Knee injuries are a major problem in many sports arounds the world. Many athletes are often found to a victim of torn cartilage and ACLs (Advanced Life Support), because protective and preventive measured hasn’t been taken by them. The use of knee compression sleeves help to reduce or completely eradicate the occurrence of knee injuries. It also doesn’t inhibit the overall knee mobility even if a knee injury has occurred.
The most common knee brace used by athletes all around the world are the knee compression sleeves. Besides athletes, many people who go to the gym every day and are part of intense workouts are likely to wear knee compression sleeves for all the benefits it provides. Here’s what they are, what they do and who needs to wear them.
What exactly are knee sleeves?
Knee compression sleeves are not the same as knee braces. A knee sleeve helps to provide the necessary support to the person wearing it but does not work the way a knee brace would. Knee braces are primarily made in order to protect the injured person from further endangerment. On the other hand, knee compression sleeves are designed in such a way so as to protect the knee from future injuries or any further risk of damage. This is particularly necessary for anyone pressurizing their knees on a daily basis by doing various strenuous activities.
Knee compression sleeves, as the name suggests add a compression element that increases the flow of blood towards the knees thus making it work for longer hours without feeling the fatigue kicking in. The best part is that, it reduces pain, not just during but even after the workout. This aspect is considered to be really important as it helps to encourage the flow of blood to the blood vessels of the knee thus keeping them oxygenated at all times, which in turn reduces the production of lactic acid, which is the prime reason behind all the cramps and fatigue. Thus, a knee compression sleeve reduces the pain, and swelling during and after the workouts.
Knee sleeves are generally made from the material called neoprene which can easily slide over the knee. The knee sleeves add warmth, limits the movement of the patella and increases the capacity to feel the position of a joint in space as sensed by the CNS (Central Nervous System). In other words, it isn’t just a support mechanism but is also used to improve proprioception.
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The basic difference between knee braces and knee sleeves is that the cushioning of the knee brace is meant for the anterior knee while the knee compression sleeves don’t provide the similar support. Therefore, having an unstable knee and trying to fix the issue by making use of a knee sleeves isn’t going to work, you’ll be needing to make use of knee braces, or in extreme cases pay a visit to the doctor for investigate the matter further.
When should one use the knee sleeves? Any one who is involved in weightlifting, powerlifting on a regular basis MUST use knee sleeves. Otherwise they might have to face tendonitis. Knee sleeves need not be worn at all times. Especially in cases where the knees aren’t involved in primarily lifting the source, it is not necessary at all. However, if worn, they greatly influence the performance in a positive way. Any time your knee is left weak or vulnerable, it is at a great risk for damage which is usually long term damage. So to be on the safer side, it is best to wear it at all times.
Anyone who is new to lifting might not feel the need to wear knee sleeves as their knees are not exposed to as much pressure in the beginning. This is subjective to one’s age, whether they play sports at a regular basis, their body form, and techniques used. Poor training and techniques can be disastrous and may leave one’s muscles tired and drained, thus requiring support. However, if the workouts go on for a year or more, it is highly recommended to buy knee sleeves to avoid any damage that may be caused.
Nevertheless, in the long term, it is highly recommended to anyone hitting the gym any time sooner or later to carry with them a pair of knee compression sleeves because as they say “Prevention is better than Cure”!