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Apr
26
2013

Difference between "graduated compression socks" and common compression socks with elastic knit design

Published at Friday, April 26, 2013 by XCode     0 Comments
XCode

Graduated compression socks are the technical socks which depending from their compression ratio (graduated compression value) are intended either for medical use such as prevention of lower limb edema, or for athletic use while improving blood circulation and enhancing muscle support in the calf. To achieve the right use for this product, the determination of how “tight” has the sock material to be is very important, such as also the measurement of the pressure exerted per unit area which necessarily has to be indicated in the product label – either it is determined in mmHg or in compression class (from the mild compression athletic sock until the firm very high medical one). They are known as “graduated compression socks”since they are constructed to exert maximum pressure in the lower part of the feet and specifically are tightest at the ankles and gradually become less constrictive towards the knees. Consequently improve circulation-pushing back blood to the heart.

In the market you can possibly find several products appearing with “Compression” sign, but be aware that this sign is referred only on the design of the elastic knit and therefore strictly cannot be compared with products indicated with “graduated compression” which are scientifically measured and tested and certified to accomplish the above mentioned functionality. Therefore, it is well understood that we have to be very careful meanwhile purchasing such products and meanwhile our feeling when wearing them. “We should not feel, due to elasticity, the tightest pressure on the calf instead of the ankle”. Because these socks promote blood circulation towards the ankle, rather than the heart. The result occurring upon the use of compression design socks, may consequently be the exactly opposite of what it should be and the pressure exerted from these products to be not only the intended one to help you but to react opposites the beneficial properties of the sock.

It is very crucial that the graduated compression socks feature as specifications the following two important parameters:

  1. The compression value has to gradually reduce from the part of the ankle towards the knee and
  2. The increase of the residual pressure in the upper level of the sock cannot be higher than 15 percent points.

Both of these measurements are expertised and laboratorally tested. Thus the consumer necessarily has to check for the product’s certification.

The graduated compression sock for athletic use has to be indicated as mild supporting and contributes in the maximization of performance and the increase of effectiveness during a run/race with two ways, revealing it’s important role aiming in fast recovery.

1. Blood flow

Compression sock positively contributes during a race or upon the exercise, increasing blood’s transfer back to the heart and improving the oxygen supply to the blood so to be transferred enriched to the muscles – leading to: enhanced performance, boost of duration while intense physical activity and faster recovery.

2. Contributes in the reduction of vibration in the calf muscles

While a run/race, the strike with the ground generates impact forces causing vibrations in unprotected parts of the feet such as in the muscles and tendons of the calf .It is thought that these vibrations could be the cause of the delayed muscle recovery with a soreness that we have all experienced during our athletic activities. Just consider in our mind the long –triple and high jumpers, who nowadays often appear with compression socks. Obviously, they are not wearing them only for the blood flow reasons but moreover, as some researches have shown, the compression socks maximize leg power- regardless the shoe, importantly decreasing muscle vibrations while supporting calf muscles and preserving them from injuries.


Last but not least, the conclusion of all the above is that: To make the right choice for a compression sock indented for athletic use, the compression sock has to be:

  1. Graduated compression
  2. Mild supporting
  3. Necessarily to have a certification notice that the properties and specifications of the product have been tested by an expertised Institute and consequently the product is accredited for it’s functionality.

 


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