice and Heat

Heat and ice are some of the oldest tools for treating injuries (as well as trying to prevent them), but some newer innovations like shin wraps allow anyone to conveniently ice or heat injuries or suspected injuries while walking around or doing other things. Heating pads and traditional ice packs also work well, and when used effectively, can help reduce healing time or relieve chronic pain.

While sudden injuries can happen to anyone, making use of one or more of the above tools can significantly reduce anyone’s chances of injury. Best of all, the above tools are affordable and easy to integrate into any athletic routine. By using one or more of the above methods, both serious and casual athletes should be able to continue to train hard with a reduced risk of injury.