So far, we had been talking about wearing compression wear or shapewear for beauty reasons, which is, to provide shaping and enhancement, in an effort to achieve a slimmer and more attractive and curvy figure at the same time.
However, compression wear can be used for reasons other than the above! Besides beauty reasons, compression tights has always been widely used for medical and sports purposes. Today, compression tights have evolved to become attractive pieces with great designs. Hence, it is a fashion garment which also provides various benefits!
Having discussed about compression wear for beauty purpose in quite a number of previous posts, we are going to focus on the medical and sports benefits of wearing Shapewear/Compression Tights.
But first, let us find out what is Compression Tights.
What Is Compression Tights?
Compression Tights are tight, elastic garment which fit snugly to the lower part of the body. Its benefits are derived from exerting compression or pressure to the legs, ankles and feet.
Compression Tights usually work by applying the most amount of pressure close to the ankle or feet.
The pressure gradually decreases as it moves upwards. This pressure leads to various benefits. We will touch on these benefits soon!
Compression Tights are quite similar to pantyhose.
The only obvious difference is, while pantyhose is made of thin/sheer material, the material of an effective compression tight is usually thicker The thicker material is usually necessary to be able to exert enough pressure.
How Does Compression Tights Work?
In general, a good compression tight is designed to be able to exert consistent pressure to the veins. This consistent pressure will increase the speed of blood flow, which in turn, leads to better blood circulation.
Better blood circulation means that blood is able to carry more oxygen around the body. Our cells and muscles need oxygen to produce energy. Therefore, with more oxygen, our cells will be able to supply us with more energy!
Compression tight is very widely used among athletics as well as for medical purposes.
Compression Tights For The Athletics
It is nothing surprising that compression tights are very well-received among athletics. It has become a necessity for boosting performance as well as reducing the possibility and/or extent of injuries related to the muscles.
As mentioned earlier, compression tights are able to improve blood circulation, which leads to the ability to produce more energy for the athlete. This can greatly improve the athletics’ endurance and performance!
As everyone knows, athletics are very prone to muscle injuries. Muscles can be damaged with continuous movements. This is because sudden and/or continuous movements produces some degree of impact to the muscles
Due to these impacts, the muscles tend to vibrate a lot, which will lead to muscles being injured.
Compression tights can act as a protection for the muscles as it can reduce the amount and extent of these vibrations.
It also provides support to areas such as the ankle, knees and quad. Supporting these areas is crucial to an athletic as these areas are the ones which are most prone to injuries or trauma.
Besides protecting the muscles, the pressure provided by the compression tights also speeds up the recovery of muscle tension and even muscle damage! With this, the athletic will be able to get back to action sooner!
It can also help to reduce and delay muscle strain due to excessive training and/competitions!
There is a misconception that wearing compression tights can help in the forming of muscles or lead to their muscles retain their shape.
Unfortunately, compression tights do not alter the muscles structures in any way. So if you are looking to wear compression tights for these reasons, I am sorry to disappoint you.
Compression Tights For Medical Purpose
Compression tights has been commonly used to treat patients with conditions relating to poor blood circulation for a long time.
Medical practitioners feel that this is one of the most conservative and safest methods to prevent blood clots, a condition which is the result of poor blood circulation.
The pressure from compression tights forces the blood out of the veins and up to the heart. This improves blood circulation and prevents blood from clotting in the legs!
Compression tights are also used to treat people with Varicose Veins.
Varicose veins are blue or purple veins which appear on the legs. As these veins are swollen, a person suffering from this condition will experience constant leg aches as well as swollen legs! These symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable.
While compression tights do not cure people with Varicose veins, they do reduce discomfort by providing some form of relief by forcing out blood in the veins towards the heart.
This constant smoother and faster flow of blood prevents pressure from building up in the legs. Hence, people with this condition will feel much better.
Sometimes, compression tights are also worn by people after surgery to reduce swelling as well as speed up recovery.
The Different Compression Levels Of Compression Tights
Compression levels are measured by the unit, mm Hg. This is also the same unit of measurement as our blood pressure.
Compression tights with basic compression level of 15-20 mm Hg is most commonly used on a day-to-day basis. This is because the compression is not too tight but yet, still able to bring about some improvement in blood circulation.
People who wants more support will prefer to wear compression tights with medium compression level of 20-30 mm Hg. Compression tights of such levels are still quite comfortable to wear on a daily basis.
People with mild conditions of Varicose veins can wear tights of this level. The medium level is also suitable for people who are looking for some relief and speedy recovery after a mild surgery.
Athletes also often wear the medium level compression tights to protect their muscles as well as speeding up the recovery rate of mild muscle injury.
Finally, compression tights with a higher compression level of 30-40 mm Hg is the least common. They are usually used to facilitate relief and recovery of more serious issues relating to the veins which could result in more severe swelling.
Sometimes, medical practitioners will also advise patients to wear compression tights of this level after their surgery. These are usually patients whose after surgery condition requires them to have more support.
Compression tights focus on our legs and this is rather important for good health. This is because our legs are the furthest away from the heart, especially our ankles. Being further away from the heart means that blood circulation in our legs are much slower than other parts of the body. Wearing compression tights is a good way to provide us with this additional amount of pressure to keep our blood circulation active.
Therefore, compression tights are not just for people with medical conditions and/or athletes. People who are free of any health issues can also wear them for better health!
Are you wearing any compression tights now? What is your purpose of wearing them?