Why Do People Wear Knee Sleeves?

why wear knee sleeves

Why wear knee sleeves?

Some people wear knee sleeves because they safeguard knees from injury when under pressure, especially athletes. Knee sleeves do this by providing compression to the joint and surrounding area. The compression provides extra support, enhances blood flow and helps with balance.

Because knees are very vulnerable, injuries such as blown ACLs, PCLs, MCLs, or torn cartilage are prevalent in many sports. Knee sleeves stabilize the joint and surrounding muscles and tendons. which help protect them from injuries during high stress movements.

Why wear knee sleeves

They have been popular in activities like CrossFit, weight lifting, and strength training for years. However, the compression, support warmth, and enhanced healing characteristics of knee sleeves now make them a favorite of people suffering with osteoarthritis of the knees.

Athletes Aren’t the Only People Wearing Knee Sleeves

knee sleeve background for osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis of the knees affects millions of people all over the world, both young and old. The same knee sleeves add stabilization, support, and aid in pain relief for arthritis. They keep people up and active that would otherwise be confined to chairs and knee surgeries.

So whether you’re engaged in a competitive sport, running or walking for exercise, or need more stability on a trip to the mall — knee sleeves are there to help.

Why Wear Knee Sleeves?

There are many advantages and benefits that come with slipping on a pair of knee sleeves. These devices are make playing intensive sports safer, help injured knees heal faster, keep arthritic knees on the move, and help people stand longer and more comfortably for long periods of time.

Here’s just a few reasons why so many people are wearing knee sleeves everywhere you look. Knee Sleeves:

  • Reduce the risk of injury from excessive pressure and strain from exercise, sports, work, etc.
  • Provide extra support and alignment in any situation.
  • Speed recovery time from working out and running.
  • Help with recovery from and pain relief from injured, sore, tired and arthritic knees.
  • Improve balance and a sense of where your knees are at.

This ingenious support device is made from very lightweight materials such as neoprene, drytex, or even knitted material.

Knee sleeves fit snug and depending on the use, tight around your knee. They seldom add any extra bulk and are so light you barely know they’re there at all.

Overall they come in so many different sizes and even lengths that you’ll have no trouble finding just the right one or pair to fit your own purpose and needs.

And if you’re picky about colors, no worries there ’cause knee sleeves come in everything from dull to the stars and stripes.

Who Should Wear Knee Sleeves?

Runner Wearing Knee Sleeve
  • Anyone putting excessive stress on their knees
  • People with arthritis in their knees
  • Athletes who are stressing their knees with running and twisting
  • Weight lifters doing squats
  • Anybody involved in high impact sports such as CrossFit, basketball, powerlifting, rugby, soccer, volleyball
  • Runners, joggers, walkers

As it turns out, athletes aren’t the only people who should wear knee sleeves for protection and support for the knees that keep you active.

Of course, knee injuries are always a problem and a possibility with most any sports. Blowing out a knee or tearing cartilage can get you out of action for a long time.

But, you don’t need to be an athlete to wear knee sleeves. They are for anyone with sore, aching, injured, recovering, or troublesome knees.

By no means, do I think they cure, correct, or heal joints that should be at a physician’s office. But they might just keep you up and going and prolonging a knee replacement?

A knee sleeve is for anyone needing extra support and/or injury prevention. They’re comfortable, inexpensive, and a great alternative to:

  • Risking injury in any strenuous sport or activity that strains knees
  • Sitting at home due to damaged and immobile knees
  • Risking more pain

More Reasons to Wear Knee Sleeves?

  • Post-surgery
  • Injured knees that don’t require the rigid side braces of knee braces.
  • Pain relief and added support for weak knees caused by osteoarthritis.
  • Protection from injury when knees are subjected to the extreme pressure and strain of twist and turns involved in playing basketball, soccer, running, and other sports.
  • Holding knee joints, muscles, and tendons in place and adding much-needed support for different weight lifting scenarios.

This ingenious support device is made from very lightweight materials such as neoprene, drytex, or even knitted material.

Knee sleeves fit snug and depending on the use, tight around your knee. They seldom add any extra bulk and are so light you barely know they’re there at all.

Overall they come in so many different sizes and even lengths that you’ll have no trouble finding just the right one or pair to fit your own purpose and needs.

And if you’re picky about colors, no worries there ’cause knee sleeves come in everything from dull to the stars and stripes.

What Do Knee Sleeves Do?

