It’s a common recommendation to use compression garments to help with injuries and soreness.
Physical therapists, doctors, and athletic coaches never recommend using compression socks or braces anymore, because this outdated method to alleviate pain has been proven repeatedly to be ineffective. What’s more, it can actually hurt you instead of help.
Decades ago, athletes were taught the RICE method. That stood for “rest, ice, compression, and elevation.” But that’s the last thing you should do. An in-depth study published by the Journal of Athletic Training showed that it simply doesn’t work.
Icing or cryotherapy, for example, has been found to delay the healing process. The same can be said for resting the targeted body part. Even Dr. Gabe Mirkin, who coined the term “RICE” back in the 1970s, doesn’t recommend the process anymore.
It turns out compression is more likely to delay healing. Let’s take a closer look at 5 reasons why you should never wear a compression brace or sleeve on an injured or painful area:
Compression Stops Blood Flow
If you’ve ever worn compression socks or a sleeve, you know it feels like it’s cutting off your blood supply. Well, it is! Compression products act as a tourniquet and stop your blood from flowing into the area where you need it the most. Without fresh oxygen and nutrients that come with fresh blood, healing simply can’t occur.
Think about it: You’d never compress a diabetic who has circulation problems. No doctor who has access to the latest research would recommend compression for a non-diabetic person, either.
Swelling Helps Your Body Heal
There’s a difference between inflammation and swelling, and it’s worth understanding when you’re injured and looking for relief from pain. Inflammation is a bodily response that is triggered when your living tissues are damaged. It’s an important process your body goes through to remove damaged tissues and help your body heal.
When you compress your ankle, wrist, feet, or another part of your body when at rest, you collapse your lymphatic system. This stops your body from completing the swelling process, which just makes it worse. Compression doesn’t reduce inflammation, which is the root of the problem.
Compression Makes It Harder to Move
Since it’s been proven that moving your body is better for the healing process than rest, you certainly don’t want to introduce a compression sleeve that makes movement more challenging. But that’s just the beginning.
When you compress your body tissue, it alters the receptors that help tell you where you are in space. These receptors are known as proprioceptors. When your proprioceptors get mixed messages, the body loses its ability to properly balance and perform physical activity.
Compression Causes Blood Pressure to Rise
An injury or a pain point shouldn’t cause additional health concerns, but that’s exactly what happens when you use compression therapy. Compression can cause blood pressure and heart rate to increase. That’s because your body must push your blood through the area that’s being squeezed.
But it gets even worse. Compression has also been shown to decrease the body's ability to release heat. This can cause your body to overheat; as your blood vessels widen, you’ll experience a loss of thermoregulation. This is a necessary function of a healthy body.
No studies show that compression increases performance, increases blood flow, or has any positive effect whatsoever on recovery. Otherwise, sportswear brand giants would sell compression garments.
Try Incrediwear Circulation Sleeves Instead
Unlike compression products, Incrediwear relies on state-of-the-art technology that increases circulation and reduces inflammation to support the healing process.
Plus, many professional athletes and trainers in several sports worldwide are proud to be ambassadors for the Incrediwear products they use every day to help improve their performance.
Many studies have proven that increasing circulation brings more oxygen and nutrients to the targeted area, which in turn supports the body’s natural healing process and accelerates recovery. This is just as true for athletes as it is for someone going through the post-operative recovery process.
Incrediwear integrates semiconductor elements Germanium and Carbon within the fabric to release negative ions with your own body heat. Those ions then activate vibrations on a cellular level, which invites blood flow to the area. This increases circulation and helps the body heal.
When you have improved circulation in a targeted area, it’s simply easier to move your body — which in turn helps you feel better faster.
“The difference between Incrediwear and compression is huge,” said Jackson Corley, the founder of Incrediwear. “It just has to touch your skin. When it touches your skin, it increases blood flow and increases blood speed. It’s allowing your body to heal.”
For optimum success, it’s recommended to use the Incrediwear products both during the day and in bed at night. Again, unlike compression garments, Incrediwear is extremely comfortable and can be worn without feeling constricted around the clock. These products can help with everything from sprains and arthritis to muscle fatigue, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and back pain.
Professional athletes who swear by the Incrediwear products know that they provide extremely different results from compression-based products. Many people have discovered they no longer need to consider surgery, thanks to the healing benefits they receive. In fact, many users notice a difference almost instantly.
To learn more, check out Incrediwear’s FAQ.