Calf & thigh compression sleeves are used to treat soft tissue injuries. These include sprains and strains in the calf and thigh areas. Calf & thigh sleeves can also be referred to as lower and upper leg sleeves respectively.
One of the most important features you will find in the best sports compression sleeves is a “moisture wicking” capability. This allows perspiration to migrate through the sleeve from your skin to the outside surface of the sleeve. It helps your body to maintain its natural temperature. As a result, you will remain cool and comfortable despite wearing the sleeve all day or under other clothing.
Another feature you will find in the best sleeves is hypoallergenicity. These sleeves are designed to minimize the risk of allergic reactions, even from wearers with sensitive skin. Protection from allergies such as latex sensitivity is becoming an increasingly sought after feature in today’s market.
One of the most frequently asked questions about calf and thigh compression sleeves is whether they can be worn at night.
Our response would be that they are extremely unlikely to do any harm if worn while sleeping. However, the user may find it hard to get a good night’s sleep with these garments. Many of these sleeves are designed to be as comfortable as possible for daytime wear. However, they may be difficult to keep on for short periods of sleep at night.
The benefits of these sleeves as listed below mainly apply to athletic or other activities. As a result, you should feel free to remove them at bedtime. You will not lose much of the benefit that you would get from their use during waking hours.
Benefits Of Using Calf & Thigh Compression Sleeves
They apply compression to a soft tissue injury to improve blood flow through the area. The enhanced supply of fresh blood brings an increase in the supply of nutrients to the injured tissues. This in turn accelerates healing of injured calf and thigh muscles and tendons. It also promotes faster healing of ligaments in the case of sprains.
Calf sleeve compression can also be helpful in treating shin splints. This is a particularly painful condition that affects the lower legs.
A third benefit of compression is enhanced pain relief.
Some compression sleeves, particularly those used for the calf, may use graduated compression technology. This feature is intended to not just improve circulation generally, as any compression sleeve will do. It also addresses circulatory problems due to venous disorders such as varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis in the legs.
Sleeves with graduated compression are designed to apply their highest levels of compression near the bottom. The compression level gradually decreases along the sleeve and reaches its lowest level at the top.
As a result of graduated compression, the blood in the calves experiences the highest compression level near the ankles. As a result the blood is forced upwards to the knees where the compression level is at its lowest. Similarly, a graduated compression thigh sleeve forces the blood from the knee up to the top of the thigh.
People with circulatory problems in the legs will benefit from this, as the blood is less likely to pool in the lower extremities. Instead, graduated compression helps it to return to the heart.
Graduated compression is usually seen in compression socks and stockings, a sub type of calf and thigh compression sleeves. There are several levels of graduated compression available. For example, a 20-30 mmHg sleeve applies 30 mmHg of compression near the bottom. This gradually decreases to 20mmHg near the top.
Combatting Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a condition experienced after a demanding physical workout session. It causes the appearance of sore muscles several days or weeks after physical activity.
The compression from a calf or thigh compression sleeve increases blood flow. The enhanced supply of fresh blood may help to reduce the severity of DOMS an individual may experience.
In addition to improving blood flow, calf and thigh compression sleeves can proactively reduce the risk of muscle injuries.
They do this by reducing muscle vibrations in the calves and thighs respectively. By so doing, they help to reduce the risk of muscle damage such as overstretching or tearing during athletic activity.
Compression sleeves, including those used for the calf or thigh, can also provide warmth to those areas. This warmth produces more supple muscles, tendons and ligaments.
This warmth helps the tissues stretch to accomodate the sudden demand of a lunge, jump or pushing off to sprint. They will stretch to accommodate the demands of such a movement without overstretching or tearing.
Calf & Thigh Compression Sleeves also help with proprioception. This is the body’s innate ability to sense the relative positions of different body parts during complex movements.
Proprioception is particularly important to athletes as it helps them perform complex sports movements instinctively. It helps the body to position its limbs in the most efficient way necessary to achieve a particular result. As a result, the athlete can perform these movements without having to consciously position his or her limbs correctly. This improves sports technique and hence performance.
It is also important to the body’s ability to detect whenever the relative position of limbs poses an injury risk. As a result of proprioception the body is more able to correct these situations.
As a result, calf and thigh compression sleeves can play an important role in reducing the injury risk an athlete faces.
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.