Supported by Science
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.
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.
GWYNETH PALTROW X COPPER FIT HAND RELIEF COMPRESSION GLOVES
goop, $25SHOP NOW
GWYNETH PALTROW X COPPER FIT COMPRESSION KNEE SLEEVE
goop, $25SHOP NOW
GWYNETH PALTROW X COPPER FIT ENERGY COMPRESSION SOCKS
goop, $15SHOP NOW
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.
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.
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.
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
goop, $20SHOP NOW
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
goop, $28SHOP NOW
The ultimate clean hand cream to leave hands soft, cushioned, and smooth.goop Beauty
GOOPGENES NOURISHING HAND CREAM
goop, $25/$23 with subscriptionSHOP NOW
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.
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.