While there is no real evidence to prove that compression socks increase your athletic performance, a number of studies have demonstrated that compression socks work well, post-run for recovery. Compression therapy has been used since the time of Hippocrates (460–377 B.C.) to ease pain and swelling and this remains the principle behind today’s medical compression socks.
After any type of strenuous exercise our blood vessels expand making it difficult for blood to return to the heart from the legs. Since it isn’t going up our legs it tends to pool in our ankles. One downside of this is that waste products, such as creatine kinase and lactate are not carried away. Research suggests that these cause damage to healthy muscle cells. Depending on your age, and that of your blood vessels (they relax as we get older), pooling liquids can also seep into the surrounding tissues and cause swelling.
Graduated medical compression socks work by squeezing the ankle, the pressure decreases as it goes up the legs producing a massaging effect which encourages fluids to move upwards towards your heart. Secondly, the pressure helps to narrow the veins which in turn means that less force is needed to push the blood back up the leg.
With no access to sport therapists to ease aching muscles, why not try some compression socks? Medical support socks have had a make-over, they no longer look like something your great aunt would wear. The Man Support from Gloriamed (also suitable for women) are made from Italian yarns and have cotton in them too, nobody would guess they were medical support socks.