Injuries come as a free package with sports. If you are an athlete, you would be aware of that fact. Alternatively, even without playing, most adults are bound to suffer from knee pain. A knee compression sleeve will not only help in curing but also preventing such injuries.
A knee compression sleeve provides consistent support to your joints and helps in soothing the pain by applying all around compression to the site. Whether you have arthritis, got an injured patella, or a common knee injury, the knee sleeve is always helpful. It will reduce the stress and pressure exerted on the joints.
That said, you must avoid wearing a knee compression sleeve throughout the day, as prolonged use may weaken your joints as they are continually supported. Moreover, you must consult a doctor in case of a severe problem, a knee compression sleeve will not fix something that requires surgery.
Depending upon the requirement, these knee compression sleeves can vary quite a lot. This guide will take you through the distinctive types of knee sleeves and their uses. Not only that, it will provide you with a list of the best compression knee sleeves.
So, hold on tight and dive in!
Knee Compression Sleeves – Our Top Picks
- EDITORS CHOICE – Bauerfeind – GenuTrain – Knee Support
- Shock Doctor – Hinged Knee Brace
- McDavid Knee Brace
- AOLIPLUS Knee Brace
- Pro-Tec Knee Support
Types and Uses of Knee Sleeves
Traditional Knee Sleeve
These are the most flexible type of support for your knees. It is in the form of a sleeve that you can directly slip over your knee. It provides level 1 protection, mainly helping to control mild pain and swelling by providing compression to the knee.
Use: Arthritis, Sprain, Tendonitis, Minor pain, Bursitis.
These are one of the best types of knee support for athletes. Belonging to the second level, wraparounds provide more protection than the first. Though they are a tad bit stiffer than knee sleeves, they are not as bulky as the hinged braces.
Use: Moderate Ligament Pain, Chronic Injuries, Swelling.
Similar to a wraparound, a knee strap provides level 2 support for athletic injuries. The knee brace mainly works on the Patellar Tendon, providing compression around this ligament. A knee strap offers enough range of movement and is easy to wear.
Use: Patellar Tendonitis (Runner’s Knee), Patella Tracing, Osgood-Schlatter Disease.
Hinged Knee Brace
A level 3 knee brace, it provides elevated support and protection to your knee. A hinged knee brace will keep your joint in the correct alignment so that it heals well. It may be a little rigid or flexible, depending upon its use and recommendation by the doctor. It prevents further damage.
Use: Post-surgery Support, Major Knee Instability, Severe Injury Prevention.
These braces may be open such that they have a hole at the center or completely closed. While the former is effective for providing support and movement, the latter applies compression on the knee cap. You may consult a doctor to know the best type for your injury.
Use: Therapeutic Recovery, Mild, or Major Patellar Injury and Support.
Now that you are well aware of the different types, you would know the most appropriate knee brace for you. Here are the 5 best compression knee braces along with their features for you to make your final decision.
5 Best Knee Compression Sleeves
EDITORS CHOICE – Bauerfeind – GenuTrain – Knee Support
The made in Germany Bauerfeind knee compression sleeve reduces the pain and stabilizes your knee joint. It features the Omega pad that provides intermittent compression to the knee joint tissues. At the same time, it leaves the kneecap or the patella free of pressure, allowing ease of movement.
The lateral polyurethane spring present at the side is flexible, offering a maximum range of motion. Additionally, it makes the sleeve easier to put on. Furthermore, its knitted fabric is light and breathable, providing enough ventilation to the skin. You can wear the knee Sleeve while trekking or playing your favorite sport.
The Bauerfeind GenuTrain is a multipurpose knee Sleeve that can be used for mild instability to chronic injuries. If you have arthritis, ligamentitis, meniscopathy, or prophylaxis, this knee support will provide the utmost comfort and healing.
What’s more? You can conveniently wash it in your machine with cold water. However, make sure that you do so at a gentle cycle with a mild detergent. You can rest assured that its premium fabric will not ruin even after multiple washes.