What do knee sleeves do

You might see a knee sleeve, and wonder “why wear knee sleeves?” In fact, they do look so simple that it’s easy to dismiss them as just another gimmick to sell. But, knee sleeves are for real and serve a real purpose. Here’s what they do, and how they work:

1. Compression

The primary component is the compression effect. Even though knee sleeves are made from a variety of materials, they all depend on elasticity to provide compression to the joint and surrounding areas.

The compression is a gentle squeezing that causes:

  • An increase in blood flow
  • Adds support to the muscles, tendons, and joint itself
  • Warms the joint, muscles, and tendons

2. Support

Truth is — If you are noticing your knees at all, right now is probably the best time to purchase sleeves to stop any more damage.

If you feel like you’re disabled because of sore and arthritic knees, they will help you get on your feet and mobile again. Finally, you’ll be able to walk the mall all day again. You will be surprised at the results from such a simple and inexpensive device.

Of course, you could start right out with a brace if the doctor orders it for even more support. However, it won’t be nearly so flexible and unassuming as a simple knee sleeve that puts 1000s back into action every day and protects thousands more.

Neoprene knee sleeves come in three different thicknesses:

  • Think 7mm thickness when you need powerful stabilization along with extra support. The 7mm thick sleeves are common for heavy weight lifting, especially squats, and providing extra support during periods of rehabilitation.
  • 5mm sleeves when you need both high agility and or endurance workouts.
  • 3mm for when you need a lot of agility and endurance in your activities. Runners often use the 3mm

However, neoprene isn’t the only material used for knee sleeves. Many people find woven cloth with a lot of elasticity more comfortable, especially for wearing for long periods of time. Cloth sleeves are usually thinner and better for wearing under jeans or other types of trousers.

3. Injury Prevention

why wear knee sleeves for injury prevention
Here’s a good answer to “why wear knee sleeves in sports?”

Knee sleeves can make the difference in walking off the playing field and being carried off due to an array of knee injuries.

Knee injuries are a common occurrence in sports and sports medicine all over the globe. We see blown ACLs, PCLs, MCLs, and torn cartilage in a variety of athletic situation on a regular basis.  Prophylactic (protective or preventive) knee sleeves are used to limit the occurrence and severity of injuries without limiting knee mobility. 

4. Proprioception

Proprioception may be a word you haven’t used, but proprioception is important to all your mobility functions. Here’s what it means in a nutshell:

Being able to feel where your joint is at in relationship to the rest of your body.

Proprioception is directly related to balance and is especially important in sports of any kind. It comes into play with arthritic knee joints and learning new sporting activities.

Why Wear knee Sleeves for Basketball and other intense activities that involve your knees?

Knee sleeves help your brain have a greater sense of where your knees are and what’s going on with them at all times and is particularly useful in sports. They give you a sense of confidence and control over what your joints are doing whether you’re involved in sporting activities or walking for exercise for high blood pressure.

5. Arthritis sufferers

Osteoarthritis of the knees affects millions of people all over the world, both young and old. The same knee sleeves add stabilization, support, and aid in pain relief for arthritis. They keep people up and active that would otherwise be confined to chairs and knee surgeries.

People of all ages with arthritis in their knees use both neoprene and cloth knee support to stay active. Both devices are extremely helpful for people with osteoarthritis.

It seems counter intuitive, but exercise is usually the number one treatment for osteoarthritis of the knees. Patients are advised to exercise the joints regularly with activities such as walking to keep joints, from freezing up, and muscles, and tendons from atrophying.

It’s easy to give up the lifestyle you love and are accustomed to when your knees are affected. But top quality knee braces can keep you exercising and participating in all the activities you love even with arthritis.

Wearing Knee Sleeves as a Preventative Measure

Knee joints are one of the largest joints in your body, and generally taken for granted – until you are alerted with knee pain?

But that’s the beauty of sleeves. When you already know that you’re putting an extra strain, weight, and wear on these joints — why not go ahead and provide the extra support as a preventive measure?

Wearing knee sleeves as a preemptive measure only makes sense when you think about it. You will protect them from injury and yourself from limping around for a few weeks, or even surgeries.

After slipping it over your foot, up your leg, and over your knee, you’ll forget it’s there after a couple of steps. If you’re knee sleeve is uncomfortable, it’s probably too tight?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why wear knee sleeves? Here’s 9 common questions about wearing knee sleeves.

Do They Work?

Of course, they work! Are they magic and cure all knee ailments? Of course not! They are for people who want to invest a few dollars to take every precaution against knee injury.

