Be an athletic supporter

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Compression hosiery is traditionally linked with seniors suffering from circulation problems, but there's a new game in town--athletes, says Clay Walker, national key account manager for Sigvaris.

"The typical buyers are the 40-plus folks that have swelling of the lower legs or varicose veins," said Walker in an HME News TV interview that aired in February. "But the same applications (that treat typical lower leg problems) can now be used in the athletic market for recovery andperformance."

Compression therapy works like this: The calf muscle acts as a secondary pump to get blood flowing. When external pressure is applied to the calf muscles--via compression hosiery--it creates velocity that pushes blood flow back to the heart.

"In the athletic market, that same process will push lactic acid out of the muscles, decrease muscle soreness and increase oxygen to those tissues," said Walker.

These days, you can pick up any running magazine and read about it, he said.

"Everyone's talking about compression therapy," said Walker.

In the United States last year, more than 400,000 people completed a marathon; the average age was 39.5, said Walker. That creates a new channel of demand for the products, he said.

"HMEs can partner with local athletes in their community as well as collegiate athletes or weekend warriors to drive them into the store," said Walker. "They can partner with a company like Sigvaris to get that marketing message out about how these work."

To watch the video, go to