Compression, Physical Fitness and Sports

athletic3May is Physical Fitness and Sports Month. I would like to direct this news letter to our athletes. You would think young, athletic people would have no problems with their legs, but that is not correct. Sports activities which add more weight to the legs (weightlifting, skiing, backpacking) and repetitive motion sports (running, cycling, and tennis) put a lot of stress on the veins in the legs and can damage the delicate valves in the veins and exacerbate venous insufficiency in the athlete.

When athletes are exercising, their muscles require more oxygen. The arteries transport the oxygen rich blood and the active muscles help the veins return the oxygen poor blood to the heart. Once the exercise has ended, there is no calf muscle pump to help the veins return the blood. So the legs of the athlete with varicose veins may begin to ache, throb and feel heavy. If the legs are elevated, this will help the body defy gravity and return the oxygen poor blood to the heart. This is exactly how compression socks or support socks will help the athlete and may in the long run help prevent deep vein thrombosis. Performance socks use science to help professional athletes as well as the week-end warrior maximize performance as well as recovery.

A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot within a deep vein, usually in the legs. A pulmonary embolism (PE) is blockage caused by a blood clot in one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs. It usually originates from a blood clot in the legs (DVT).  You would think the athlete less likely to develop blood clots than the elderly. But that is the problem. Health care  providers think the same way so when an athlete presents with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) symptoms, they interpret the symptoms as “muscle tear, “Charlie horse”, “twisted ankle”, or “shin splints”.  Chest symptoms from an athlete with a Pulmonary Emboli (PE) are often interpreted as pulled muscle, inflammation of the joint between ribs and breast bone, bronchitis, asthma, or a touch of pneumonia.

Being an athlete and being apparently healthy does not guarantee they will not get blood clots. There are several risk factors that put the athlete as well as the non-athlete at increased risk for DVT and PE…

  • Traveling long distances to and from sports events. It does not matter if it is by plane, bus, or car
  •  Dehydration (during and after a sport activity)
  •  Significant trauma
  •  Immobilization (wearing a brace or cast)
  •  Bone fracture or major surgery
  •  Birth control pills and patch, pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy
  •  Family history of DVT or PE
  •  Presence of inherited or acquired clotting disorder (Factor V Leiden, prothrombin 20210 mutation, antiphospholipid antibodies, and other clotting defects or deviancies
  •  Presence of a congenital abnormal formation of the veins
  •  May-Thurner Syndrome (narrowing of the major left pelvic vein)
  •  Narrowing or absence of the inferior vena cava (the main vein in the abdomen
  •  Cervical rib causing thoracic outlet obstruction

Built to performWhen an athlete works out, the muscles of the body act as a secondary pump to help move the blood back to the heart. The athlete also has a slower heart rate than the average person. During performance that is wonderful, but at times, that can be detrimental. After a work out or when the athlete travels the heart does not move the blood through the circulatory system as quickly as when the athlete is exercising. This is when a sock of at least 15-20mmHg is extremely important. It keeps the blood from pooling in the deep veins and forming a DVT.

Call one of the SupportHosePlus.com Certified Fitters on our toll-free number, 1-844-472-8807, for assistance with the selection of performance and/or recovery socks to enhance performance or prevent DVT and PE.

Enjoy your day!

Vanda Lancour

April is Foot Health Month 2014 – 3

This month I have been addressing foot health. Since we currently have All Sigvaris products on sale right now, I thought I might review the Sigvaris Sport Socks and why they are so great for foot health. I don’t know if your realize it; these socks cannot be normally discounted below our regular price. So this is a great opportunity for you to try some fabulous socks with the 10% discount.

A growing trend among competitive athletes and weekend warriors is the use of gradient or graduated compression socks to help improve their athletic performance and recovery. Whether it is during the actual event, after the event, or while traveling, today’s athletes are making gradient compression socks a part of their attire.

Sigvaris has an entire line of sports products perfect for athletic activity and recovery. Professional athletes, weekend warriors and active individuals alike can all benefit from wearing the true graduated compression the Sigvaris Sports provides.

    • Those wearing Sigvaris Sports Socks will benefit from:
  • Increased circulation and improved blood flow
  • Increased oxygen to muscle tissue
  • Reduce pulled muscles and less exercise-induced muscle soreness in the legs
  • Less lactic acid buildup in the legs during exercise
  • Improve energy, performance, and recovery
  • Injury prevention and reduced shin splints and calf cramps

Peak Your Performance with Sigvaris High TechSigvaris Performance Sock

  • 20-30mmHg gradient compression optimizes athletic performance
  • Improved blood circulation and oxygen delivery
  • Less aching and cramping
  • Thermal and odor control
  • Achilles tendon protector reduces vibration on ligaments

Speed Up Your Recovery Time with Sigvaris Athletic RecoverySigvaris Recovery Sock

  • 15-20mmHg gradient compression promotes lactic acid flush-out and relieves delayed onset muscle soreness
  • Superior athletic sizing assortment and comfortable fit
  • Patented DriRelease® treatment virtually eliminates odors

Peak Your Performance with Thermoregulating Wool

Sigvaris Merino Outdoor Performance Sock

  • 20-30mmHg gradient compression optimizes athletic performance
  • Fine Australian Merino Wool Socks constructed with itch-free fibers feels soft and comfortable against the kin
  • Naturally durable, anti-microbial, and thermo-regulating for all seasons
  • Absorbs 35% of its weight in water, keeping skin dry longer
  • Cushioned padded sole keeps feet blister-free and mesh flex-zones provide ventilation


Speed Up Your Recovery Time with Sigvaris Merino OutdoorSigvaris Merino Outdoor Sock

  • 15-20mmHg gradient compression promotes lactic acid flush-out and relieves delayed onset muscle soreness
  • Fine Australian Merino Wool Socks constructed with itch-free fibers feel soft and comfortable against the skin
  • Naturally durable, anti-microbial, and thermo-regulating for all seasons
  • Absorbs 35% of its weight in water, keeping skin dry longer
  • Cushioned padded sole keeps feet blister-free and mesh flex-zones provide ventilation

Wool is not just a winter garment. Its thermo regulating properties keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. This natural fiber absorbs 35% of its weight in water to keep the skin dry. On a personal note, I love the Sigvaris Merino Outdoor when I am hiking.

