Compression Garments and Recovery from Exercise – A Meta-Analysis

Brown, Freddy, Gissane, Conor, Howatson, Glyn, van Someren, Ken, Pedlar, Charles and Hill, Jessica (2017) Compression Garments and Recovery from Exercise – A Meta-Analysis. Sports Medicine. ISSN 0112-1642 (In Press)

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Adequate recovery from exercise is essential to maintain performance throughout training and competition. While compression garments (CG) have been demonstrated to accelerate recovery, the literature is clouded by conflicting results and uncertainty over the optimal conditions of use.

A meta-analysis was conducted to assess the effects of compression garments on the recovery of strength, power and endurance performance following an initial bout of resistance, running, or non-load bearing endurance (metabolic) exercise.

Change-score data were extracted from 23 peer-reviewed studies on healthy participants. Recovery was quantified by converting into standardized mean effect sizes (ES [± 95% confidence interval (CI)]). The effects of time (0-2 h, 2-8 h, 24 h, > 24 h), pressure (≤ 15 mmHg Vs. > 15 mmHg) and training status (trained Vs. untrained) were also assessed.

Compression garments demonstrated small, very likely benefits (p < 0.001, ES = 0.38 [95% CI 0.25, 0.51]), which were not influenced by pressure (p = 0.06) or training status (p = 0.64). Strength recovery was subject to greater benefits than other outcomes (p < 0.001, ES = 0.62 [95% CI 0.39, 0.84]), displaying large, very likely benefits at 2-8 h (p < 0.001, ES = 1.14 [95% CI 0.72, 1.56]) and > 24 h (p < 0.001, ES = 1.03 [95% CI 0.48, 1.57]). Recovery from using CG was greatest following resistance exercise (p < 0.001, ES = 0.49 [95% CI 0.37, 0.61]), demonstrating the largest, very likely benefits at > 24 h (p < 0.001, ES = 1.33 [95% CI 0.80, 1.85]). Recovery from metabolic exercise (p = 0.01) was significant, although large, very likely benefits emerged only for cycling performance at 24 h post-exercise (p = 0.01, ES = 1.05 [95% CI 0.25, 1.85]).

The largest benefits resulting from CG were for strength recovery from 2-8 h, and > 24 h. Considering exercise modality, compression most effectively enhanced recovery from resistance exercise, particularly at time-points > 24 h. The use of CG would also be recommended to enhance next-day cycling performance. The benefits of CG in relation to applied pressures and participant training status are unclear and limited by the paucity of reported data.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2017 13:37
Last Modified: 09 May 2017 12:23

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