gms | German Medical Science

7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Annual Assembly of the German and the Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

26.-29.10.2011, Salzburg, Austria

The influence of a medical compression-sock on fatigue

Meeting Abstract

7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Salzburg, 26.-29.10.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2011. Doc11esm059

doi: 10.3205/11esm059, urn:nbn:de:0183-11esm0595

Published: October 24, 2011

© 2011 Reer et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: The fatigue resistance is an essential factor in training and competition in most sports and demanding exercise [1]. The purpose of this study was to assess if the use of medically prescribed compression-sock (CS) reduces fatigue during intense exercise and positively influences the electromyographic activity of gastrocnemius muscle.

Material/Methods: Forty subjects (20 males and 20 females with a mean age of 28.7 ± 7.3 yrs) performed 60 consecutive maximal toe-raises (plantar flexion). The frequency of plantar flexion lasted about 3s per plantar flexion and was controlled via a metronome and recorded via Optojump (Microgate, Bolzano, Italy) measuring instrument. After 10 min recovery, we conducted the second trial identical to the first trial. During the first trial of 60 plantar flexion exercises, the subject wore the CS on dominant or non-dominant leg. Only one lower leg used the CS and the sequence of first exercise trail was conducted in random order. At the end of first trial we removed the CS from the leg and in the middle of recovery phase (after 5 min) we applied the CS to the opposite leg. The electromyographic measurements were conducted via bipolar surface electrodes measuring both gastrocnemius muscle heads (long and short head).

Results: Our data revealed that electromyographic signals were significantly lower (p<0.05) during both trials as well as during recovery phase with CS on vs. trails without CS.

Conclusion: The reduction in electromyographic signals with CS suggests that there was greater resistance to fatigue compared to no CS. This may be due to an increased venous return that was enhanced via CS and an increased venous circulation that may have influenced the removal of local waste products formed in gastrocnemius muscle [2].


Ament W, Verkerke GJ. Exercise and fatigue. Sports Med. 2009;39:389-422.
Ali A, Caine MP, Snow BG. Graduated compression stockings: Physiological and perceptual responses during and after exercise. J Sports Sci. 2007;25:413-9.