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The use of compression garments for recovery following team-sport exercise

Recovery interventions are constantly being sought after and investigated to determine which method is the most beneficial for exercise recovery. Some athletes (e.g. basketball) must prepare for events such as 3-5 day tournaments; during these types of tournaments, there is a short turn around between games, often having to play multiple games within a 24h period (e.g. two games on the same day or one at night and one in the morning). The short turn around presents a limited time for recovery, which means interventions are often implemented to assist in expediting the recovery rate. The use of compression garments following exercise has been said to increase the rate of recovery by increasing blood flow, reducing space for swelling and reducing levels of muscle damage and inflammatory markers. Research has been performed in different sports and for different time frames when wearing compression garments following exercise. This thesis will firstly review the current literature on compression garments used for recovery in the sport setting and identify the gaps in the literature. The thesis then includes an experimental study in chapter 2, which investigates the effects of compression garments (full length, lower-limb) worn overnight (approx. 15 hours) on markers of recovery, in an attempt to fill some of the gaps highlighted in the literature review. The experimental study in this thesis included a parallel-group design, where 30 male basketball athletes (mean ± SD age: 23 ± 4 years) were allocated to either a control group (participants wore loose-fitted clothing following exercise) or an experimental group (participants wore lower-limb compression garments following exercise). An exercise session including basketball specific movements was used to induce physical fatigue. Physical tests (countermovement jump, 20m repeated sprints and 5-0-5 agility tests) and perceptual measures (fatigue and muscle soreness) were conducted pre-exercise, post-exercise and the following morning 15h post-exercise. Perceived and actual sleep measures were recorded during the overnight stay in the laboratory. The main result found in the original study was the perceptual ratings of muscle soreness and fatigue. The results were in favour of the compression garments group with large differences (d = -1.27 and d = -1.61 respectively) and significant improvement (p = 0.04) compared to a control group. This thesis adds knowledge to the existing literature on compression garment use for recovery in a team sport, reporting the limitations, practical implications and future research directions for compression garment in recovery.
Type of thesis
Atkins, R. L. (2019). The use of compression garments for recovery following team-sport exercise (Thesis, Master of Health, Sport and Human Performance (MHSHP)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13409
The University of Waikato
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