When blood is properly circulated, it provides much-needed nutrients to tired muscles that have been, or are being deprived during a workout. Unlike the Sigvaris Sports Products, many other sports products do not feature “true gradient compression”. Sigvaris products have become popular among many high-profile athletes and are often recommended by trainers and sports physician world wide.

Here’s to Healthy Feet for a Healthy Life,

Vanda
www.supporthoseplus.com

The Newest (and Driest) Technology in Compression Socks

sweaty feetOur feet are the second sweatiest part of our body next to our armpits. The 250,000 sweat glands found on each foot can generate between half a cup and a cup of perspiration per day, depending on our level of activity. Unless this moisture is wicked away, our feet will become soggy and the skin soft and damp. Mushy skin becomes damaged a lot faster than dry skin. This is why 100% cotton socks are not a good choice. Cotton appears in a lot of less expensive socks. It absorbs more moisture than many other fibers, but loses all of its insulating ability when saturated, takes forever to dry, and will sag and bunch when wet. Socks which contain high percentages of cotton should be avoided.

Our socks take extreme wear and tear from our daily activities. They protect our feet from blisters and all the abuse we can deal out. Thus as we don (put on) our socks each day their job is to manage moisture and keep our feet dry. Their second job is to give enough padding to keep our feet warm or cool depending on conditions and our activity, and protect our feet from blisters.

Socks and the yarns which are used to knit them are probably one of the least thought about issues of our time. However, if our feet are not happy, we are not happy. The right socks make us feel good. Our manufacturers spend a lot of time and money on research looking for the best yarns to use to knit compression socks and compression stockings to make them both durable and effective. So let’s take some time to consider the yarns used to knit them.

Nylon and polyester are extremely durable. When a sock wears out the nylon is the last threads seen which are holding those favorite socks together. These synthetic, non-porous materials absorb very little water, dry quickly, and help give socks form and structure. Nylon and polyester themselves do not move moisture, but manufacturers apply a variety of coatings to the fibers to wick moisture away from our feet. (Dry feet are less susceptible to bacteria and fungus.) Examples of polyester and nylon socks are the Sigvaris Recovery SockSigvaris Performance SockTherafirm Core-Spun Knee High and Therafirm Core-Spun Cushioned Knee High, and the Sigvaris Performanace Sleeve.

Polyamide is a term often seen in socks. They are the basic fiber forming substances for nylon fiber. Polyamide was developed in the United States about 1935 and first used in stockings about 1940. Nylon fiber is fine, highly elastic, easy to wash, quick to dry and retains its shape well.

Acrylic is another commonly used synthetic material. It closely approximates the plushness of wool, while offering the increased durability of a synthetic. Other materials used include Lycra Spandex or Elasthan, which provide the hugging elastic. Please note that neither Spandex nor Elasthan contain rubber! In fact there are only a very few socks from our manufacturers that do contain rubber. All garments contain Spandex or Elasthan to give the support socks or support stockings the stretch. An example of socks with acrylic, nylon and Elasthan are the Therafirm Core-Spun.

Natural fibers would seem to be a good choice, but some have drawbacks. Cotton, as we have already discussed, is not a good choice. Wool manages moisture well, and wicks moisture away from your feet. Wool provides good padding and warmth, and can absorb up to a third of its weight in water without feeling damp or losing much of its insulating ability. Something you may not have known…wool regulates temperature well keeping feet cool as well as warm. However, wool is also less durable than most synthetic materials, and does not hold its shape well. So that we may have the best of both worlds (natural fibers and man made fibers) our manufacturers are now creating blends of fine wool, nylon, and spandex. Examples of the mix of fine Australian Merino Wool, nylon, and spandex mix are the Sigvaris Merino Wool and the Sigvaris Thermoregulating Wool .

Now last, but by no means least is a patented, intimate blend of synthetic and natural fibers that accelerates the water release rate of wet fabric. Dri-Release® is a micro blend performance yarn that feels like cotton. Rather than just spreading moisture across its surface, Dri-Release® actually pushes moisture to the outside of a garment, releasing water and perspiration. Tests show it dries four times faster than cotton and faster than any other performance fabric on the market. Dri-Release® is the preferred performance fabric for athletes all over the world. The unparalleled performance and moisture transferring qualities of Dri-Release® help these many athletes perform at the top of their game every time. One of the socks we have previously mentioned, Sigvaris Recovery Sock, is an example of a sock containing the Dri-Release® yarn.

In conclusion if shopping for what many of us call support hose, compression hosiery, support socks and many other names, a garment with high contents of synthetic fibers will tend to give us longer wear, provide wicking action to remove moisture from our feet and provide ample padding. Top of this list of synthetic fibers is the new yarn which was developed Optimar called Dri-Release®. It is the very same yarn used in socks worn in bicycle races and triathlons by well know athletes. Socks containing wool are also a good choice because it is  thermo regulating, moisture wicking, insulating, breathable, and durable. 


Happy Activities,

Vanda
SupportHosePlus.com