Com­pres­sion socks

Canadian Running - - BODY WORK | THE SCIENCE OF RUNNING -

Knee-length com­pres­sion socks have be­come a com­mon sight at marathons, with ad­vo­cates claim­ing ben­e­fits rang­ing from im­proved blood f low dur­ing the race to more rapid re­cov­ery from post-race mus­cle sore­ness. Re­search on these ben­e­fits has pro­duced mixed re­sults, but the new­est study, also pre­sented at this year’s acsm con­fer­ence, isn’t en­cour­ag­ing. Scientists split 20 run­ners at the Hart­ford Marathon into two groups, with half as­signed to wear knee-length com­pres­sion socks dur­ing the race. There were no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences be­tween the two groups in fin­ish­ing time or in lev­els of cre­a­tine ki­nase, a blood marker of mus­cle da­m­age, mea­sured im­me­di­ately af­ter the race or 2 4 hours later. This won’t be the fi­nal word on the com­pres­sion socks de­bate, but it’s an­other hint that com­pres­sion isn’t a mir­a­cle cure for marathon-in­duced sore­ness.

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