Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Technology for Sports Recovery

Conference paper


Intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) technologies are widely used in clinical populations to aid the reduction of limb oedema and for the prophylaxis of deep vein thromboses (DVT). IPC application within athletic populations is not however widespread. The main mechanism for the effectiveness of IPC is that it augments venous and arterial blood flow via the periodic inflation of external cuffs. We believe that this may be beneficial to the warmdown activities of athletes. The removal of waste products may help to reduce injury risk and the phenomenon of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). A new implementation of the technology has been developed to test the extent of any potential warm-down effects induced by IPC treatment in athletes. This paper presents a pilot study in which male participants were exposed to IPC following intensive exercise. The specific treatment comprised 60sec inflation and 60sec deflation of a calf-thigh three compartment sequential compression garment (ratio 70∶65∶60mmHg) on each leg. This cycle was implemented by an electric pump with the participants in the partially supine position. The recovery protocol was designed to assess the ability of IPC to reduce the symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) elicited by a high intensity repeated shuttle run. A 1 hour IPC treatment was implemented in this case. Vertical jump was used to identify any change in performance pre and post trial. Visual analogue scales were used +1, +24 and +48 hours after the tests to assess the presence of DOMS. During these tests, heart rate and blood pressure measurements were recorded.


Pressure Treatment Vertical Jump Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Delay Onset Muscle Soreness High Pressure Treatment 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sports Technology Research Group, Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing EngineeringLoughborough UniversityUK
  2. 2.Medical Physics and BioengineerngUniversity of Wales College of MedicineCardiffUK

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