Effects of compression garments during exercise and recovery activities on muscle oxygenation responses

Biddulph, B., 2023. Effects of compression garments during exercise and recovery activities on muscle oxygenation responses. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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The evolution of elite sport has increased the number of fixtures and competitions athletes complete, thus requiring the development of strategies to improve recovery and performance. One such strategy is the application of compression garments. Research examining the effects of compression garments on blood flow and muscle oxygenation are equivocal, suggesting that further research and new methods are needed to enhance understanding. A limitation in the current literature has been the examination of standardised (‘off the shelf’) garments and their effects in sporting and recovery settings. A standardised garment does not take into consideration individuals’ limb geometry, which has an influence on the amount of compression pressure applied, potentially limiting physiological responses. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis was to explore muscle oxygenation responses when wearing different types of bespoke compression garments.

The use of Near-infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) to measure muscle oxygenation has been shown to be reliable. However, there has been minimal research to date that has assessed reliability measures of NIRS when wearing compression. Chapter 4 outlines the use of a Near-infrared Spectroscopy to be a reliable method to assess Tissue Saturation (TSI), oxyhaemoglobin (O2Hb) and deoxyhaemoglobin (HHb) concentration changes in the gastrocnemius and the vastus lateralis. Participants undertook 20 minutes of laying down, seating, walking, jogging and seating across four trials (2 control, with no garment applied and 2 with bespoke compression tights). Compression ranged from 5.6 - 13 mmHg in the compression tights. There were no differences observed between O2Hb and HHb responses in control and compression tights trials (P>0.05). Tissue saturation demonstrated moderate to good reliability (1- 4.5% CV) in both control and compression tights trials in the gastrocnemius and vastus lateralis. Coefficient of variation for oxyhaemoglobin concentration changes from the baseline ranged from 0.6 - 8.8% in the gastrocnemius and the vastus lateralis in both control and compression tights trials. ICC values for oxyhaemoglobin responses ranged from iii 0.35-0.89 in the gastrocnemius and vastus lateralis in control and compression tights trials respectively. Deoxyhaemoglobin reliability varied from moderate to good reliability (ICC: 0.41 to 0.93: CV: 0.61 to 9.9%) across both control and compression tights trials in the gastrocnemius and vastus lateralis muscle. Systematic bias was -25.0 to 11.7 ΔµM across both control and compression tights trials in both gastrocnemius and vastus lateralis muscles. Chapter 4 concludes that NIRS assessment provides reliable values when assessing oxygenation changes with the application of compression garments and without.

The purpose of Chapter 5 was to provide insight into the effects of compression socks and bespoke compression tights on muscle oxygenation responses. The experimental protocol consisted of 20 minutes of the following activities: supine, seating, walking, jogging and seating. Compression profile ranged from 15.5- 22.3 mmHg in the compression socks trials. Chapter 5 data demonstrated that bespoke compression tights (3.2 ± 10.5 ΔµM) increased O2Hb concentration changes in the vastus lateralis in the laying supine position (P=0.04). HHb increased when compression tights were applied in the walking stage (2.8 ± 13.5 ΔµM) at the gastrocnemius muscle (P=0.03) and in the seating (0.75 ± 5.3 ΔµM) position in the vastus lateralis (P=0.03). Tissue saturation reduced in both gastrocnemius (72.2 ± 6.7%) and vastus lateralis (72.7 ± 4.3%) muscles when compression tights were applied during the walking stage (P<0.05). Compression tights (ranging 3.8 to 6.5 ΔµM) were favoured to improve oxyhaemoglobin responses more in comparison to use of compression socks (-0.7 to 3.8 ΔµM) across the protocol.

The objective of Chapter 6 was to design new bespoke compression and assess perceived comfort levels prior to engaging in stationary positions such as laying down, 75 head up tilt and standing. The awareness of participant comfort levels when wearing compression is of key importance especially if athletes need to wear them for prolonged periods of time. Graduated, uniform and iv reverse graduated compression tights were produced and perceived comfort assessed. A visual analogue scale was used to assess comfort, ankle fitting, knee fitting and compression. The reverse (4.1 ± 2.8 cm) graduated was the least favoured design in comfort, this could be put down to lack of familiarity as no one has worn a garment of this design prior. Graduated (11.6 ± 1.7 cm) and uniform (9.4 ± 3.2 cm) provided acceptable comfort ratings across different phases of the protocol.

The aim of Chapter 7 was to build on Chapter 5 and provide more insight into the effects of bespoke compression tights and their influence on oxygenation during stationary activities. In this study, a range of new bespoke compression tights were manufactured with a purpose to provide a different type of compression profile. Graduated, reverse graduated, uniform and control compression garments were used across 5 visits, (further details on objective for each profile can be found in the methods section). Ten, healthy active males (age 28.4 ± 3.6 years and body mass 81.3 ± 11.2 kg; mean ± SD) completed 5 trials across a 30-day period. Participants undertook 3 stationary (decubitus, 75 ° Head up Tilt and standing) activities for approximately 20-45 minutes. Reverse (71.5 ± 7.6 %) graduated compression garment provided the highest amount of tissue saturation in the standing position in the gastrocnemius, in comparison to the use of no garment (63.3 ± 8.6%) and the other garment trials (P<0.05). The higher levels of compression on the upper extremity of the leg, could have had an influence in improving the amount of oxygen in the gastrocnemius, further research in an exercise specific setting is warranted to understand this mechanism. HHb responses were highest in the graduated profile (10.2 ± 7.0 ΔµM) in the gastrocnemius, this was observed in the tilt position and was higher in comparison to the rest of the trials (P<0.05). The graduated (4.4 ± 3.4 ΔµM) compression profile also provided an increase in HHb in the vastus lateralis in the tilt position in contrast to the use of the control (-4.8 ± 4.7 ΔµM) garment (P<0.05).

Overall, the thesis provides an indicator that made to measure compression garments can influence muscle oxygenation responses. It is also apparent that a graduated profile can influence oxygenation responses in both gastrocnemius and vastus lateralis. Further research should begin to expand on this work and begin to investigate the influence of made to measure compression on exercise and recovery specific protocols.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Biddulph, B.
Sunderland, C.Thesis supervisorLIF3SUNDECDorcid.org/0000-0001-7484-1345
Morris, J.Thesis supervisorSST3MORRIJorcid.org/0000-0001-6508-7897
Date: 2023
Rights: The copyright in this work is to be held by the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the author.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jeremy Silvester
Date Added: 27 Jun 2024 11:00
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2024 11:00
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/51638

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