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  • Writer's pictureLuke Nelson

Compression sleeves: do they work?

Compression sleeves are frequently worn to promote recovery, prevent injury & improve performance, but do they work?

🔎A recent scoping review set to answer this question: What did it find?

🏃‍♀️Performance improvement? There was mixed evidence that compression garments improved performance, so the jury is still out here.

😴Enhanced recovery? Compression likely reduces muscle vibrations and has a positive effect on sensorimotor systems, which in theory, could lead to reduced muscle damage. There is evidence of improved perceptions of muscle soreness & pain in the days following exercise, but also no evidence that compression garments improve recovery of muscle strength following exercise.

🥶Keeping you warm! Compression garments increase localized skin temperature, so could be useful when exercising in cold conditions.

🔑The authors conclude that despite evidence suggesting there is little benefit to wearing compression garments, it is unlikely that they harm performance. Anecdotally we see some athletes swear by them. So with a low risk of harm, it’s likely a case of trying them & see if they work for you!

What’s your experience with compression garments? Swear by them? Or sworn off them? Comment below👇

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📚 References

  • Négyesi J, Hortobágyi T, Hill J, Granacher U, Nagatomi R. Can Compression Garments Reduce the Deleterious Effects of Physical Exercise on Muscle Strength? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses. Sports Med. 2022 Sep;52(9):2159-2175.

  • Weakley, J., Broatch, J., O’Riordan, S. et al. Putting the Squeeze on Compression Garments: Current Evidence and Recommendations for Future Research: A Systematic Scoping Review. Sports Med 52, 1141–1160 (2022).

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