Running is a very popular type of exercise. It’s an excellent technique to burn calories and increase endurance. You will normally feel fatigued and sore afterward, as with most forms of exercise.
Running can cause achy legs, stiff joints, and edema. Whatever the case may be, your body requires rest!
Some people can recover quickly, while others may need more time. Compression socks have been used by many runners and marathoners over the last decade to aid in their running and recuperation.
This increase in circulation has numerous advantages for you, but we will concentrate on the advantages for runners.
There are many people who still wonder about What Do Compression Socks Do For Running? How Do They Work? In this article, we will bring all of the information that you should know about compression socks.
Table Of Contents
- What is Compression Sock?
- How Does Compression Work?
- Benefits of Compression Socks for Runners
- Why Should You Add Compression Socks When You Run?
- The Importance of Athletic Compression Socks for Health, Training, and Fitness
- Running with Medical Compression Socks and Sleeves
- How to Choose Compression Socks?
- How to Wear Compression Socks?
What is Compression Sock?
Compression socks are socks that improve blood flow by providing pressure at your ankle and become looser as the sock moves up your leg. They may extend over the foot to the knee, or they may begin at the ankle (more often called a sleeve).
How Does Compression Work?
Dr. Botek points out that there are several studies and evidence that compression socks function, particularly for venous disorders in the legs. “Nearly 90% of leg diseases begin in the veins,” she says.
Venous insufficiency is one example. “That is due to the failure of the vascular valves to function,” Dr. Botek explains. “Your blood would be held in the legs, and your returns to the heart would be reduced.”
Compression socks work by gently squeezing the legs to increase pressure in the tissues beneath the skin. “This decreases excess fluid leakage from the capillaries and enhances absorption of this tissue fluid by the capillaries and lymphatic vessels,” Dr. Botek says.
As a result, edema is minimized and swelling is prevented. Furthermore, according to Dr. Botek, “it restricts the ability of superficial veins to grow in order to fill with blood, preventing that blood from going backward and generating congestion.”
She notes that if blood pools in the veins of the legs, it can cause skin changes, damage to the vein walls and valves, inflammation of the vein (also known as phlebitis thrombophlebitis), varicose veins, and even blood clots.
Dr. Botek explains that, in addition to venous insufficiency, another typical reason for wearing compression socks is to improve blood flow when sitting for lengthy periods of time, such as on a long flight.
With less mobility and weaker circulation, there is greater blood pooling and retention in the legs, which increases the risk of clots.
While the risk of clotting is low if you’re healthy, you’ve definitely felt discomfort or swelling after extended bouts. Compression socks help to maintain circulation and alleviate symptoms.
Benefits of Compression Socks for Runners
#1. Faster Recovery
You will be exhausted after a good run. This is especially true if you participate in races or marathons.
So, how can compression socks transform you from feeling like your legs are about to fall off to feeling ready for another run?
As previously said, compression socks improve circulation, allowing more oxygen to reach working muscles and tissues. As a result, your legs will heal faster.
This increase in blood flow also aids in the reduction of lactic acid accumulation. Wearing compression socks during and after your run is therefore strongly advised for a better and faster recovery.
#2. Pain Relief
Anyone who runs has experienced the sensation that their legs are on fire or that their ankles are about to snap off. Compression socks might help ease achy, stiff legs.
You’ll be feeling less painful in no time thanks to enhanced blood flow and the extra warmth supplied by the socks.
Compression socks also help to prevent unpleasant swelling in your feet and ankles caused by the pressure that jogging places on your feet.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is a common issue among runners (DOMS). DOMS, as the term implies, is the discomfort you feel in the days after your run.
If you’re not used to running, it may take much longer to recover from DOMS. Compression socks can help minimize the symptoms of DOMS and make it go gone faster.
#3. Injury Prevention
According to a 2016 study on runners, up to 65 percent of persons who run are injured at least once a year.
Following that, half of those harmed suffer from chronic diseases, even though the bulk of these injuries might have been avoided.
Foot and ankle injuries, for example, are widespread as a result of runners falling on their heels while jogging, sometimes known as heel strikers.
Compression socks, in addition to appropriate running form, can help prevent several types of injuries. Injury risk is reduced by the combination of speedier healing and improved pain alleviation.
***See More: What Are Socks For? Why Are Socks Important?
Why Should You Add Compression Socks When You Run?
#1. Enhanced Oxygen Delivery
When you go for a run, one of the most important parts of your health and performance is ensuring that adequate blood-rich oxygen is going to your muscles.
A high-quality compression sock is essential for ensuring that your legs receive optimal oxygen health delivery during the event. The goal of a good compression sock is to deliver steady compression.
They could imply that the knee-high socks are a little looser at the top and a little tighter at the bottom. This graduation is what keeps the blood flowing properly.
#2. Less Impact from Gravity
Another advantage of graded compression socks is that they help your legs defy gravity as your blood returns to your heart.
The stockings exert pressure, which aids in the movement of fluid up your legs. The improved blood flow ensures a consistent supply of oxygen and nutrients to your legs when they are most needed.
#3. Prevention of Swelling and Cramps
Excessive mobility is the most common cause of calf muscle fatigue. Compression socks reduce this movement, which helps you stay energized.
