A recent study published in Research in Sports Medicine examined the benefits of compression stockings for female soccer players.
Soccer-induced muscle injury and fatigue are possible and unfortunate aspects of the sport. Previous studies have revealed various benefits of compression stockings when worn by male soccer players. These benefits included a reduction in muscle stress and damage. However, researchers have noted that soccer performance and soccer-induced fatigue and muscle damage varies among the sexes. This raised the question: do compression stockings benefit female soccer players as they do men soccer players?
To determine the answer to this question, researchers examined the benefits of compression stockings for 20 female soccer players who participated in the study. The study was published in Research in Sports Medicine. For the study, players were asked to eat as they normally would, but to abstain from alcohol and caffeine. They were also asked not to exercise heavily two days prior to the study. Some players wore compression stockings while others wore regular socks.
Before and after playing soccer, all players completed performance tests. They completed a t-test (leg), standing heel-rise test (calf), and a yo-yo intermittent endurance test (intermittent activity performance). Furthermore, players who wore compression stockings were examined for fit (tightness) and comfort before and after the soccer match. Players’ heart rates were also noted throughout the soccer match.
The results showed the benefits of wearing compression stockings apply to female soccer players as well. Whether they were wearing regular socks or compression stockings, players showed similar yo-yo intermittent endurance test results. Post-match leg and calf results were positive in players who wore compression stockings. They also reported less post-match fatigue than the regular socks wearers.
Players who wore compression stockings physically benefited more than players who did not. Players who wore compression stockings showed no changes in their agility tests, whereas players who wore regular socks did. Researchers note that the benefits of compression stockings may also include avoiding injuries.
A limitation of this study is that muscle damage was not closely examined, as there were no muscle biopsies taken. Future studies on this topic should adopt this method to obtain defined results.
The benefits of compression stockings include helping reduce post-match muscle stress and fatigue in soccer players. They may also help with performance. Further research on this topic is encouraged in order to learn more about the benefits of compression stockings.
Written by Laura Laroche, HBASc, Medical Writer
- Neves Pavin, Larissa, et al. “Can Compression Stockings Reduce the Degree of Soccer Match-Induced Fatigue in Females?” Research in Sports Medicine. 2019. 1-15. Online.
- Performance enhancer: Sports compression stockings a winning advantage. 2019, https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-12/jcu-pes121918.php, assessed 9 Jan. 2019.