Compression, Electrical Stimulation, and Massage for Sore Muscles and Stiff Joints

Compression, Electrical Stimulation, and Massage for Sore Muscles and Stiff Joints


Compression, Electrical Stimulation, and Massage for Sore Muscles and Stiff Joints

Photo courtesy of Jordan Malane

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There’s sound science and published research supporting this concept.

Compression, Electrical Stimulation, and Massage for Sore Muscles and Stiff Joints

Compression, Electrical Stimulation, and
Massage for Sore Muscles and Stiff Joints

Created with Copper Fit

Sore and stiff muscles and joints may be due to high-intensity workouts or just sitting too long in one place. Muscle soreness after physical exercise is associated with damage to muscle fibers, inflammation, and swelling—and massage and compression techniques appear to be among the most helpful therapies for recovery and everyday comfort.

Compression garments are used to promote muscle performance and recovery when worn during and after exercise. The garments are designed to support healthy blood circulation to remove waste products such as lactic acid, bring in nourishing nutrients and oxygen, and remove excess fluid to help control swelling. Compression works by assisting venous return—which means blood flow through the veins back to the heart—and it also supports tissue drainage via the lymphatic system. Compression may prevent damage to muscle cells, too.

A very different approach to recovery involves sending electrical currents through your body to stimulate muscles and nerves. This may sound creepy, but it is not unpleasant and has become standard in physical therapy practices.

To support everyday comfort as well as recovery from exercise, we lean on a mix of high-tech compression garments, along with infrared mats, low-tech massage assists, and heavenly bath salts. As always, if you are experiencing more than occasional discomfort, consult your doctor.

Compression

It’s easy to take for granted that our feet and legs are always there for us—that is, until they start hurting. To support your feet and legs before, during, and after exercise, wear compression socks. Gwyneth teamed up with Copper Fit for their latest collection of compression garments. “I love their stuff,” she says. “Their compression socks are a must for the plane or when legs are tired.” The socks provide graduated compression and have a cushioned sole to help absorb shock. They are designed to support foot and leg comfort, performance, and recovery for athletes and nonathletes alike.


  1. Copper Fit
HAND RELIEF COMPRESSION GLOVES
    Copper Fit
    GWYNETH PALTROW X COPPER FIT HAND RELIEF COMPRESSION GLOVES
    goop, $25
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  2. Copper Fit
COMPRESSION KNEE SLEEVE
    Copper Fit
    GWYNETH PALTROW X COPPER FIT COMPRESSION KNEE SLEEVE
    goop, $25
    SHOP NOW


  3. Copper Fit ENERGY COMPRESSION SOCKS
    Copper Fit
    GWYNETH PALTROW X COPPER FIT ENERGY COMPRESSION SOCKS
    goop, $15
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Copper Fit compression socks, knee sleeves, and gloves are designed to provide comfort and support all day long. They’re made with breathable, moisture-wicking fabric and treated with copper to prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

The knee sleeves provide compression for the knee without limiting mobility. GP uses these when she hikes and during Tracy Anderson workouts. And the gloves are designed to provide pressure and warmth that comfort stiff joints and muscles.

Electrical Stimulation

The PowerDot 2.0 takes another approach to comfort, recovery, and optimal muscle function. It’s a futuristic device that combines the technologies of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). You may have used one of these systems before but were probably linked by long leads to a power supply. In the PowerDot 2.0, the power is supplied by small units that sit next to the electrodes on your body, leaving you mobile.

NMES uses small electrical signals to stimulate muscles—you may feel them gently contracting—to improve muscle performance. TENS uses localized electrical pulses to stimulate nerves and is designed to temporarily relieve sore and aching muscles that have been strained from exercise or everyday activities. A well-designed app guides you through electrode placement and regimens designed to meet wellness and recovery goals.


  1. Therabody
POWERDOT 2.0 DUO
    Therabody
    POWERDOT 2.0 DUO
    goop, $349
    SHOP NOW

Heat

Warmth is healing and comforting. It increases the circulation of blood, bringing nutrients and oxygen. It relaxes muscles. We love heat. The HigherDOSE Infrared Mat combines far-infrared heat and pulsed electromagnetic fields with a layer of amethyst and tourmaline crystals. The Infrared PEMF Go Mat is more portable, and you can place it over a chair.


  1. HigherDOSE INFRARED PEMF GO MAT
    HigherDOSE
    INFRARED PEMF GO MAT
    goop, $499
    SHOP NOW


  2. HigherDOSE INFRARED MAT
    HigherDOSE
    INFRARED MAT
    goop, $995
    SHOP NOW

Massage Tools

  1. The ingenious LoRox Infinity Roller feels fantastic on those small areas that your regular foam roller isn’t designed for. The concept may be relatively low tech; however, the design and materials are anything but. The roller is firm and cushiony and just right for hands, feet, neck, and shoulder blades. Keep it on your desk and give your keyboarding-abused wrists and forearms some love when you have a chance.


    OPTP LOROX INFINITY ROLLER

    OPTP
    LOROX INFINITY ROLLER
    goop, $20
    SHOP NOW

  2. Thick and rich, this foot cream feels incredible going on: Shea butter, jojoba oil, and avocado oil moisturize, while hydrating botanicals like distilled myrtle and tea tree oil also purify and prevent odors.


    Lavido THERA INTENSIVE FOOT CREAM

    Lavido
    THERA INTENSIVE FOOT CREAM
    goop, $28
    SHOP NOW

  3. The ultimate clean hand cream to leave hands soft, cushioned, and smooth.


    goop Beauty GOOPGENES NOURISHING HAND CREAM

    goop Beauty
    GOOPGENES NOURISHING HAND CREAM
    goop, $25/$23 with subscription
    SHOP NOW

Warm Water

Twenty minutes in this bath—it’s made with five different kinds of salt, plus soothing essential oils—is bliss for your muscles, joints, and mind.


  1. goop Beauty “THE MARTINI” EMOTIONAL DETOX BATH SOAK
    goop Beauty
    “THE MARTINI” EMOTIONAL DETOX BATH SOAK
    goop, $40
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This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of goop.



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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.