Everything You Need To Know About Compression Sleeve and How They Work
Are you thinking of that stylish item that could make a lot of difference in how you experience physical activities ? Have you come across the term “compression sleeves” but cannot seem to decide on the best compression sleeve for you as there seems to be so many types in the market?
Say no more. You have come to the right place.
Welcome to the era where clothes are designed to merge your style with your fitness objectives. This fashion fitness style guide contains every single detail you need to know about compression sleeves. We will be looking at the purpose for this trend, the common features of compression sleeves and most importantly, I am going to share what I (and a village of fitness enthusiasts) think is the best compression sleeve for you right now.
What are Compression Sleeves?
There is a common phrase about wearing your heart on your sleeve. It implies being transparent about your intentions. Well, if your intention is to promote your physical well being as you go about your daily activities, you might want to jump on this fashion fitness trend. And while it is called a compression sleeve, you can wear it on your foot, arms, knees, thighs and so on.
Compression sleeves are clothing accessories made from stretchable fabric that works to create pressure on specific areas. This pressure allows for the free flow of blood which in turn reduces muscle soreness and recovery time. It prevents swelling in certain regions and goes as far as protecting your skin.
However, the benefits are unique to the type of compression sleeve you use. So, let us explore the common types of compression sleeves we have today.
Types of Compressions Sleeves
The various compression sleeves here are categorized by the region of the body that they are designed for. And the benefits that they provide are typically linked to this. However, these benefits which would be highlighted have an overall impact on your health. This means that you do not need to buy and wear all compression sleeves at the same time to enjoy the benefits.
Read through each type of compression sleeve listed and let your lifestyle help you determine the best compression sleeve to go for. That said, let us begin.
Elbow Compression Sleeve
These are compression sleeves designed to retain heat in the muscles surrounding your elbow joints thus reducing your risk of developing painful joint problems. And it does this while maintaining the right amount of pressure on the area to keep a healthy blood flow in the region.
If you engage in a physical activity that requires frequent use of your hands and elbows, this is the compression sleeve for you. Obviously, we all use our hands in carrying out daily activities, however, I am referring to people whose hands play a prominent role in supporting their weight.
An example of such people would be the weightlifter, a handyman or anyone whose primary physical sporting activity is basketball, tennis, baseball, ice hockey etc. If you have a persistent elbow pain or were involved in an elbow injury recently, this is also for you.
Types of Elbow Compression Sleeves
Now there are several brands of elbow compression sleeves but there are two major types; the daytime compression sleeves and night time compression sleeves. The daytime compression sleeves are to be used when you are actively engaged in those physical activities we talked about earlier.
Nighttime compression sleeves on the other hand are best for people with elbow injuries or elbow pain as it helps provide support and promotes healing even while you sleep. Both types of elbow compression sleeves are available in generic form and customizable forms as well.
How Can You Tell What Elbow Compression Sleeve Is Best For You?
This is one of those times that pressure from tightness would not work in your favor. You need a compression sleeve that is elastic enough to keep the pressure where it is needed but stretchable enough to enhance mobility.
Gone are the days you had to sacrifice comfort for health. Sweaty elbows are a thing for some people. Heat retention in your elbow shouldn’t have to translate to sweating. Go for sleeves made from fabrics that wick sweat.
It is not uncommon to find sporting clothes that easily transition into office or street wear. There is no reason your compression sleeves can’t do the same. Go for brands with sleeves made from thin materials that wouldn’t bulk up when you wear it under your regular clothes. You should still be able wear your sleeves under form fitted shirts without bulking up.
Do Elbow Compression Sleeves Work for Elbow Injuries?
Yes. If you wear them correctly. Compression sleeves for elbows are designed to provide support, compression and heat for the elbow region. When you move an injured arm, force is directed to your elbow causing pain. Compression sleeves absorbs this force thereby minimizing pain caused by movement.
It then goes on to ensure that blood flow to the region is steady. This uninterrupted flow ensures that healing oxygen gets to the injured spot thus promoting faster healing.
So what you get at the end of the day is a reduction in the amount of time you spend healing and as well as a reduction in the pain that you experience during that healing period.
How Long Should You Wear Elbow Compression Sleeves?
The goal is to prevent injuries and protect your elbow while you are active. Therefore, barring any medical condition, you should wear it as long as you are actively using the arm. Remember not to overwork an injury. Pay attention to your doctor’s orders.
To get the best compression sleeve for your elbow, especially if you have an injury; get the opinion of your doctor.
Thigh Compression Sleeves
Hamstring injury is something that is very common in the athletic community. I know of people who “pulled” their hamstring just by walking down the stairs. So you can imagine how often an active person would experience this.
While injuries like these are inevitable, thigh compression sleeves can prevent such injuries or speed up the recovery period of you do get them. My favorite thing about these sleeves is that they improve your workout experience without any additional effort from you. Just put them on and you are good to go.
What Type of Thigh Compression Sleeves Should I Buy?
This depends on what you need.
You have the regular fit which is the kind you use for regular workouts. They provide thigh support, prevent friction thereby reducing the risks of thigh injury and help you make the most of your work out.
The medium fit provides a better fit, better support and better workout experience. However, it is better suited for people who do intense workouts or have minor muscle injuries around the thigh region.
