Morphological Changes of Leg Muscles and Subcutaneous Fat from Compression Pressures in Active-Healthy Individuals
Refereed conference paper presented and published in conference proceedings

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Wearing sports compression garment is popular however, the efficacy in exercise and recovery performance remains controversial; limited data on the relationship of applied compression pressure (COMP) to tissues morphological responses (Brown et al., 2016; Partsch, 2016) unlike in clinical studies on compression stockings (Partsch and Mosti, 2008). Therefore, we aimed to investigate the muscles and subcutaneous fat morphological responses to different COMPs in active-healthy participants during rest.
Thirty-two participants (Male:16; Age = 21.8 ± 1.7 years; Weight = 61.0 ± 8.8 kg; Height = 169.2 ± 7.0 cm; % Body fat: 16.0 ± 8.7%) were provided with three different lower-body COMPs (LOW: gymnastic tights, MED: sports compression tights on top of LOW, and HIGH: sports compression sleeves on top of MED). The leg skinfolds and circumferences were measured with standardized techniques; cross-sectional area of leg muscles (CSAmuscle) and subcutaneous fat (CSAfat) were measured using 0.25T MRI, at calf, knee, thigh levels, and in supine and upright positions.
The COMP at LOW (calf: 2.9 ± 1.4, knee: 1.6 ± 1.5, thigh: 2.2 ± 1.3 mmHg), MED (calf: 16.8 ± 3.0, knee: 11.1 ± 3.6, thigh: 10.7 ± 1.6 mmHg) and HIGH (calf: 38.8 ± 4.4, knee: 26.2 ± 4.3, thigh: 21.3 ± 2.3 mmHg) were monitored. A COMP of 38.8 ± 4.4 mm Hg at calf, and 10.7 ± 1.6 mmHg at thigh, induced significantly smaller CSAmuscle (P < 0.05). There was no main effect of COMP at knee (P = 0.051) and thigh (P = 0.087) CSAfat; and no main effect of position at CSAmuscle and CSAfat (P < 0.05). The COMP was negatively correlated to, female’s CSAmuscle (P < 0.01, r = -0.4) and CSAfat (P < 0.001, r = -0.7); male’s CSAmuscle (P < 0.05, r = -0.3) and CSAfat (P < 0.005, r = -0.5); but did not correlate to body height and weight, leg skinfold and leg circumference (P > 0.05) in females. Males, had bigger CSAmuscle and smaller CSAfat at all leg levels (P < 0.001), and experienced higher COMP at calf (P < 0.05) and thigh (P < 0.05) than in females, in MED and HIGH conditions.
Using MRI, we observed that 38.8 ± 4.4 and 10.7 ± 1.6 mmHg are critical COMP for calf and thigh muscles compression in active-healthy individuals during rest. The leg muscle and subcutaneous fat respond differently under different COMPs during rest. We suggest that leg muscle and fat composition could affect the exerted COMP therefore efficacy of compression garment wearing, particularly for high leg skinfold individual.
Brown F, Gissane C, Howatson G, van Someren K, Pedlar C, Hill J. (2017). Sports Med, 1-23.
Partsch H. (2016). Ann Sports Med Res, 3(8), 1094.
Partsch H, Mosti G. (2008). Phlebology, 23(6), 252-258.
Acceptance Date29/03/2018
All Author(s) ListDaniel C.W. Lee, Helen K. W. Law, Ajmol Ali, Shara W.Y. Lee, Stephen H.S. Wong
Name of Conference23rd Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science
Start Date of Conference04/07/2018
End Date of Conference07/07/2018
Place of ConferenceDublin
Country/Region of ConferenceIreland
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2018-03-12 at 16:02