You’ve probably seen your favorite baseball players wear some kind of compression gear (shirts, braces, sleeves, and socks). They look great, but did you know that they also provide some very real athletic benefits? Read on to learn more.
What Are Compression Socks?
Compression socks are a super strong elastic sock, typically worn up to the knee. They compress veins on the surface of your leg, as well as arteries and muscles, so that blood is circulated through your legs through smaller circulatory channels. Blood flows to and from your heart faster, making blood less likely to pool in your feet.
Compression socks have a very long history and were first used in the medical field. Bedridden patients or patients with very limited mobility wear them to increase circulation in their legs. In the medical world, compression socks are a valuable tool for blood circulation. However, the sports world has found them very useful as well. The following are some benefits of compression socks for athletes:
Decreased Muscle Soreness and Increased Muscle Stamina
The improved circulation provided by compression socks allows athletes to run, bike, and walk longer. Calf muscles are especially likely to enjoy an extended performance and less soreness thanks to compression socks.
Injuries like sprains and strains aren’t uncommon during a long baseball season, in addition to the bumps and bruises that come with sliding into base or diving for a line drive. Compression gear like socks, braces, and sleeves can help alleviate swelling from injury or overuse. Compression garments work by constricting your muscles which reduces the amount of fluid buildup, decreasing pressure, and swelling.
During a baseball season, there’s not much downtime between practice and games, so baseball players need to do all they can to speed up their recovery process so their body can be ready for competition. Compression gear, when worn during physical activity and after, can aid this recovery. Wearing compression garments may not make you run faster or jump higher, but they will help you recover from a tough workout faster and may help decrease the likelihood that you’ll injure yourself in the first place.
Promotes Blood Circulation and Venous Return
When athletes have injuries it can cause bad blood circulation to the injured area. This affects the athletes’ performance because bad circulation will cause swelling and inflammation. This is where compression socks shine. Compression socks improve blood circulation and prevent swelling.
Venous return is a medical term that refers to the movement of blood back to the heart. During exercise, venous return is crucial to cycle blood through the body to transfer nutrients and oxygen. Poor venous return will drag down an athlete. Studies have discovered that sport compression socks increase venous return by sending more blood through deeper veins by compressing the foot’s more superficial veins. This process is similar to what happens naturally in the body. When we’re standing, our body uses muscle compression to combat gravity and make blood flow up to our heart during a venous return.
Removes Muscle Waste Faster
Sport compression socks help flush waste out of muscles during exercise by improving overall circulation. Lactic acid (the cause of the burning sensation you feel when you stress your muscles) is flushed out with increased circulation, which leads to faster recovery and less time feeling sore.
Protects your Skin
Compression socks can protect your skin. Because they are frequently worn knee high and are made from strong materials, compression socks will provide a mini shield when you’re sliding to steal bases. It will help protect you from bumps and cuts.
Now that you know about the benefits of compression socks (provides a competitive/training edge, improves circulation, helps you avoid injury), you’re probably interested in buying a pair. Well, you’re in luck because Orthopedic Footcare offers a variety of high-performance socks that make great stocking stuffers. Visit us or get in touch to learn more!