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The Effect of External Compression on the Mechanics of Muscle Contraction

James M. Wakeling, Meghan Jackman, and Ana I. Namburete

The velocity at which a muscle fascicle will shorten, and hence the force that it can develop, depends on its gearing within the muscle belly. Muscle fascicle length depends on both its pennation and the thickness of the muscle. It was expected that external compression would reduce the muscle thickness and pennation and thus cause a reduction to the gearing of the fascicles relative to the muscle belly. Structural properties of the medial gastrocnemius muscle were visualized using B-mode ultrasound in six subjects. Measurements were taken during cyclical isotonic contractions at three different ankle torques and with the application of no, one, or two elastic compression bandages to the lower leg. Ankle torques and angular velocities were unaffected by the external compression. External compression did, however, reduce the muscle thickness and the fascicle pennation and resulted in a decrease in the gearing within the muscle belly. Reductions in gearing would result in an increase in the muscle fascicle shortening velocity that would reduce the force-generating potential of the fascicles. It is suggested that externally applied compression should not be considered a way to enhance muscle performance when based on the structural mechanics.

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The Effect of Elevation on Intramuscular Tissue Temperatures

Cordial M. Gillette and Mark A. Merrick

Ice (I), compression (C), and elevation (E), or ICE, and its many derivatives, including RICE, PRICE, RICES, ICES, and POLICE (R = rest, P = protection, S = stability, and OL = optimal loading), are widely used treatments for acute musculoskeletal injuries. 1 – 5 The component of ICE that has the

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Development of a Full Flexion 3D Musculoskeletal Model of the Knee Considering Intersegmental Contact During High Knee Flexion Movements

David C. Kingston and Stacey M. Acker

has been reported to result in overestimations of tibial compression and anterior–posterior shear forces as high as 1.99 and 0.54 body weight (BW), respectively. 3 Prior 2D high knee flexion models 4 that omit intersegmental contact predicted tibial compression as high as 5 kN or 7.3 BW during a

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Sequential Pulse Compression’s Effect on Blood Flow in the Lower-Extremity

Kelly A. Brock, Lindsey E. Eberman, Richard H. Laird IV, David J. Elmer, and Kenneth E. Games

recover from muscle damage. Several treatments have been proposed for EIMD and DOMS and have been investigated for their efficacy in alleviating soreness and improving performance as measured by reduced recovery times. Such treatments include massage, 2 , 4 – 7 compression garments, 1 , 4 , 5 , 8 – 10

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Effects of 7 Consecutive Systematic Applications of Cryotherapy With Compression

Lisa S. Jutte and Dylan J. Paracka

cryotherapy treatment, that is, ice versus cold water, 3 and the length 4 of the cryotherapy application influences tissue temperature decreases. Compression is known to enhance cooling. 5 Merrick et al 6 reported thigh skin temperature decreasing to 4.94°C (0.68°C) during a single 30-minute ice bag

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Effect of Compression Therapy in the Treatment of Tibial Stress Syndrome in Military Service Members

Matthew N. Peterson, Benjamin K. Kocher, Jeffery L. Heileson, and Marion V. Sanders

would be beneficial by allowing athletes and military service members to return to normal activity levels more quickly. Compression therapy is a form of noninvasive treatment that is currently used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal injuries, such as sprains, strains, and inflammatory processes. The

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Pneumatic Compression Fails to Improve Performance Recovery in Trained Cyclists

Ryan G. Overmayer and Matthew W. Driller

advantageous. Compression garments, or static compression, are thought to improve exercise recovery by enhancing venous return, and thereby assist in the removal of metabolic waste accumulated as a result of exercise. 2 More recently, athletes have incorporated the use of intermittent sequential pneumatic

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The Influence of Compression Socks During a Marathon on Exercise-Associated Muscle Damage

Amanda L. Zaleski, Linda S. Pescatello, Kevin D. Ballard, Gregory A. Panza, William Adams, Yuri Hosokawa, Paul D. Thompson, and Beth A. Taylor

The benefits of regular sustained aerobic exercise are indisputable; however, extreme endurance events, such as a marathon foot race (42.2 km), can be associated with marked muscle damage, inflammation, and injury. 1 – 3 Compression socks have become increasingly popular to wear during and

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Lower Limb Sports Compression Garments Improve Muscle Blood Flow and Exercise Performance During Repeated-Sprint Cycling

James R. Broatch, David J. Bishop, and Shona Halson

metabolism progressively increases with sprint duration and the number of sprints. 11 , 12 As such, components of aerobic metabolism like blood flow and oxygen uptake/delivery may be important determinants of repeated-sprint ability. Lower limb compression garments have previously been suggested to provide

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Electrostimulation’s Enhancement of Recovery During a Rugby Preseason

C. Martyn Beaven, Christian Cook, David Gray, Paul Downes, Ian Murphy, Scott Drawer, John R. Ingram, Liam P. Kilduff, and Nicholas Gill

Rugby preseason training involves high-volume strength and conditioning training, necessitating effective management of the recovery-stress state to avoid overtraining and maximize adaptive gains.


Compression garments and an electrostimulation device have been proposed to improve recovery by increasing venous blood flow. These devices were assessed using salivary testosterone and cortisol, plasma creatine kinase, and player questionnaires to determine sleep quality, energy level, mood, and enthusiasm.


Twenty-five professional rugby players were assigned to 1 of 2 treatments (compression garment or a concurrent combination of electrostimulation and compression) in a crossover design over 2 × 2-wk training blocks.


Substantial benefits were observed in self-assessed energy levels (effect size [ES] 0.86), and enthusiasm (ES 0.80) as a result of the combined treatment when compared with compression-garment use. The combination treatment had no discernable effect on salivary hormones, with no treatment effect observed. The electrostimulation device did tend to accelerate the return of creatine kinase to baseline levels after 2 preseason rugby games when compared with the compression-garment intervention (ES 0.61; P = .08).


Electrostimulation elicited psychometric and physiological benefits reflective of an improved recovery-stress state in professional male rugby players when combined with a lower-body compression garment.