Note: It must be air-dried. Do not iron or tumble dry.
Shock Doctor – Hinged Knee Brace
No.1 bestseller in the category, Shock Doctor hinged knee brace helps in healing along with supporting your joint. It compresses the soft tissue present around the knee and aids joint alignment. Additionally, it provides therapeutic heat to improve the blood flow, which heals the muscle.
The Shock Doctor brace boasts antimicrobial and ventilated technology material. It not only reduces moisture and bacteria but also removes odor, if any. Now you can wear the hinged knee brace for your hardcore workouts and other physical activities.
The product uses heavy-duty bilateral dual hinges that provide high flexibility, adding to the comfort level. It features a pre-curved, four-way Lycra mesh material that is latex-free and well-stitched. Furthermore, the premium knee brace includes easy grip tabs and side stabilizers for accurate fitting.
The Shock Doctor hinged knee brace is ideal for knee support as well as prevention of injuries. You may use the product if you suffer from injuries like ACL, meniscus, ligament sprains, lateral instabilities, and more. Further, it provides support for patients with arthritis and hypertension.
McDavid Knee Sleeve
The McDavid hinged knee Sleeve is light yet strong enough to render compression to the patella. It has a 360∞ opening at the center, surrounded by a padded buttress to provide maximum support.
Its latex-free neoprene material will keep your knee warm with the therapeutic heat. Furthermore, the back panel is perforated to manage the moisture, rendering all-round comfort. Its exterior features nylon fabric, so you can be sure about the knee braces’ durability.
The McDavid brace will extend complete support to your knee without any restriction in movement. Its sidearm is designed to be independently articulated and has cushioned hyperextension stops for maximum ease.
What’s more? Its straps are engineered to offer a personalized fit according to your liking. Still, they are wide enough to maintain the strength. Additionally, you need not worry about the texture of its material. Its bound edges ensure that your skin remains irritation-free.
The knee brace will help you get rid of the pain caused by Tendonitis, Hyperextension, and other ligament instabilities. That is not all. With the support of the McDavid knee brace, you can prevent further patella injuries.
AOLIPLUS Knee Sleeve
The AOLIPLUS knee Sleeve features ultimate flexibility along with articulated knee support. It has an EVA reinforced stabilizer ring that provides compression and support to the patella. The pad is made of silicon to render maximum breathability.
The knee Sleeve side has two gel strips that will make sure that your knee support remains in place. That is irrespective of the sports and physical activities you perform. The double-sided metal spring maintains joint stability, extending relief to your injured knee and preventing further injury.
The special construction of the AOLIPLUS efficiently dissipates pressure while keeping the knee insulated. This enhances blood flow and lubricates your joints. Therefore, this knee sleeve is capable of supporting as well as healing your knee injury.
As for its moisture-wicking qualities, the knee sleeve is made of highly elastic, breathable knitted fabric. It not only allows ventilation, but its 4-way knee compression sleeve technology offers an ergonomic experience. Now you can have complete protection along with a full range of motion.
With the fully elastic AOLIPLUS sleeve, you can conduct all types of physical activities like football, Zumba, gymnastics, and more. It will also provide support if you have a meniscus tear, ligament injury, arthritis, or other knee problems.
Pro-Tec Knee Support
The Pro-Tec knee Sleeve is designed to provide maximum support from all angles. Its oval-shaped gel pad offers stabilization to the patella along with extended comfort. Moreover, the 4-way stretch fabric renders support and compression to the knee as well as the surrounding area.
This knee sleeve material is knitted, rendering even knee compression sleeves along with breathability, without any skin irritation. Furthermore, its multi-directional stretching feature will let you easily run or play your favorite sport even when it is put on.
This knee compression sleeve features medial stay on the inside and lateral one outside, adding to the joint stability. What’s more? You can easily slip on the sleeve and wear it for joint relief even while performing physical activities.
