A Review on the Utility of Compression Garments

Research Paper Title

Effects of Compression Garments on Skeletal Muscle Physiology, Performance and Recovery in Young Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review.

Background

Compression garments (CG) are highly popular sports apparel amongst athletes and fitness enthusiasts. The manufacturers claim numerous benefits of CGs for both performance and recovery from exercise. However, the overall body of evidence remains equivocal on the effects of CGs on skeletal muscle physiology and related athletic performance outcomes.

Methods

This systematic review, based on the Centre for Cognitive Ageing, Cognitive Epidemiology definition and PRISMA-P terminology aimed to identify and evaluate the current literature on the effects of CGs on skeletal muscle physiology, performance, and recovery in young healthy adults. A search of PubMed, Web of Science and SPORTDiscus databases was done for relevant studies from February 2008 to February 2018 that used randomised controlled trials (RCTs), randomised repeated measures (RRMs) and randomised counter-balanced measures (RCMs) study designs.

Results

Seven hundred eighty four published papers were identified on initial database and cross-referencing search, of which
eight papers met the eligibility criteria. The risk of bias and the quality of evidence for the eligible studies was evaluated using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) Scale. None of the studies showed significant effects of CGs on performance or recovery-related outcomes compared to the control group.

Conclusions

This review concludes that CGs have minimal and unclear effects on muscle physiology, performance and recovery in young healthy adults. However, they can be worn for the sense of individual comfort and belief, as there are apparently no adverse effects of CGs on performance.

Reference

Mukherjee, S. & Hui, L.Y. (2019) Effects of Compression Garments on Skeletal Muscle Physiology, Performance and Recovery in Young Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review. Sports and Exercise Medicine. 5(1), pp.11-17.

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