While you might not think it at first due to the way their activity levels promote circulation, athletes deal with varicose veins just like many of the rest of us. For these people, compression stockings – which have long been used to treat varicose veins and are now being understood as beneficial to athletes in several other ways as well – can be a major help.
At Abella Health, compression stockings are just one part of our many treatment options for varicose veins. What are some of their basics, and why might they be doubly beneficial for athletes who struggle with these venous issues? Let’s take a look.
Compression Stockings Basics
Graduated compression stockings refer to stockings that are highest at the ankles and less in the calves. These stockings affect the veins by preventing the pooling of blood in the muscles – they place pressure in the proper areas to stimulate these muscles to push this blood back up and out of the leg.
Compression stockings, however, also impact the flow of blood to the muscles. The muscle of the arterial wall relaxes, increasing perfusion and performance. This leads to a higher cellular oxygen concentration, which in turn causes better peak performance and faster recovery. A recent study at Harvard showed that constant pressure from a stocking increases circulation and perfusion.
Not only can compression stockings have a major effect on varicose vein issues, they can actually show a major improvement for athletic performance at the same time. Consider a couple statistics compiled based on a follow-up study of marathon runners using compression running socks:
47 percent of the runners said they had an easier run, and 53 percent said their calf muscles were more relaxed
60 percent of runners who suffer from muscle and tendon pain in the lower leg reported relief from this pain as a result of wearing compression clothing
Athletes have no major issues with tolerance of stockings or sleeves, even with heat
For more on compression stockings or other varicose vein solutions for athletes, speak to the staff at Abella Health today.