A common occurrence for those who exercise regularly is experiencing tightness, pain, and inflammation. This is often the result of musculoskeletal changes that take place as a result of injury, wear-and-tear on joints, and other contributing factors. You body is made to function properly without pain so when you experience pain in muscles and joints, it is because something is wrong. Without correction, the problem will only get worse and worse.
Between your skin and your muscle tissue is a layer of tissue known as the fascia. The fascia is a layer of very thin tissue that acts as a connector between your muscle and your skin. When the skin is held in place while the muscle moves, the brunt of the strain is then put on the fascia. When this balance gets out of whack, the result is often chronic muscle pain as a result of tightness.
If you have watched much in the way of sports on TV, you have likely seen people with Kinesio tape on their joints (looks like a bunch of straps holding their should or knee together). This was a technology invented by Japanese chiropractor Kenzo Kase in the 1970s. Kenzo Kase recognized the tape’s ability to lift the skin microscopically, thus creating movement on the facial level of your muscular anatomy.
What does this mean? It means that with some very minor alterations to the way your skin, fascia, and muscles interact, you can gain incredible health benefits as soreness, tightness, and pain are reduced through the microscopic stimulation.
I came to learn a lot about this technology while rehabbing a shoulder injury over the last year. I did stretches, strength work, ultrasound, dry needle therapy, direct pressure, and a ton other techniques and still had terrible tightness and pain around my shoulder blade. It was when my physical therapist began using kenisio tape and similar technologies that I began to really see the benefits and started getting relief from the pain. The tape also aided in the strengthening of my rotator cuff muscles by providing added support.
There is a glaring problem with kenisio Tape though – If you don’t have someone readily available who knows how to put it on, then you cannot enjoy the full benefits of it.
Often times, joint pain is the result of misaligned joints that slowly wear down the tendons and ligaments that keep them stable. As a result, pain increases as your body tells your brain that something is wrong inside of that joint and so your brain activates nerve endings to trigger the feeling of pain so that you don’t push it too hard and make things worse (hence why pushing through pain is never a good idea… pain means something is wrong). Without correcting this misalignment, the pain will only continue and your joints will not be able to recover and strengthen.
Opedix makes kinetic health gear that is scientifically designed to correct the above issues through the construction of technologically advanced fitness apparel.
Opedix gear is specifically designed to provide the necessary neuromuscular correction (much like kenisio tape) while also providing superior joint stability over kenisio tape. The bonus comes with the fact that the clothing won’t leave a sticky residue or lose its elasticity over time like tape.
Opedix gear also incorporates what they call “Dynamic Alignment Technology”- Through the use of scientifically placed elastic-reinforced panels, pressure is applied to specific parts of your joints and overall anatomy to keep your joints in proper alignment. This promotes healthy joints and reduces pain as well as wear-and-tear on your joints.
If you have joint pain or ongoing muscler pain and tightness, the various products from Opedix might be just what the doctor ordered.
I have spent considerable time with the various products that Opedix offers while doing weight training, running, and even racquetball in order to gain a very well-rounded understanding of their function and performance.
The Blade-Tec shirt is a performance shirt that is made of a spandex-poly blend. It incorporates multiple reinforced panels that comes together in a circle on the back of the shirt. This circle is meant to go directly in between your shoulder blades in the middle of the top third of your back. When the shirt is on, it should fit snug without being overly restrictive.
After putting the shirt on, I immediately noticed that it is heavier than a normal performance shirt; this makes sense since it has significantly more fabric that a normal shirt as a result of the multi-panel construction (33-panel).
I also noticed that the shirt gently encourages your torso to maintain good posture. If you try to slouch while wearing the shirt, it is uncomfortable enough that you will subconsciously correct your posture. The bottom hem of the shirt utilizes a tacky membrane that prevents the shirt from riding up, thus maintain proper alignment while in motion.
While testing out the shirt in different training scenarios, I decided to wear the shirt on a long run as I regularly experience tightness around my right shoulder blade while running. If this shirt worked, I would know after that run.
I was pleasantly surprised to notice that the tightness I usually experienced while running was minimized greatly. It was still there, but it was not nearly as noticeable as it had been in the past. I can only attribute this to the corrective nature of the reinforced panels on the shirt as that was the only difference as compared to previous runs (In the large picture above, the cross pattern of the two panels toward the top of my right shoulder blade is the exact location of the chronic tightness I had been experiencing).
The shirt was, however, very warm. I wore it on a 70 degree day and it was noticeably hotter inside of the shirt than a normal performance t-shirt. This is not a deal breaker, but it is definitely something to be aware of.
The compression shorts do not incorporate quite as many reinforcement panels as the shirt did (27-panel vs. 33-panel) since they are not meant to correct as many muscles and joints. Instead, the compression shorts focus on correcting pelvic and hip alignment while also promoting core strength. The compression shorts utilize the same membrane as the shirt at the hem on the legs to maintain proper placement.
These shorts function as true compression shorts. Just because something is made of spandex and fits skin tight does not make it true compression. True compression fits tight enough to promote blood flow and maintain pressure on your joints. These shorts fit tight enough to be almost uncomfortable without being distracting. When it comes to quality compression, that is what you want.
Of specific note on these shorts is the reinforcement panel on the back of the shorts that mimics the gluteus medius muscle, promoting neutral pelvic alignment. It is effective, but a little uncomfortable for upright movements like running. However, it is very beneficial on squat movements like barbell squats and kettlebell swings as it keeps your pelvis aligned properly.
The 3/4 tights from Opedix utilize 19-panel construction and are by far my favorite piece of gym apparel that I wear. The tights incorporate an opening in the reinforcements for your knee and subsequently those reinforcements provide pressure on your knee from all angles, creating what Opedix refers to as “Torque Reform Technology.” This allows your knees to be properly aligned during any activity whether running, doing deadlifts, or any other movement.
I wore these on a run and immediately noticed the comfort and ease of stride. I did not feel as much impact on my knee while running and my strides felt smoother than before I started wearing them. The band that runs across the back of the hamstring definitely plays a factor in this as well.
Additionally, while wearing these tights in the gym, I noticed that my lower joints felt more stable. I did not feel my knees trying to shift under my weight; instead they were held in place by the bands around my knee joints.
My biggest complaint with the tights is that the crotch of the tights sits lower than the compression shorts. It isn’t a big deal, but I don’t like when bottoms fit that way so it was disappointing. However, the function of these far outweighs my fit preference so it was a compromise I was willing to make.
A Quick Note About The First Time You Wear Them
The first time you put the shorts or the tights on, you will hear tearing in the seams – This is completely normal. The seams are overstitched to allow for some of the stitching to tear, thus ensuring a custom fit to your exact body shape. Put them on slowly and you will ensure that the stitching tears in all of the right places.
I have been so pleased with the results of using these products from Opedix. I have seen my joint pain reduced and muscle tightness and inflammation subside. The technology is not a gimmick; it actually does what it is intended to do.
It is important to note though that these are not magical clothes; they will not make your ailments disappear. Instead, these pieces of apparel are intended to give minor corrections that will aid in the rehabilitation and recovery of your joints and muscles. If you don’t take care of your body as you train, these aren’t going to suddenly make up for your lack of care.
If you have joint pain or chronic muscle tightness and inflammation, check out the product offered by Opedix.