Archive for September, 2009

Dynamic compression: even better than compression socks?

September 24th, 2009

normatecBack in April, when I wrote a Jockology column on compression garments, I was surprised to find out that there’s pretty good evidence that these things can actually work. “Graduated” compression socks, for instance, squeeze tightest at the bottom of the leg and gradually loosen, forcing blood back towards the heart. But regular socks have nothing on these super-fancy recovery boots that U.S. marathoner superstar Ryan Hall is now using. The picture to the right was posted on Twitter by Hall’s wife earlier this month after they started using NormaTec MVP compression boots, in this case to help recover after a long tempo run.

Basically, these things squeeze the legs with a “peristaltic pulse” that moves from the bottom of the leg towards the top, pushing blood back towards the heart. The makers refer to it as “dynamic compression” instead of the “static compression” offered by simple leggings. The idea sounds reasonable — if you believe in compression socks, then it seems like these might do the job better.

But is there any evidence, or research into how well they work? I couldn’t find any in a quick search, but I’ve e-mailed the company to see if they have anything to offer. I’ll report back when I hear from them.