A few weeks ago I was contacted by Tommie Copper, a new company who manufactures compression sleeves. They asked if I would be willing to try their sleeves and write a review on my blog. I was very excited, as I have never worn compression sleeves before and was eager to try them. As an extra, they agreed to participate in a give-away; details to come on that later this week!
From their website, here is the mission of Tommie Copper:
Tommie Copper is designed to relieve pain 24 hours a day using Therapeutic Copper Compression (TCC). By targeting the problem area with Tommie Copper’s TCC, circulation is enhanced, inflammation is reduced and pain is relieved. Unlike ordinary, bulky compression wear, Tommie Copper is made from a revolutionary, proprietary fabric. All of our products are designed to be comfortable and lightweight, and can be worn under work apparel, keeping you comfortable and pain free all day.
And from their Facebook page:
Until now, compression wear was designed primarily for athletes to be worn for short periods of time to increase performance, enhance recovery and alleviate pain.
Today, everyone can tap into these benefits with Tommie Copper. Our product line is enhanced with copper infused yarn and engineered to be worn all day, everyday. It acts as a support to aching joints and muscles, and delivers the benefits of copper at the point of your discomfort.
I was offered the opportunity to try two types of sleeves, and had a hard time choosing! My choices were ankle, calf, knee and elbow. (By the way, they also make compression shirts and compression gloves). I knew I wanted to try the calf sleeve, as I see calf compression sleeves on runners all over the place and was curious how it would help my legs during my long runs.
As for the second sleeve, I finally settled on the elbow one. I am in near constant pain in my left arm---in between my shoulder and my elbow. Long ago I injured one of the muscles there, way before I took up triathlon. It's hard to describe, but where I get the most pain is when I reach behind me, as if to fasten my bra---I get a sharp jolt of pain. I have been to my doctor about it, and all he did was offer me some prescription ibuprofen. Luckily, the pain does not interfere with my swimming, although I do need to be careful doing some of my strength exercises, especially during shoulder raises. Anyhow, although I don't have elbow pain, I was curious to see if the sleeve would help that muscle.
I had help from their company liaison during ordering (they have wonderful customer service, by the way!), and I'm glad I did: I would have ordered the wrong size! My calf measurement was 14", which was the upper limit for the medium and the lower limit for the large. I almost ordered the large, just to be safe, but Jordan, their liaison, told me their fabric has a lot of stretch and that the medium would work. And it does!
A few days after ordering, I got my package in the mail. In addition to the two sleeves, they also sent me a snazzy running hat. I LOVE their logo---very clever! I was impressed at how lightweight the sleeves were, and at first a bit doubtful; could a thin, silky piece of material help me?
I started wearing the elbow sleeve immediately. Even though it's designed for the elbow, the upper portion wraps around my upper arm---in precisely the place where I have my muscle pain. As I said earlier, I am in near constant pain. Sometimes it's a sharp pain, sometimes a dull ache, and other times just an annoying twinge, but more often than not I feel pain in my left arm, even when I'm at rest. Amazingly enough, the pain was significantly lessened while wearing the sleeve. Not just lessened---sometimes I went for hours at a time without feeling so much as a twinge!
Now, I'm not a doctor or scientist. I don't understand the copper-infused yarn used to make the sleeves, or the science behind it. But I am a believer! I've been wearing the sleeve almost every day now. I LOVE that my pain is either gone or greatly alleviated when I wear it. My only wish was that it came in different colors, as I will be rocking the above look a lot this summer with no clothing sleeves to cover it! But I'm thinking the black makes me look somewhat bad-ass. :)
As for the calf sleeve, I wore it during several runs, both long and short. I didn't notice a difference in my legs for the short runs---but man, did it help on my long runs! Just this weekend, I did a 12 mile run in training for next month's half marathon, and wore the calf sleeve on my left calf. I swear, my left calf felt notably fresher after the run. In fact, at one point during the run I had to stop to stretch my legs, and felt no need so stretch my left calf beyond a cursory stretch. Magic!
I am officially a believer in compression sleeves, and a huge fan of Tommie Copper. I am now interested in trying their other products; the compression shirt may be just what I need for my aching shoulders and upper back after a long swim! I whole-heartedly give my endorsement for this product. You can sign up on their website to be notified when they are up and running, so you can place your own order.
In the meantime, I will be posting a giveaway for a Tommie Copper Compression Sleeve later this week. Check back then to enter for your chance to win one of your own!