Compression Garments

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A Study of compression garments on enhancing performance in competitive athletes

1.0 Background Information 1.1 Trend and history of Compression Garment In an attempt to enhance sporting performance, athletes seek various methods to improve their rate of recovery. A popular trend observed is the widespread usage of compression garment (CG) during training or competition [1- 4]. The origin of the usage of compression garments could be traced back as early as 460 BC, when it was initially used as a form of treatment in human injuries [5]. 1.2 Studies conducted on Compression Garment (CG) The first exercise-related research was conducted by Berry et. al. (1987) to determine the effects of CG on blood lactate levels in the body. CG worn during maximal exercise resulted in lower blood lactate concentrations and was attributed by increased blood circulation in the body [4, 6]. Studies in literature found that CG increases resistance against muscle fatigue post exercise [4, 8], enhance the ability to thermoregulate [9] and aid in muscle recovery [7]. On the contrary, there are studies that report otherwise. Maton et. al. (2006) cited a study conducted by Styf et. al. (1994) on leg muscle fatigue during dorsal flexion of the ankle joints. It showed that wearing knee braces would result in a shorter time to achieve muscle fatigue as compared to subjects who did not wear CG [10]. A study by Goh et. al. (2011) showed that the core temperature was not affected by the CG at an environment of 10°C [11]. Another study conducted by Duffield et. al. (2010) on the effects of CG by trained athletes, suggested that wearing CG did not affect the rate of recovery during the phase of post-exercise [12]. It would seem that studies in the literature present conflicting evidences on the ergogenic benefit of

CG. Hence, it is exigent that a systemic review should be conducted to critically evaluate the usage of CG in sports performance.

2.0 Research Problem / Objectives Many competitive athletes use CG for sporting purposes. Conflicting findings are evident in the effects of the CG in the literature. Hence, further analysis is required to evaluate the effects of CG on enhancing performance. Our study aims to investigate whether wearing CG would influence athletic performance through the discussion of the following aspects: (1) resistance against muscle fatigue; (2) regulation of body temperature; (3) increase in rate of recovery. 3.0 Rationale As there is significant increment in popularity of using CG [6], our study will be important as it aims to help athletes distinguish whether CG provide enhancement to athletic performance or is it just a trend driven by sports apparel manufacturers. As few reviews have been done to analyse the results from the extensive studies conducted, our research will also serve as a stepping stone for further analysis CG and its enhancement to sporting performance. 4.0 Scope of Study Our study will focus on three factors associated with athletic performance, mainly muscle fatigue, regulation of body temperature and recovery rate.

5.0 Research Methods The framework to carry out this systemic review is adopted from Yan et. al. (2011) [13]. The methodology would include the search strategy, setting of inclusion and exclusion criteria, quality assessment and data analysis. 5.1 Searching for literature Literatures will be searched from EBSCO and Pubmed databases. Hand searched literature would be included for literature that could not be found in soft copy. The search will be carried out between 2000 to 2011 as the evidences quoted in the literature are more recent. The date of publication will also be noted. The keywords that will be used in the search are as follows: Compression garments, muscle fatigue, thermoregulation, recovery rate and performance. The Boolean system will also be used to collect specific articles related to the study. 5.2 Setting of inclusion and exclusion criteria Empirical based studies,...
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