Torn cartilage, blown ACLs, MCLs, PCLs and there are many other knee injuries that can occur in gyms, during training sessions, or in the field. Wearing preventive or protective knee braces or knee sleeves is an attempt that reduces the occurrences of minor knee injuries and controls the severity of major knee injuries. These injuries can affect the knee joint ligaments. Some injuries can even restrict knee mobility. There are different knee sleeves for different physical and sports activities such as CrossFit knee sleeves for a CrossFit fitness regime. Similarly, there are powerlifting knee sleeves for powerlifters.
Knee sleeves is one of the four categories of knee braces. Other three categories are:
- Functional knee braces
- Prophylactic knee braces
- Rehabilitation or postoperative braces
Athletes and gym-goers never forget to wear knee sleeves when it’s time to get into action. So, let’s learn more about knee sleeves.
What Are Knee Sleeves?
Knee sleeves and knee braces are not the same. They do not function as a knee brace. It provides some support to your knees. On the other hand, a knee brace keeps a previous injury from becoming more severe. Knee sleeves provide protection from future injuries or control the risk of damage. This protection is important when your knees are under great pressure while running, jumping or lifting. This pair of sleeves reduces pain and increases blood flow by adding a valuable compression element. Increased blood flow boosts recovery. So, keen sleeves do their job even after the performance.
Blood Flow + Compression = Better Recovery
Made from neoprene material, a knee sleeve contains a slide on over the knee. The sleeve limits patella movement, adds warmth, and increases proprioception. So, a sleeve does a lot more than providing a mechanical support mechanism to your knee joint by improving proprioception.
Difference Between Knee Sleeves And Knee Braces
Knee braces come with protective cushioning to protect the patella and the anterior knee. However, knee sleeves do not offer any such protection. So, knee sleeves cannot help if you have an unstable knee. You cannot count on them to stabilize your knee.
If the problem of unstable knees is serious, you should see a doctor or orthopedic surgeon. If the knee is unstable, wearing knee sleeves can actually aggravate the swelling.
When To Use Knee Sleeves
When you are lifting a decent amount of weight, a lot of lifting force is involved. When you are lifting progressively heavier, you are actually grounding the kneecap onto itself which often leads to progressive tendonitis. According to stats published on the Huffington Post, one in twenty Americans with age more than fifty are having artificial knees. It means over four million Americans are relying on artificial knees. When this is happening to average Americans, the knees of weightlifters and athletes take more abuse. However, you do not always need to wear knee sleeves if knees are not involved in weightlifting exercises.
You need different types of knee sleeves if your fitness regime includes different forms of training. Have CrossFit knee sleeves for CrossFit regime and powerlifting knee sleeves for powerlifting.