Studies have shown that when you wear a compression gear during a hard workout, your performance in subsequent workouts may improve - possibly because the increased blood flow from compression helps restore muscle glycogen levels and clear metabolic waste.
When you wear compression gear, you may also have less muscle damage from tissue *bouncing up and down* while you exercise. If you sleep or rest wearing compression gear, you'll find that the improved support and blood flow leave you less stiff and sore.
Deep-tissue massage and trigger-point therapy are the only true ways to remove knots from your muscles, and having a good foam roller around keeps you from having to schedule a massage after every workout.
As you learned, stretching after a workout makes knots in your muscles tighter (in the same way that if you tie a knot in a rubber band and pull the ends of the rubber band, the knot gets tighter).
So save your stretching for after deep-tissue and mobility work with a foam roller (or lacrosse ball, tennis ball, golf ball, etc), which actually encourages release of the muscle knots. Your workout recovery order should ideally be foam rolling, exercise, foam rolling, and stretching.
If you don't have time for rolling after each workout out, try to spend ten to twenty minutes once or twice a week making sweet love to a foam roller. A very firm roller equipped with ridges that can dig into muscle tissue is recommended.
There are numerous videos on YouTube with techniques that you can refer to.
Keep on rolling .....