Knee sleeves and knee braces both work towards entirely different purposes, so it’s important to distinguish between the two if you are considering wearing one or the other. Knee sleeves are an easy to slip-on sleeve that you step into and wear around your knees, primarily designed to help support your knees and legs during any exercise or weight lifting.
The primary difference between a knee sleeve and a brace is that a knee brace is specifically designed to provide advanced support and protection for the knee joint during recovery from major injuries and surgeries. Knee sleeves help prevent injuries, while knee braces are for recovery from significant injuries.
Knee braces are more robust, and may even contain large metal support bars - this type should not be used unless specifically directed by a physician. Knee braces remove a very large amount of normal rotary pressure from your knee joint; wearing a brace for extended use outside of recovery can actually weaken the knee joint and cause damage to your leg.
Knee sleeves, on the other hand, can (and should) be used by anyone who is physically active!
What Activities Can I Wear Knee Sleeves For?
Wearing knee sleeves is appropriate and performance-enhancing during any of the following activities:
- Weight lifting
- CrossFit and any other workout regime
- Biking and Spinning
- Occupations that require heavy lifting, such as warehouse workers and shelf stockers
- Projects around the house that require frequent lifting or bending of the knees, such as landscaping, painting, or organization
- All-day wear for chronic pain and swelling relief
How Do Knee Sleeves Work?
The primary function of knee sleeves is to provide compression over the entire area worn. The compression serves to provide functional motion support during movement, especially when lifting something or applying extra or frequent pressure on the knees. The compression also works to provide many circulatory benefits that assist with healthy joint and muscle movement.
Here’s a rundown of the benefits you’re getting while wearing knee sleeves:
- Knee / joint support
- Assistance with heavy lifts
- Improved blood circulation via compression
- Protection from muscular cramps, sprains, tears and strains
- Pain relief
- Increased functional movement
- Protection against blood clotting
- Prevention of tendonitis
What Do Knee Sleeves Treat?
Knee sleeves are primarily designed to support movement and prevent injury, however they may also be used in some applications to assist in recovery when a full knee brace is overkill for some minor injuries. Your physician may also step you down from a knee brace to knee sleeves as a tiered approach to full recovery from:
- Meniscus tear
- Torn ACL
- Knee surgery
- Chronic muscle strain
- Blood circulation issues in the knee / leg
It is always best to consult your physician or physical therapist on the appropriate course of treatment if you are suffering from one of the conditions listed above.
How Are Knee Sleeves Worn?
Knee sleeves can be worn anytime you are awake, especially during workouts or any strenuous activity involving your legs. They are not recommended for use during sleep. Knee sleeves should be washed regularly, like any other clothing item, so it is recommended you purchase at least a couple pairs so you can cycle through the laundry.
Knee sleeves should be worn directly on the skin, but should not be worn on top of any other layer. They can be worn under any jeans, pants or shorts for all-day wear. They can also be worn in combination with other gear, such as compression socks for the lower legs or feet. They are not recommended for combination wear with full-length medical grade compression socks that cover the entire leg (compression socks that already cover the entire knee).
Where Can I Buy Knee Sleeves?
Physix Gear Sport is the World Leader in compression gear and manufactures the best knee sleeves on the market today! Physix gear has a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so there is no risk and you can click here to order your knee sleeves today - if for some reason they don’t work for you, send them back for a full refund!