Effects of an external pneumatic compression device vs static compression garment on peripheral circulation and markers of sports performance and recovery

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European Journal of Applied Physiology



To identify the effects of a single 30 min partial lower leg external pneumatic compression (EPC) treatment compared to a static compression (SC) garment or a no treatment control (CTL) on markers of recovery and performance following a muscle damaging protocol.


Thirty healthy, active males (23 ± 3 years; 180.2 ± 9.0 cm; 81.6 ± 11.3 kg) performed 100 drop jumps from a 0.6 m box followed by a randomized, single 30 min treatment of either a partial lower leg EPC device worn below the knee and above the ankle (110 mmHg), SC garment (20–30 mmHg) covering the foot and calf just below the knee, or no treatment CTL, and then returned 24 and 48 h later. Participants were assessed for measures of muscle soreness, fatigue, hemodynamics, blood lactate, muscle thickness, circumferences, and performance assessments.


The drop jump protocol significantly increased muscle soreness (p < 0.001), fatigue (p < 0.001), blood flow (p < 0.001), hemoglobin (p < 0.001), and muscle oxygen saturation (SMO2; p < 0.001). Countermovement jump and squat jump testing completed after treatment with either EPC, SC, or CTL revealed no differences for jump height between any condition. However, EPC treatment maintained consistent braking force and propulsive power measures across all timepoints for countermovement jump testing. EPC and SC treatment also led to better maintenance of squat jump performance for average relative propulsive force and power variables at 24 and 48 h compared to CTL.


A single 30 min partial leg EPC treatment may lead to more consistent jump performance following a damaging bout of exercise.



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