The U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team is one of the most hard working teams out there, training twice a day for five days a week. This year, they are utilizing athletic compression socks to get a competitive advantage. These socks provide medical grade compression to help prevent leg and ankle injury, reduce the time it takes to recover and to increase circulation to keep legs feeling energized and fresh.
Dave Hamilton, the USA Field Hockey director for performance science explains that these are not your average socks; “They are individually knitted using measurements obtained from a 3 dimensional scan of both legs.” The idea is to help athletes train more effectively. Unlike most compression socks, the ones the U.S. National Team wear come complete with an electrical stimulation device (firefly) that stimulates the body’s natural calf pump.
Compression garments without all the bells and whistles still give athletes a competitive advantage. Professional sports players like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are widely known for their use of compression garments. Compression socks and sleeves are designed to increase blood flow to enhance performance. For the most part you’ll find that athletes and fitness enthusiasts swear by wearing compression socks post workout to flush out lactic acid from the muscles, which speeds up recovery. Most athletes who use compression for recovery are able to perform at the same level of intensity within a day or two.
Athletic compression socks help athletes reach their full potential without experiencing muscle soreness afterwards. Both the Men’s and Women’s National Field Hockey Teams have been wearing compression socks for years. Compression socks are becoming more and more popular in the sports world with good reason. Whether you want to run farther, train harder or recover faster, athletic compression socks can help you achieve your goals.
Many compression stockings can be machine dried. Check the package or product label. Spandex and silicone top-bands don’t like heat, so air drying will extend the life of your garment.
Fabric softeners and bleach should never be used with compression garments
How to clean the silicone top bands on knee and thigh highs –
Soap and oils can build-up on silicone-top bands making them less effective, even with proper washing.
Use a cotton ball and a little alcohol, or an alcohol swab to remove soap residue.
How often should compression stockings be washed –
Compression stockings should be washed daily.
Dirt and oils break down spandex.
Daily washing also restores the shape of the stocking.
Should compression garments be worn at night or for 24 hours –
Some individuals with severe lymphedema or edema do occasionally need to wear compression 24 hours a day, but this is not typical. If you are wearing a compression garment all the time, it should only be done under the supervision of a doctor or therapist.