Compression Socks and Kinesio Tape – TD Fitness Review
You’ve probably noticed athletes and fitness enthusiasts sporting the high sock look. Well, it’s not a throwback to the 1970s…many are wearing compression socks to improve athletic performance.
Compression socks are worn to increase blood flow in the legs during running and other activities. Compression is not a new concept. The medical field has prescribed compression stockings for years to improve circulation and reduce ankle swelling in adults. Cyclist shorts work on the same principle to provide more blood flow to the quadricep (thigh) muscles. Applying outside pressure to the skin and the blood vessels that lie underneath causes increased blood flow to the limb that’s being compressed.
Compression has been shown to aid in circulation, but there are other benefits as well. By improving blood flow, many find that compression garments help alleviate pain, muscle soreness, and aid in recovery after athletic events.
Overall, I give compression socks a thumbs up. The science supports the claim and there are proven benefits to the compression principle.
Made popular in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, this brightly colored tape applied to the outside of the skin has been claimed to improve muscle facilitation, reduce soreness, and improve blood flow and healing. The tape can be applied professionally or self-applied, but the benefits aren’t clear in either case.
Evidence is lacking on the benefits of kinesio tape. Critics question how tape applied to the skin can affect deeper muscles. Some also attribute claims of performance and muscle relief to the placebo affect of wearing the tape.
While there could be a connection between taping and the myofacial lines that run throughout different parts of the body, there simply isn’t enough evidence supporting the utility and positive effects of taping for me to buy off on it yet. Overall, I give kinesio taping a thumbs down, as I look for more research to the contrary.About the Author: Coach T. is an ACE Certified Health Coach and an NSCA Certified Personal Trainer. Follow Coach T. and TD Fitness on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.