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Influence of Compression Garments on Recovery After Marathon Running

Hill, Jessica A.1; Howatson, Glyn2,3; van Someren, Ken A.4; Walshe, Ian2; Pedlar, Charles R.1

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: August 2014 - Volume 28 - Issue 8 - p 2228–2235
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000469
Original Research

Abstract: Hill, JA, Howatson, G, van Someren, KA, Walshe, I, and Pedlar, CR. Influence of compression garments on recovery after marathon running. J Strength Cond Res 28(8): 2228–2235, 2014—Strenuous physical activity can result in exercise-induced muscle damage. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of a lower limb compression garment in accelerating recovery from a marathon run. Twenty four subjects (female, n = 7; male, n = 17) completed a marathon run before being assigned to a treatment group or a sham treatment group. The treatment group wore lower limb compression tights for 72 hours after the marathon run, the sham treatment group received a single treatment of 15 minutes of sham ultrasound after the marathon run. Perceived muscle soreness, maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC), and serum markers of creatine kinase (CK) and C-reactive protein (C-RP) were assessed before, immediately after, and 24, 48, and 72 hours after the marathon run. Perceived muscle soreness was significantly lower (p ≤ 0.05) in the compression group at 24 hours after marathon when compared with the sham group. There were no significant group effects for MVIC, CK, and C-RP (p > 0.05). The use of a lower limb compression garment improved subjective perceptions of recovery; however, there was neither a significant improvement in muscular strength nor a significant attenuation in markers of exercise-induced muscle damage and inflammation.

1School of Sport, Health, and Applied Science, St. Mary's University, Twickenham, United Kingdom;

2School Life of Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom;

3Centre for Aquatic Research, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa; and

4GSK Human Performance Lab, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, London, United Kingdom

Address correspondence to Jessica Hill, jessica.hill@smuc.ac.uk.

Copyright © 2014 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.