This last type of thigh compression sleeves has the highest grade of compression in order to provide maximum therapeutic value to users. Athletes or fitness enthusiasts recovering from major surgery or injuries are likely to use this as they commence their workout post injury.
What are the Key Features of Good Thigh Compression Sleeves
There are different types of thigh compression sleeves and they serve different purposes. Picking the right one or even determining if you need one in the first place might be a bit of a challenge. But here is what you should look out for.
Thigh compression sleeve contours tell you how tight the sleeves holds your thighs. The best compression sleeve for your thigh should provide support without interfering with your workouts.
A good thigh compression sleeve should provide support without compromising your comfort. It should not feel itchy or roll down every few meters or moves into your workout
Whatever fabric a compression sleeve is made from, you want something that is durable yet easy to maintain.
Is Heat Good for a Hamstring Injury?
Seeing as compression sleeves provide heat energy to the area where it is used on, this question is valid. Hamstring injuries are tough to recover from because the legs provide major support for the body especially when the body is mobile.
During recovery from hamstring injury, every movement involving that region might cause pain and prolong your agony. The heat provided by compression sleeves prevents further compromise of the joints and tendons in that region.
So yes, the heat is good.
Ensure that you do a proper measurement of your thighs before you place an order. This would help you get a proper size.
Ankle Compression Sleeves
Not all people who use compression sleeves are necessarily active. So if you are thinking your desk life excludes you from the list, you need to think again. People who stay upright for long tend to have swollen feet.
Swollen feet happens when your heart is unable to pump blood back up from your feet to your heart and this can cause clots. Ankle compression sleeves gives your heart a helping hand by stopping blood from pooling around the veins surrounding your feet.
So even though you are not moving, the blood in that region stays moving.
Types of Ankle Compression Sleeves
The construction of ankle compression sleeves share similarities with thigh compression sleeves in that the difference is determined by the elasticity of the material.
This means that ankle compression sleeves come in different grades of elasticity. So, the greater the risk of injury, the tighter the fabric of the compression sleeve you chose should be.
How to Spot a Good Ankle Compression Sleeve
You should look out for the following features before you make a purchase;
Chances are you are going to wear these compression sleeves in a shoe. You don’t want a type that would make it difficult to rock your favorite pair.
This is not just the elastic fit of the sleeve itself. The focus here is on the cuff. The ankle is a peculiar location on your body. The perfect compression sleeve should be able to slide on and off easily while accommodating the unique curves
The foot is a breeding ground for bacteria if care is not taken. The right compression sleeve should strike a balance between offering ankle support while providing ventilation at the same time. The area needs to breathe.
Are Compression Sleeves Good for Swollen Feet?
Absolutely. There are things you can do to minimize the swelling in your feet but compression sleeves provide the best treatment option.
However, you should know that it does not treat the cause of the swelling feet in itself. It is designed to treat the symptoms and discomforts associated with the condition. If you are bothered by it, get a medical opinion.
Compression Socks vs Compression Sleeves?
Use compression socks if your problem is primarily with your feet. Use compression sleeves to combat problems associated with your shin, ankles and upper leg.
Shoulder Compression Sleeve
This is the best compression sleeve for a shoulder injury. For people who are active, we know that our shoulders suffer more injuries than any other part of our bodies. However, we often choose to ignore these kinds of injuries until they become unbearable before we take action.
Consider protecting your shoulder joints or promoting healing in shoulder related injuries by putting them in a shoulder sleeve.
What do Shoulder Compression Sleeves do?
A good shoulder compression sleeve should minimize the pain while you continue your regular routines. Of course, you would need to take it easy on yourself as you recover.
The shoulder compression sleeve is also there to help reduce your recovery time while preventing muscle stiffness as you are able to stay mobile.
What Kind of Shoulder Compression Sleeve is Good for Me?
Typically, compression sleeves for shoulders are for one hand but there are brands that create double sleeved variety. This comes in handy if your injury is in both shoulders.
Compression Sleeves for Calf Strain
Before I knew the medical benefits of compression sleeves for calves, I wore them because they seemed like the trendy thing to do. I see a lot of athletes wearing them and at the time, it was just cool to copy their style. Thankfully, I now know better.
As a runner, one of the things you train for is endurance. But the pounding that your leg muscles take during the process makes them wear out quickly. Compression sleeves act as a shock absorber thus reducing the vibrations your muscles experience as you run. This in turn keeps them in the race for longer.
Can Anyone Wear Calf Compression Sleeves?
If you are prone to calf injury, these compression sleeves might change your story. They are also great if you have a calf strain but want to keep mobile. They help alleviate the pain, protect your muscles and just as you have read throughout this article, they promote healing.
But if you are just an active person who wants to keep being active with minimal injuries for a long time, get a pair of compression sleeves to protect your joints, muscles and tendons.
Can Calf Compression Sleeves be Worn to Sleep?
Unless your doctor says otherwise, the answer is no.
Staying active does take its toll on your joints and muscles as we have learned. But you might be able to slow that process down or prevent it entirely by including compression sleeves in your fitness attire.
If you have suffered an injury but still want to maintain a semblance of mobility, these can help you too. However, remember to consult with a medical doctor before making the decision to continue your exercise. Compression sleeves are not a cure to joint or muscle injuries but they can make your life a whole lot better.