Compressions and Decompression

With all of the health-related rehab spending due to my back, hip, leg, and butt gimpiness, I’m way over budget. I’m talking WAY. We won’t go there. So I’m extremely grateful to wear-test a free pair of Tiux compression socks. They sent me this pair…

After several runs in these fun socks, I get to share my thoughts. I ran one 17-miler and several recovery runs in them. Glad I was able to get in those miles to test out these babies because now I’m currently under neurosurgeon’s advice “not to run” for a little bit. As I’ve mentioned previously, running doesn’t seem to hurt while I run. It does, however, seem to aggravate the issue because when I get done running I feel a bit more pain. So I’ve been advised that all of that pounding is not so good and slows healing. So in order to stave off surgery and heal, it seems wise to heed this warning. And so I have plenty of time to gather my thoughts. You think a lot about compression while strapped in by belt and affixed by cord to a spinal decompression machine. Medieval torture device?
photo cred Andrea Van Voorst spinal decompression

No, actually it feels pretty good. I believe it cycles through about a 12-minute program of pull and less pull with a max-pull of up to about 90-pounds. The goal is to create a sort of vacuum that will help pull the disc back to where it needs to be. And I finish feeling, well… decompressed. I’ve been trying this therapy for about a month. Progress, I hope.

Besides decompression, and before we get on to the compressions, I had to show you what it looks like to have a needle in your head. One of the many expensive but, I believe, beneficial therapies: acupuncture. And acupuncture while lying on a hydrotherapy table, shazam!

acupuncture in the head flexitarian filly susie dukeSee that little blue thing? I had to take a picture because I wanted to know what it looks like, too.


Not entirely impressed but willing to go with it. All of the other acupuncture needles I’ve ever experienced have gone into my buttocks, back, legs and arms. You know, the meatier parts. When even a thin needle is shoved into the tip top of the scalp, it feels like it could just easily carry on it’s merry way and be shoved right in to scramble up my brains. Needless to say, I’m a much bigger fan of the needle in the butt. Any. Day! Still, I trust what I’m told that the top of the head connects to the sacrum in some way shape or form. Fun, huh?

Not to get all yin-yang but life is full of compression-decompression right now. I need at lot less compression on one particular disc but compression on the legs, now, that’s a good thing. Compression socks are huge in the running community. Why? They speed recovery, prevent or reduce muscle soreness and increase blood flow. This increases healing and reduces swelling in the legs. When you pound out lots of miles things will swell. I use compressions for long runs, recovery runs and long races (only if in cooler weather; if it’s warm out then I slap them on asap after finishing). I feel a lot better when I wear them. They’re like a little hug to the legs. A nice little squeeze.

I typically wear my Altra Compressions:

20150623-153007-55807482.jpgI found the Tiux Compressions quite comparable to Altra’s.


Tiux socks seem to have more graduated compression, so a bit more noticeable compression on the ankles than around the calves. I like that yellow band (over the pink) which is there for added “calf support” which is another nice little squeeze. They are anatomical so the left hugs the left and the right hugs the right for a tighter and more comfortable fit. Not sure what fabric they use other than it’s a “technical” fabric, but I really like it. They seem somehow softer than other compressions I’ve worn. Interestingly, they are unisex, which could be strange but the fit was fine for me. I was surprised to be sized a “small” because there is nothing small about my calves nor feet, being 5’10” and a giant in comparison to other runners. I fear that for pencil-thin women (or men too for that matter) even the extra-small could possibly offer less compression? But again, I followed the size chart on the Tiux website and it was right on, so I may be way off with my assumption. They seem super durable, perhaps almost too thick under the foot. I tend to like super thin socks. Yet when I’m recovering from long runs I do like a little more padding; so the thickness is neither here nor there I suppose. All in all I like them. Tiux is a pretty small startup that only sells online. The inventory is not large but quality, and they support a cause with a small percentage of their profits. All good stuff. They, along with the myriad of therapies I’m undergoing, will help me heal and stay well.

By the way, not all rehab has to be super expensive.

This guy is free stress-relief (most of the time). Stress-reduction is a big part of a healthy life.
photo cred Andrea Van Voorst Plus, he makes us laugh. Like how we found him sleeping in the middle of the living room one morning. Just like this:


And biking, it’s fairly cheap beyond the initial investment.

So there will be lots and lots of biking for the next few weeks:20150712-165759-61079036.jpg

I suggest you try out some compressions. Your body will thank you. That’s my take on compression and decompression. What’s your take on compression socks? Have any favorites?



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