Compression shorts are a type of sportswear that apply therapeutic compression to the hips, groin and upper thigh areas. By doing this, they will help to provide stability and support to those who have experienced injuries like groin strains or damage to thigh or hip abductor muscles.
There are two categories of compression shorts currently sold on the market. Zoned compression shorts apply targeted higher levels of compression to particular areas of the groin, hips and thighs.
Non zoned compression shorts apply uniform compression to all areas covered by the shorts.
The compression and support from the shorts restricts movement of thigh, hip and groin muscles and helps to speed recovery from the injury. Compression also promotes increased blood circulation through the injured structures in order to accelerate their healing.
In addition to helping those who have already experienced injuries, compression shorts can help to proactively prevent injuries to healthy individuals by restricting excessive vibration of upper leg muscles, tendons and ligaments. This reduces the risk of damage (i.e. sprains or strains) to these structures, especially during intense physical activity.
In addition to the therapeutic benefits described above, compression shorts provide your hips and thighs with the compression and support you need to optimize your athletic performance. They stabilize and support these parts of the body to improve co-ordination and increase muscle force and endurance.
Studies Into The Effectiveness Of Compression Shorts
In this section, we present a brief review of the results of some recent studies of the effectiveness of compression shorts.
The study was a double blind randomized controlled trial. It measured pain and performance levels among those wearing zoned high compression shorts, non zoned low compression shorts and regular sports clothing. The participants were 34 male football players who reported experiencing groin pain.
The investigators found that wearing zoned high compression shorts reduced groin pain compared to wearing normal sports clothing while not significantly affecting performance.
The results were significant at a 1% level. This meant that there was a probability of 1% or less that the improvements seen could have been observed with no actual underlying difference in pain or performance levels.
2014 Study Of Hip Adductor Activations During Run-To-Cut Manoeuvres
The study was performed on 29 healthy individuals with no previous history of serious groin injury. It compared the effectiveness of shorts providing directional compression with that of a control group wearing shorts with non directional compression.
The data were collected while the individuals performed unanticipated 45 degree run-to-cut manoeuvres. The idea was to compare the adductor muscle activation among the two groups while performing an athletic manoeuvre that is common in contact sports like football, for example.
Lower adductor muscle activation would appear to imply less risk of injury among healthy individuals. It would also imply faster recovery times among those with adductor muscle injuries, as these muscles benefited from higher levels of protection during their recovery.
The investigators found that average adductor activity in the stance leg was significantly lower in the group wearing directional compression shorts than in the control group.
As a result of their observations, investigators concluded that “athletes seeking to reduce demand on hip adductors as they approach full return to activities may benefit from the use of directional compression shorts”.
Can Compression Shorts Be Harmful In Certain Situations?
If you experience any unusual symptoms such as numbness or tingling after putting on your compression shorts, you should remove them and seek medical advice before continuing. You should also seek medical advice if you start to feel any other unusual sensations (such as difficulty breathing) while wearing the shorts.
You should avoid wearing compression shorts if you have broken or damaged skin.
In addition, if you are an older adult (above age 65) we would suggest seeking medical advice before you begin wearing compression shorts. The same applies if you have been diagnosed with any circulatory disorder, particularly in the groin, hip or abdominal region.
What To Look For In The Best Compression Shorts
Compression shorts made of breathable, moisture wicking materials that will allow sweat and other moisture to migrate through the material and evaporate on the outside. Your skin will remain dry under the shorts, which will contribute hugely to your wearing comfort.
Breathable material will also provide the ventilation your body needs to maintain appropriate temperature for optimal comfort. The BioSkin Compression Shorts , for example, contain this feature.
Depending on the purpose for which you use your compression shorts, it may be convenient to have pockets incorporated in them.
Multi directional stretch fabrics can be a useful feature for greater hip and groin range of motion.
If your shorts have antibacterial treatment, they can resist the unpleasant odours or unsightly stains that may otherwise appear after prolonged use.
DISCLAIMER: * Please note that, although Dunbar Medical distributes many premier brands in Sports Medicine and Home Health Care, we do not provide medical advice. As a result, we caution all users of this site not to regard its contents as medical, legal or other professional advice. Please do not attempt to use the information on this site to understand or treat any health or fitness problem or disease you may be experiencing. Instead, please seek the advice and assistance of a healthcare professional in order to understand the treatments or therapies that are appropriate for your particular condition.