There are many benefits to compression around swollen or painful joints, like your knees. In fact, there are numerous benefits to wearing knee sleeves that appeal to a wide range of people, from those afflicted with arthritis to serious athletes. Many wearers do so to alleviate chronic pain, which can impact everyday life. Whether your pain is due to a debilitating condition like arthritis and osteoarthritis, or you are recovering from a surgical procedure for a torn meniscus, a compressive knee sleeve can be very effective and useful.
Remember that knee sleeves and knee braces are two entirely different things. While both have some similar characteristics, such as providing support and being contingent on a proper fit, you should not get the two confused. Talking to a training professional, doctor, or practitioner is likely the best way to determine which approach is right for you. While anyone can wear and experience benefits from wearing a knee sleeve, you should not wear a knee brace unless it is clinically indicated, or it could cause further discomfort or damage to your joint.
So, what about knee compression sleeves: How useful are they? Here is what you should know!
Compression Relieves Knee Pain
Compression sleeves can alleviate knee pain by addressing inflammation. A knee sleeve is particularly effective at pain associated with arthritis or edema. Also, wearing a compression garment improves blood flow, so your knee joint is naturally less painful than it may be normally. There is a secure feeling of warmth that comes from wearing a compression garment- including a knee sleeve. Try it for yourself!
Knee Sleeves Aid in Recovery
Speaking of inflammation, the reason that your muscles and joints hurt so much after a rigorous activity is often due to inflammation and swelling. This can occur through lactic acid that builds up in your muscles; the way to combat this is by staying hydrated and wearing a compression sleeve. When you feel better post workout, you are more inclined to get back at it the next day.
Knee Sleeves Help Prevent Injury
Knee sleeves secure and stabilize the knee, while still allowing you with full range of motion, so you actually are protecting yourself from an injury. If you have already been injured or are in rehabilitation for a previous injury or surgery, knee sleeves are imperative. These should be worn by anyone who squats, jumps, or puts a lot of strain on their knees by standing or walking- and, if you do things like lift weights, wear a knee sleeve. These help to protect the joint and give it support.
Did We Mention Compression?
Enough cannot be said about the holistic benefits of proper blood flow to the joints- and compression helps. As mentioned, compression aids in recovery, injury prevention, and pain relief- so what else does it do? In general, knee sleeves help to prevent swelling and inflammation which helps you to move with more ease and stability than without knee support.
Knee Sleeves Keep the Knee Warm
Keeping joints like knees warm before, during, and after workouts it key. It helps loosen and make the joint more flexible, which is what you want for physical activities. Also, there is a comforting sensation that comes from wearing a compression garment or sleeve. The warmth can be quite cathartic.
Sleeves Keep the Knee in Place
If you do struggle with knee pain, weak knees, or have recently had an injury or surgery, it is important that the knee stays in proper placement and alignment or recovery. For this reason, you may want to wear a comfortable and easy-to-wash knee sleeve. They help hold the knee and cradle it to keep it in place and supported.
If you find that a sleeve does not provide adequate support for your knee, you may need to consider a brace. Most physicians will prescribe and recommend these following an injury or operation involving the knee. Braces are more structured and more restricting.
Sleeves are an Asset for Training
If you plan to work out or weight train, you really need to invest in a good quality and properly fitting sleeve for yourself. Consider how much strain and weight is put on knees- as well as whatever added weight you are lifting during gym time. Think about the positions that weight training involves- particularly squats- and give your knees a bit of security and stability to get the job done. When you look at all of the benefits that this support offers, why would you work out without a knee sleeve?
Extend your Range of Motion
While a brace confines and restricts the knee, a sleeve does not. It supports and holds the knee, but it does not prohibit or curb your range of motion when wearing it. That is why you can wear them anytime, all the time, just fine.
A couple more perks of knee sleeves that don’t contribute to health but that make them compelling include these:
- Knee sleeves are comfy to wear, fitting discreetly under or over your clothing, as you wish.
- Knee sleeves are inexpensive. You can typically find decent neoprene sleeves for less than $20. Compare and contrast price points online.
- Knee sleeves are easy to care for. Generally, you can throw them in the washing machine, and it is recommended that you air-dry knee sleeves or braces. Always read the label to determine the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding care and cleaning for best results.
Got knee pain? It is likely that it will lessen and feel better with compression- like you find with knee sleeves. The fit is key, as it dictates the compression that will be applied to your patella, but know that if it is too tight, you could risk further damage. Try knee sleeves and talk to your practitioner or doctor about other approaches to chronic pain, if applicable. The best Knee sleeves are inexpensive and widely available, so it is worth the effort to try one to less chronic pain and reap the other benefits of these unique aids.