And people who have sore, injured, or arthritic knees who want pain relief and the ability to stay active. They work to provide stability and protection to weak knees and knees involved in sports, athletics, and other activities that stress knees.

Why Should I Wear Knee Sleeves?

They are designed and used to help you protect knees with previous and future injuries. They work by keeping a constant compression factor on the knee joint, muscle tissue, tendons and ligaments surrounding it.

The compression element is for increasing blood flow and circulation to the area. The increased blood flow works to reduce pain and swelling from activities that are particularly hard on knees. At the same time, the compression acts to stabilize the joint, the patella and increases proprioception.

How To Measure For The Best Fit?

Correct and accurate measuring is a must to realize the benefits of your purchase. Each manufacturer has its own standards, specifications, and directions for accurate measurement.

90% of the dissatisfied customers are those who did not take the directions seriously enough to make accurate measurements per the manufacturer. For the best and most accurate measurement, use an inexpensive (one dollar) seamstress measuring tape exactly how and where the directions advise. The best practice when falling on a division line is to order the smaller size.

How Do I Wash My Knee Sleeves?

Read the directions! However, most cloth knee-sleeves (but not all) can be machine washed BUT not machine dried. So wash and air dry. If you can’t machine wash them, throw ’em in the sink with a mild detergent and scrub away.

If your sleeves are neoprene the directions might say do not machine wash. I wash mine in the machine anyway with a very light detergent and air dry inside out. If the smell gets out of hand do this: 1. Boil them for 4-5 minutes, remove from heat, add light detergent and let them soak for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly. You can also soak them in hot water and vinegar.

Can I Wear Them All Day?

I often wear mine all day when I’m on my feet all day. The added support makes my knee feel comfortable all day and I avoid the soreness that follows when I don’t.

However, if you find yourself wearing your Knee Sleeve all day for chronic pain, you probably need to consult a physician. A qualified specialist would be in a better position to let you know what’s going on with your knee, and maybe suggest a knee brace instead.

Can I Wear Them When I Sleep?

A knee sleeve should fit tight enough to allow for compression, but not so tight that it’s uncomfortable or digging into your legs at the top and bottom bands.

With that in mind, most people have no problem sleeping in them, even though they are designed to help blood flow while you are moving around. So be sure yours isn’t too tight and cutting off circulation when you sleep in them.

Why Should I Use Them For Squats?

When you are squatting and standing with weights on your shoulders you are definitely putting an abnormal amount of weight and pressure on your knees. When correctly fitted they will help reduce pain, soreness, and inflammation that is common to squatting.

Quality neoprene sleeves will aid in blood circulation to keep your knees warm helping to prevent serious injury. And there is the possibility that you can lift more.

Which Ones Should I Buy?

First of all, think through what you expect to gain from wearing them. When you purchase quality you are purchasing a product that has been manufactured with a specific end purpose in mind.

The ones for arthritis will not be the same product as those for weight lifting. Both of those are made with keeping the patella in place in mind. However, some people need an open patella sleeve. I’ve tried to save money with generic brands and wound up with nothing, so my advice is to buy brand names with history, reputation, and reviews.

Are They Good For Arthritis

They have been around the sports and athletics world for years, but are now becoming a popular item for arthritis in the knees. When osteoarthritis starts taking away the cartilage in knees it leaves you with pain, muscle soreness, and unsure steps.

I stay active with arthritis thanks to my sleeves. I can walk or jog every day without feeling like my knee is about to collapse and without the soreness and pain that comes without them. My opinion is that they are too inexpensive NOT to try one for yourself.

Summary

Still wondering “why wear knee sleeves?”

Whether you need protection, support, stability, or something for injury recovery your knees are too important to scrimp on the price. Even though more expensive doesn’t always equal more quality or results, you will usually get what you pay for.

Each manufacturer designs in their own advantages and disadvantages. So Just keep in mind that although there are a lot of different models for different results.

Always consider your needs, based on what you do and why you will wear knee sleeves.

For instance:

  • Will you be doing a lot of heavy lifting?
  • Are you a runner, or a jogger?
  • Do you need them to stay in place and comfortable all day for an injury?
  • Looking for support and compression for arthritic knees?

Some are best for one activity only, like sleeves for weightlifting; others are much lighter and more flexible to cover more activities with one sleeve. The compression and comfort always depend on the size you choose, so be careful to read and understand the sizing chart each manufacturer includes. Choosing the best knee sleeves and making accurate measurements is the key to better results.

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