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Compression Socks & Research
Well, I’m not so sure if I subscribe to that idea, however with the pending move my time has been a little more ‘spread out’ shall we say and the unfortunate casualty of that this month has been the blog. I do have a goal of having new blog content each month so here goes…..uh, er April’s content??? That being said, I did have the idea for the blog several weeks ago. It was rather simple as it came to me in the form of an email from www.therunningclinic.ca, which is a great resource for all things running, particularly footwear. They also aim to adhere to an evidence based approach and critical appraisal of the literature out there.
Their most recent email offering to me very clearly and simply demonstrates how we need to be consistently analyzing the ‘research’ put before our eyes. I wanted to pass on this simple example from them to warm you up to the way we try to think here at Movement Solutions. It goes a little something like this.
Saturday, April 4th, 2015
1- 2014-Armstrong-COMPRESSION SOCKS AND FUNCTIONAL RECOVERY FOLLOWING MARATHON RUNNING: A RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TRIAL
Authors seeked to study whether wearing compression socks for 48 hours after marathon running can improve functional recovery, as measured by a timed treadmill test to exhaustion 14 days following marathon running (n=33, age = 38.5 ±7.2yrs, randomised into the compression sock or placebo group--> diabetic seamless socks). A graded treadmill test to exhaustion was performed 2 weeks prior and 2 weeks following each marathon. In the compression group average treadmill run to exhaustion time 2 weeks following the marathon increased by 2.6% (52s ±103s). In the placebo group run to exhaustion time decreased by 3.4% (-62s ±130s). P=0.009. This shows a significant beneficial effect of compression socks on recovery compared to placebo.
Opinion: The research question from the study was actually pretty interesting; however, the design was bad... How can they assume that the difference in performance from a running test 14 days following a marathon is due to wearing compression socks during 48 hours, while there are tenths of factors that could account for this... Even if it's an RCT, don't assume that this represents the truth!
So, as you can see, pretty significant statements can be made (and often held up as truth) without a very thorough look at the big picture. Keep this in mind as the ‘marketing machines’ do what they do…
Thanks for reading,