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Targeted Compression: An advancement in muscular recovery and care

Targeted Compression: An advancement in muscular recovery and care

by Chris Williams
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Advancements in science and technology have been progressing well in our world. Everyday new ideas, concepts, inventions, designs and discoveries are made. The scope of these advancements are applied to everyday things. From Cars, Phones, Manufacturing Machinery and believe it or not, Clothing. The human body is seen as the most complex machine with its various systems and organs all packed into this tiny (as compared to most machines) package, that its inner working has been the focus of various industries helping us use our bodies to its fullest potential. From performance enhancement all the way to restoration and protection, various products have been discovered to aid in these efforts and some concepts are even applied to what we wear.

Sports apparel used to focus a lot on how you looked when you jumped to score hoops, how noticeable your shoes were when you ran, and other various aesthetic purposes. In today’s world even sports apparel are now focusing on more functionality than fashion. People are now picking what to wear based on what the gear can do instead of how it looks. We have become more conscious and have paid more attention to taking care of our bodies while we perform daily tasks or fitness activities while at the same time aim to improve our performance by maxing out the bodies capabilities. Shoes, yoga pants, gym shirts and shorts are just some of the examples where people now look for functionality than fashion. People look at the striking surfaces of running shoes to avoid ankle and shin injuries, the ankle support of basketball shoes to prevent sprains during a game. This and more have become increasingly dominant when selecting gear instead of the traditional “it looks good on me” reasoning for purchase. Brands have also been affected making designs that are both functional and fashionable enough to be worn casually on a daily basis helping consumers stay safe and healthy and be presentable at the same time.

Will compression be in today and out tomorrow?

Over the years compression gear is one of the types of active wear that has caught the attention of people. These garments provide a type of support that other more common articles of clothing cannot provide focusing on muscles and joints and reducing the amount of fatigue incurred when using them. These tight fitting garments squeeze and compress areas where they are worn over such as arms, legs, and the torso may seem uncomfortable but are actually designed to have a comfortable snugly fit that will not hinder its wearer. As they are tight compression gear are commonly worn under other clothing so that its wearer will still be able to feel confident in how he/she looks. Compression garments, just as other active wear like shoes come with a variation options, some offer higher degrees of compression creating more pressure for the covered areas for various effects or comfort.

Compression has become a lot more popular not because of how it looks but mainly because of its benefits. Improved blood circulation being the more prominent effect helps the body by properly circulating nutrients to muscles and other organs while strenuous activities are being performed. Compression gear has also been used in the recovery of muscles as proper levels of oxygen is distributed to the compressed areas speeding up the recovery process. It is also used to prevent injuries such as Tennis / Golf elbow and a lot of other muscular and joint ailments. Though compression garments have only been used more publicly recently, Medical experts have been using them before for various conditions such as the prevention of blood clots from forming after surgery ,aiding with the reduction of varicose veins or spider veins, and help with the recovery of muscles and joints due to strain and overuse. These garments have been found to have been more effective when worn over long periods of time and are often recommended to be worn throughout the day.

How does targeted compression work?

Targeted compression is an approach where the compression is directed to specific areas of our body which we would want to recover or perform better. This method is fairly new which is only a little over a decade old on the market although its application is actually quite simple. It focuses on the understanding that different parts of the body, and the various muscles and joints, will have specific and unique target points that traditional uniform compression might not be able to focus on.

For instance, the quadriceps muscles on our thighs are in charge of the speed of our lower leg while working out, while also acting as shock absorbers for the impact that might come while working out. Our ankles are known to receive the lowest amount of blood flow during workouts but are used in a lot of the work. More importantly the hamstring muscles comprised of three muscles that need to be aligned for it to operate better. Targeted compression on these areas help prevent them from being overworked or fatigued faster by improving the circulation of blood to the specified areas or by holding them in place without rendering them immovable.

How does it help me?

Targeted compression helps in numerous ways. Generally, compression panels can specifically target key muscle points. As mentioned earlier, the calf muscle can be targeted to improve the flow of blood and minimize muscle movement keeping them aligned. Our ankles, may receive less restricted blood flow with targeted compression allowing us to maximize proprioception (joint position sense).Forearm and fingers can be targeted reducing the amount of strain that our elbows receive during physical activities.

These are only a few examples of targeted compression which may already convince you of benefits and how they can help you with. Additional to these examples, reduced muscle fatigue, prevention and recovery for soreness and inflammation and faster regeneration of muscle tissue are also part of the benefits that both targeted and traditional compression gear can help you with.

 

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