Reer, R., Argubi-Wollesen, A., Reischmann, M., von Duvillard, S. P., Braumann, K.-L., & Mattes, K. (2011). The effect of medical compression-socks on fatigue resistance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(5). Supplement abstract 1461.

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This study determined if medically prescribed compression-socks reduce fatigue during intense exercise and positively influence the electromyographic activity of gastrocnemius muscles. Ss (M = 20; F = 20) performed 60 consecutive maximal toe-raises. The duration of a plantar flexion was about three seconds and was controlled via a metronome. After 10 minutes of recovery, the second trial, identical to the first trial, was undertaken. During the first trial of 60 plantar flexion exercises, Ss wore the compression-socks on the dominant or non-dominant leg. Only one lower leg used the compression-socks and the sequence of first exercise trial was conducted in random order. At the end of first trial the compression socks were removed from the leg and in the middle of recovery phase (after five minutes) and applied to the opposite leg. Electromyographic measurements were taken on both gastrocnemius muscle heads (long and short head).

Electromyographic signals were significantly lower during both trials as well as during the recovery phases when compression socks were worn.

Implication. The reduction in electromyographic signals with compression socks suggests that there was greater resistance to fatigue compared to when no socks were worn.

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