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Compression Socks Post-Ride

Old 07-25-22, 04:02 PM
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Compression Socks Post-Ride

Does anyone wear compression socks to recover after a tough ride? Have you experienced any results?

Since I've ramped up my riding lately, the legs have been feeling pretty wiped and sore (with some swelling in my ankles), so I thought I'd give compression socks a try. I'm wearing them now after today's climbing ride, and the legs feel pretty comfy at the moment. Tomorrow will tell if the legs feel fresher or not.

I found this scientific article on the use of compression garments for recovery:

Compression garments and recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage: a meta-analysis

Data were extracted from 12 studies, where variables were measured at baseline and at 24 or 48 or 72 h postexercise. Analysis of pooled data indicated that the use of compression garments had a moderate effect in reducing the severity of DOMS (Hedges’ g=0.403, 95% CI 0.236 to 0.569, p<0.001), muscle strength (Hedges’ g=0.462, 95% CI 0.221 to 0.703, p<0.001), muscle power (Hedges’ g=0.487, 95% CI 0.267 to 0.707, p<0.001) and CK [creatine kinase] (Hedges’ g=0.439, 95% CI 0.171 to 0.706, p<0.001). These results indicate that compression garments are effective in enhancing recovery from muscle damage.

Howatson et al, British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2013
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Old 07-25-22, 06:21 PM
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does using compression socks during ride and not taking them off count?

gm
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Old 07-25-22, 07:59 PM
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IME, They help if they fit & breathe right. I try to limit how long I've had them on post ride.
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Old 07-25-22, 08:31 PM
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I wear compression socks after hard rides, or rides that are particularly long. I do find that my legs feel better the next day. Can I tie that back to the socks? I don't know. But while I am wearing the compression socks my legs/feet feel pretty snug and comfortable.
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Old 07-25-22, 09:53 PM
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After reading an additional 6 articles it does appear that wearing graduated compression socks appear beneficial for recovery. Would be interesting to read a definitive study measuring lactic acid reduction and enhanced blood flow. If someone can find such a study, please post. Have a friend who is a marathoner and he swears by them.

https://www.cyclingweekly.com/fitnes...ecovery-200294
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Last edited by rsbob; 07-25-22 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 07-25-22, 11:29 PM
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I have my own experience with compression garment, how applicable depends - it was at very high altitude, so I won;t re-tell.
But as to actual muscle recovery, most of the 'articles' are just regurge of other articles which are just hearsey/anecdotal - from what I've found.
If anyone has a real study which is more than pronouncements from 'users', I'd love to read.
It's certainly hit or miss for Edema sufferers. nothing conclusive. But if it seems to work, knock yourself out.
Temporary Edema can be due to a number of factors, some of which are related to running, not cycling. But good info to read.
A good 'cool down' portion at the end of most every ride is a strong method to prevent edema, some Lactic buildup, and allow the vasal dilation to recede before you stop activity.
Ending a hard ride abruptly and doing nothing is the worst thing.
Massage does work for muscle recovery and will help with Edema and vasal dilation.
If you can;t 'get' a massage, the given a massage - to yourself. Huge for recovery.
One 'Rub' (yeah, intended... LOL!) is to make sure whomever does the 'rubbing' does ALL stroke pressure either across the muscle OR in the direction of blood flow back to the heart.
Massage affects venous flow more than arterial. Veins all have valves. If you 'back pressure' the blood in veins, you stand a HIGH risk of damaging the valves - resulting in varicose veins and flow problems...
STROKE and Pressure in massage - always towards the heart ! This is true whether you use your hands or some device, like a roller. I see people using rollers on their thighs and calves, pushing hard, towards the lower legs and feet - makes me cringe ! Don't be that person. Big NO to Trailrunnermag online
Percussive techniques or devices generally don;t pose those problems
Self massage - easy to learn - but be discerning on some online sources (I'll do some reading and viewing to see which might be ok - and post to a thread in 'Training & Nut' when I find some good sources).
Not just for legs, great for feet, hands, arms myofacial/skull, neck and shoulders...
15-20 min on the legs, after some hard riding, will make a huge difference in recovery.
Ride On
Yuri
EDIT: If you do check out sources, some techniques may apply and some may not - Just run through the Big Check - Is it pressuring TOWARDS or AWAY from the heart ? IF AWAY, completely ignore that technique...

Last edited by cyclezen; 07-25-22 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 07-26-22, 09:03 AM
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For the "show me the science" crowd, a study of compression garments on trained cyclists, where participants did a 40km time trial, two days in a row.

