Compression socks are commonly known for helping improve circulation, and avoiding the development of a blood clot, in a person who doesn’t move around on a regular basis. This may be due to a medical condition, paralysis, or perhaps something psychological, like an issue with chronic depression. Compression socks were designed to help with the flow of oxygen to the muscles in the lower legs, which aids in the return of blood to the heart. With the increase of proper blood flow, more oxygen is pumped through the body as well. The preventative measure was originally taken to prevent blood clots, but medical news suggests that compression socks may actually benefit an athlete as well. What? Is this not the exact opposite of what we’ve been told?
The theory behind using compression socks on athletes is that the more oxygen that is pumped through the blood, the longer the leg muscles, specifically the lower leg area, such as the calf muscle, can remain active. Muscle fatigue is bound to happen when an athlete trains hard, and we are only as strong as our weakest link. By throwing on a pair of compression socks, the rate of return on the workout will be higher.
Muscle injury is commonplace for an athlete. During and after rigorous training sessions, it is highly likely that an athlete will be plagued by a muscle pull, strain, or general wear and tear. By constricting the muscles with compression socks, the chance of injury decreases which allows the athlete to train harder and longer, provided that mental capacity and stamina are available. It has also been noted that by wearing a pair of compression socks post workout recovery time is quicker. The same theory is applied in that the increased oxygen through the bloodstream benefits muscle recovery.
Let’s face it, athletes sweat a lot, and if they don’t then they haven’t trained hard enough. The last thing an athlete wants to deal with is sweaty, squishy socks trapped in hot, stinky shoes. Not to fear, compression socks are available with moisture wicking properties to trap sweat inside the sock and keep it there instead of allowing it to remain on the foot, causing that not so fresh feeling. Another benefit of most compression socks is that they are finished with antibacterial and antifungal agents, and to top it all off, they are reinforced with extra padding on the heel, toe and foot; all the right places they need it!