As a result, wearing appropriate compression knee-high socks might lessen the amount of work required from your legs.
When your muscles aren’t working as hard, the impact of weariness on your health is significantly lessened.
Furthermore, medical compression socks can help manage swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet caused by plantar fasciitis and varicose veins. As the socks squeeze all of these locations, the fluid buildup is prevented.
#4. Decreased Lactic Acid
When you exercise or run, your body creates lactic acid as a waste product. If you let the lactic acid build up in your muscles, you will be quite sore the next morning. This is a situation that most runners are all too familiar with.
The good news is that the constriction of graduated compression socks can assist to avoid blood clots and relieve discomfort, as well as aid to prevent it from occurring in the first place. There’s no reason to postpone that five-mile run you’ve been planning!
#5. Enhanced Blood Flow
Compression helps to constrict your veins and enhance blood flow. This helps to keep blood clots at bay.
Your blood will reach your heart faster, and lactic acid will be cleared faster. This is especially important if you’re running a marathon.
#6. Leg Protection
Compression stockings guard your legs against abrasions and minor scrapes. You won’t have to worry about poison ivy on your running trail.
Furthermore, any dirt or mud kicked up during your run will gather on your socks rather than your legs.
Many runners choose to run in shorts because they are more comfortable. When the weather is nice, this is a great alternative.
However, it can cause issues for runners in chilly temperatures, particularly those who do not prefer to wear tights.
However, it is still critical that the muscles in your legs keep warm to avoid muscle strain.
Furthermore, heat can help to relax stiff muscles and aid in the clearance of lactic acid. Even in the coldest months, wearing compression socks can help keep your legs warm.
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The Importance of Athletic Compression Socks for Health, Training, and Fitness
It is critical to grasp the fundamentals of enhanced blood flow to recognize the benefits that compression knee-high socks and compression sleeves can provide for athletes.
Your heart is in charge of delivering oxygen-rich blood to your muscles and limbs via the arteries. After your cells have absorbed the nutrients and oxygen, the blood is returned to your heart via the veins.
The lungs must replace the oxygen and nutrients in your blood before the cycle can begin again. This entire procedure is crucial for athletic success.
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Running with Medical Compression Socks and Sleeves
Medical compression therapy aligns your body, reduces workout recovery time, eliminates energy waste, and increases training efficiency and performance.
Athletic compression socks apply progressive pressure that is more intense at the angles and less intense at the knee. This type of pressure is a significant contributor to stated performance benefits.
Because of the compression on the surface veins, muscles, and arteries of the leg, blood can move through smaller circulation veins.
It may imply that blood can return to the heart more quickly, reducing the likelihood of it collecting in the feet. It also helps with lactic acid removal.
How to Choose Compression Socks?
- Because everyone’s legs are different, medical running socks are available in a variety of sizes and compression levels to accommodate calf and foot dimensions. They come in both men’s and women’s fashions. The amount of compression required is determined by a variety of factors, including the size, style, and material of the stockings.
- Personal preferences play a part as well. It is critical to note that you do not want to wear medical running clothing that is excessively tight, since this will cause pain and odor. This can worsen blood circulation and make injury recovery take longer.
- Good pairs are made of both fibers and rubber, giving them a harder feel than standard ones. They are typically composed of 20% spandex and 80% nylon.
- It is also critical to find the proper size and length. This is accomplished by measuring the calves. As a result, make sure to buy running clothing with a comfortable fabric and texture.
- Choose knee-high socks. They should not be too lengthy, as this will cause them to clump in any region.
- Select ones with progressive compression. That is, they are tighter at the ankle and progressively loosen as you approach the knee.
- Examine the cushioning around the heels, toes, top of the foot, and Achilles area for any irritant seams.
- White socks are likely to get filthy rapidly.
- Examine the washing instructions. Fabric softener is generally not recommended since it alters the compression of the socks, and placing them in the dryer may cause them to shrink.
How to Wear Compression Socks?
The majority of medical equipment for exercise, fitness, cycling, and rehabilitation employs graduated medical compression. This means they are tighter at the ankle and looser at the knee.
Unfortunately, while this improves circulation, it also makes them more difficult to put on. Smooth out socks carefully to eliminate any bunching for the best results.
Because they are too long, many people roll them down. Wearing compression socks, on the other hand, is like putting a tourniquet on your leg.
You will restrict your blood flow and harm yourself, especially if you participate in an extreme activity like a 5k or 10k run, a marathon, or a cycling event. Save yourself the trouble by purchasing socks that are the proper length.
What do compression socks do for running? Compression socks can assist you to enhance your blood flow and may supply you with some highly beneficial effects throughout your regular runs.
However, keep in mind that these items are not a panacea for all of your running aches and pains. Though these socks may be useful during your run, they are not intended to treat your injury.
Having said that, you should definitely include a pair of compression socks in your bag to help you get through the final miles of your run, recuperate afterward, and prevent swelling.
Compression socks can be a terrific addition to your running gear, but it’s also important to maintain your body happy and healthy. Most importantly, wear the proper running shoes and get medical attention if necessary.