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Effects of Exercise Compression Stockings on Anterior Muscle Compartment Pressure and Oxygenation During Running: A Randomized Crossover Trial Conducted in Healthy Recreational Runners

Journal article
Authors Kajsa Rennerfelt
Sophia Lindorsson
Helena Brisby
Adad Baranto
Qiuxia Zhang
Published in Sports Medicine
Volume 49
Issue 9
Pages 1465-1473
ISSN 0112-1642
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Orthopaedics
Pages 1465-1473
Language en
Keywords near-infrared spectroscopy, intramuscular pressure, performance, saturation, garment, damage, hemodynamics, recovery, markers, calf, Sport Sciences, kala tes, 1989, pflugers archiv-european journal of physiology, v413, p447, isholm cd, 1984, annals of emergency medicine, v13, p581, ance b, 1992, american journal of physiology, v262, pc766
Subject categories Orthopedics


Background Exercise compression garments have increased in popularity among athletes at all levels during the last 10 years. However, the scientific grounds for this are unclear. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of wearing exercise compression stockings (CS) on the anterior compartment pressure, oxygenation of the tibialis anterior muscle, and early blood biomarkers change for muscle damage during a 10-km treadmill run in healthy subjects. Methods Twenty healthy subjects completed two identical treadmill runs, with or without CS. The subjects were randomized regarding the order in which the sessions were performed. Intramuscular pressure (IMP) and muscle oxygenation in the one leg were continuously measured before, during, and after running sessions. Blood samples were collected just before and directly after these sessions and analyzed for myoglobin and creatine kinase concentrations. Results The use of CS during running resulted in significantly higher IMP (by 22 +/- 3.1 mmHg on average) and lower tissue oxygenation index (by 11 +/- 1.8%) compared to running without CS (p < 0.001). In addition, the Delta change in median serum myoglobin concentration measured before and after running was significantly higher when CS were used: 58 (9-210) mu g/L as compared to 38 (0-196) mu g/L with no CS (p = 0.04). No difference in post-running early serum creatine kinase concentration was observed between using CS and not using CS. Conclusion Wearing exercise CS during and following a 10-km treadmill run elevated IMP and reduced muscle tissue oxygenation in the anterior compartment of healthy runners. Furthermore, the use of exercise CS did not prevent early exercise-induced muscle damage, as measured by serum biomarkers.

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