Whether you are playing or going through your normal routine, knee injuries are the most common type. However, at times it can get more than just a small wound. The Pro-Tec gel-force knee support is a highly-affordable tool to help you heal as well as prevent knee injuries.
These knee compression sleeves will support your joint in case of patellar tracking, meniscus, chondromalacia, or other such problems. Furthermore, it will help in curing the patella-femoral pain syndrome and ligament tears.
Best Exercises to Heal a Knee Injury
Though a knee compression sleeve can provide a considerable amount of support, performing simple exercises can aid the recovery process. Here are a few of them.
Straight Leg Raise: Lay flat with one knee bent and raise the other leg up to the knee’s height while keeping it straight. Repeat 10 times for both legs.
Bridging: Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet facing the floor. With the support of your hands, lift your hips as high as possible. Pause, and lower them down. Repeat 10 times.
Quarter Squat: Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. While keeping your back straight ben your knees such that they cover your toes. Return to the standing position.
Other exercises that may help relieve knee pain are regular walking, yoga, and other stretching workouts. Make sure that you do not put excessive pressure on your knees. Start from a few reps and increase gradually.
What to Look for in a Knee Sleeve
Knee compression sleeves are available in a variety of materials, including nylon, spandex, and latex. Some, on the other hand, are constructed of softer materials like bamboo charcoal fiber. Others utilize more durable fabrics such as copper fiber cloth.
“The material is extremely crucial since there are sleeves with greater padding to support your knee and joint, which minimize discomfort and instability,” says Mark Russ, PT, DPT, of OhioHealth in Columbus, Ohio. He cautions that these sleeves might restrict motion for people who move a lot; therefore he suggests getting one made of breathable fabric to avoid this from happening.
Consider what you want your knee sleeve to feel like before purchasing one to ensure that you get one that is pleasant.
Knee compression sleeves often include cushioning for added comfort and support. This padding is generally intended to surround and cushion the knee joint without detracting from the sleeve’s sleek shape. With that in mind, some versions use thicker padding down the front of the sleeve to safeguard the knees during intense activities such as sports.
“In recommending knee compression sleeves with cushioning to people who are suffering from osteoarthritis or knee deterioration, we have seen greater success,” Russell adds. He has advised patients with osteoarthritis to wear padded sleeves in order to move the patella toward the middle of the body throughout his career. Alignment is optimized by this, which reduces discomfort.
When do I need to wear a knee sleeve?
If you have an ACL or any other knee injury, your doctor may prescribe a knee sleeve. It will provide support to your joints and help in healing.
Will the knee sleeve worsen my injury?
Knee sleeve are designed to render maximum support to your knee joint along with flexibility. Though it will not worsen your injury, wearing it for more than 6-8 hours may prove to be harmful.
Which knee sleeve is the best for a knee injury?
You can select a knee sleeve depending upon the nature and severity of your injury. Consult a doctor for the best recommendation. The Bauerfeind, McDavid, Pro-Tec, AOLIPLUS, and Shock Doctor knee supports are highly-preferred by users.
Does wearing a knee sleeve prevent injury?
Knee sleeve are meant to soothe your joint pain by providing even compression and support. Additionally, it may prevent your injury from worsening and reducing the rate of ACL and MCL injuries.
What size of the knee sleeve is good for me?
Different brands offer varying size charts for a knee sleeve. Measure the circumference of your thighs, calves, and knees and check with the measurements provided.
Knee injury is common in adults but may turn fatal if not cared for. According to your injury, professional recommendation, and the level of support required, you may choose the appropriate knee sleeve.
If you are suffering from a high-level joint injury, consider taking physical therapy along with wearing knee sleeve. They not only support your knee but also provide insulation and prevent the injury from worsening.
Remember, though wearing a knee compression sleeve will help, it cannot completely cure a severe injury. Consult your doctor about the appropriate medication and exercises for healing.