The study found that cyclists who wore a full-leg-length compression garment had 3.3% more power the next day than the cyclists who wore a "placebo" garment.

The study concludes:


The wearing of graduated compressive garments during recovery is likely to be worthwhile and unlikely to be harmful for well-trained endurance athletes.

—Glanville & Hamlin, Positive effect of lower body compression garments on subsequent 40-kM cycling time trial performance, J Strength Cond Res, 2012

3% higher power the day after a hard ride? Yes, please!

(searching for "full-leg-length compression garment", expedited delivery)
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Old 07-26-22, 09:09 AM
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I have worn them during marathons/long rides. I haven't really noticed a definite performance advantage. My wife wears and swears by them after a long run. She also thinks OOFOS sandals really help with recovery.

The main recovery ritual that works for me is going to the gym and rotating sitting in the pool/hot tub with some limited movement.
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Old 07-26-22, 12:43 PM
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I pulled a calf muscle while hiking and the injury/pain persisted for weeks and went to sports medicine doc who recommended compression sleeves for the legs and not full socks (which I have for flying since the hip has been replaced twice).

They definitely helped with the injury and I used them while biking, too, as heel drop would stress the calf. I still throw them on for steeper hikes.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 07-26-22, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
For the "show me the science" crowd, a study of compression garments on trained cyclists, where participants did a 40km time trial, two days in a row.

The study found that cyclists who wore a full-leg-length compression garment had 3.3% more power the next day than the cyclists who wore a "placebo" garment.

The study concludes:



3% higher power the day after a hard ride? Yes, please!

(searching for "full-leg-length compression garment", expedited delivery)
https://www.muellersportsmed.com/b2c...eeves/p/46020X. No idea about quality, effectiveness, etc, but there you go
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Old 07-26-22, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
For the "show me the science" crowd, a study of compression garments on trained cyclists, where participants did a 40km time trial, two days in a row.
The study found that cyclists who wore a full-leg-length compression garment had 3.3% more power the next day than the cyclists who wore a "placebo" garment.
The study concludes:
3% higher power the day after a hard ride? Yes, please!
(searching for "full-leg-length compression garment", expedited delivery)
nice study - thanks for the link! would be interesting to see the entire data set
Ride On
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Old 07-27-22, 07:43 AM
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Here's my 2 cents, might lead you into another rabbit hole.

I've dabbled in compression socks but didn't find anything tangible in my recovery process. Same results when using a massage gun and rollers to self-massage.

The new thing in our riding group has been trying are pneumatic compression boots; a couple of us bought some on Amazon to use after hard rides. IME it helps relieve the restlessness and stiffness after a hard ride or training session.
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Old 07-27-22, 09:02 AM
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My racing team did an order of compression socks. These are designed to be used during riding and I guess could be left on for post recovery.

More info: For post recovery, one of the best modalities is a higher cadence very low power spin on rollers or a trainer

Other compression ideas: I put on full length Skins for post recovery and have been using them since 2009. They always feel good on.

Here is a book I read on recovery. https://www.amazon.com/Good-Go-Athle...%2C146&sr=8-14

I think it is well written and interesting. It opened my eyes to the pitfalls of limited small studies and their efficacy of being true science.

I have tried cryotherapy as it was the rage for pro sports including basketball, football and pro cycling. I give it a meh. It is better than getting into an ice bath but if it works as advertised and reduces inflammation post ride, then one is actually losing benefit of training since we want inflammation to trigger training adaptation. Cryotherapy during a stage race might be okay if the goal is more about recovery than improvement.

For me, there is a lot fo yin and yang with recovery and training effect. YMMV.

But I like our custom designed socks because the feel great on my feet.

Last edited by Hermes; 07-27-22 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 07-27-22, 09:13 AM
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I've tried compression socks and have never noticed a difference.

If your legs are feeling wiped and sore you are better off using a foam roller after your ride. The foam roller I notice a definite difference how my legs feel. Compression socks...not so much.

https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exerci...roller-workout

https://www.self.com/story/what-foam...-hurts-so-good

https://www.bostonmagazine.com/healt...-foam-rollers/
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Old 07-27-22, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
My racing team did an order of compression socks. These are designed to be used during riding and I guess could be left on for post

But I like our custom designed socks because the feel great on my feet.

Possible to share the brand name?
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Old 07-27-22, 12:03 PM
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No. Custom designed by us and we had to order 500 pair from Asia
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