PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The older we get, the more that little aches and pains turn into big aches and pains, but now, a new product is helping prevent knee, hip and ankle problems and helping stop the pain that already exists.
They’re tights by a company named Opedix, with supports built in to keep your whole body in alignment and give you more energy.
Three local people tried it and the results were quick and impressive.
Kim Yohe, 44, of Plum tested the Opedix tights.
She just started running four years ago, and already she’s run four marathons and six half marathons.
“I’m not the fastest runner,” Kim said. “I’m not one of those people who’s going to run a 3-hour marathon, but I’m very dedicated.”
Kim was excited to try Opedix tights. They’re made of two layers — one is form fitting, the other has bands in specific places — around the lower back, hips, down the side of the legs, around the knees and to the ankles.
The bands serve the same function as the tape that many pro-athletes now wear on their bodies.
Kim hoped the Opedix tights would help prevent her feet from rolling in, or pronating, causing knee pain.
“What I noticed is it keeps my legs from getting lazy — from being able to roll in, keeps them straight,” Yohe said.
The other two testers of the Opedix tights are father and son, Tom McCort and Dr. Mike McCort. Mike is a chiropractor and owner of Chiroprachtic and Rehab of South Hills, and he sometimes treats his dad, Tom, who’s dealing with pain from years as a gymnast and all-around athlete.
When Tom, 62, tried Opedix tights, he went from being able to walk three miles on the track to five miles.
“When I put the pants on, it’s not that it doesn’t hurt or hurt afterward, but during, it’s so supportive,” Tom said. “I’m able to go faster and longer, which at end of the workout, you feel more invigorated.”
His son, Mike, also noticed the change almost immediately running on the treadmill.
“By the second to third time, (I was) almost completely pain free, about 90 percent plus pain free,” he said.
Mike played college sports and still plays baseball in an adult league, but lately, he was limping from the pain in his knees, until he wore the Opedix tights.
“I was essentially pain free the entire game,” Mike said. “I was able to run normally, maybe with just a little tightness in my knee versus significant pain.”
The Opedix tights were originally developed with skiers in mind, which is why the testing for the tights was done by Michael Decker, a researcher at the University of Denver.
He explains that the tights work in two ways – it’s both mechanical, where the tight bands keep your legs in proper alignment, and it’s sensory, where your body senses the bands and sends messages to your brain.
“The tights add not only a supportive, motion support to the joints,” Decker said, “but also a confidence back again — to understand the feeling of the joints and also the strength of them.”
Decker says the Opedix tights work for just about any sport, especially running, walking and biking to keep your knees straight.
“If (a cyclist) wore the tights and his knee starts to drift toward the middle, the banding will tense up to keep it more in alignment with the foot and peddle to give you the most power with the muscle rate of fatigue you have there,” Decker explained.
Kim started wearing the Opedix tights right after running the Pittsburgh Marathon in May and now swears by them.
“I love them,” she said, “and I recovered much faster from this marathon than others and I don’t know if it’s from the pants. I’d like to say they’re my magic pants and they’ve really helped.”
The Opedix tights these three local people tried go all the way to the ankle for full leg alignment and cost $225.
Opedix also makes three-quarter length tights and shorts which are less expensive and better for hot weather but don’t provide the same amount of support that the full length tights do.
For more information on the Opedix tights, click here.