The knees are the most commonly injured joint of the body and knee injuries are fairly common to athletes. Though they train and do their sport with utmost care for safety, accidents happen and injuries can break careers. Fractures, ligament injuries, nd tears need rehabilitation and sometimes even surgery, and treatment does not always guarantee that the injured knee will be restored to its previous capacity.
The knees are one of the most vulnerable parts of our body. It is also the biggest and the most strained joint. Often, we go about our daily activities giving little, to no thought of it, until we get injured; and knee injuries are not to be taken lightly. While mild injuries might only need simple treatments, severe knee injuries can drastically change a person’s life. With proper precautions, we can avoid misusing our knees.
Knee braces are often used in conjunction to treatment of knee injuries. There are three kinds of braces: Prophylactic, functional, and postoperative or rehabilitation braces. However, there is one type of knee protection gear that is often used to prevent injury. These are the knee sleeves. Knee sleeves are beneficial to athletes who do activities that put great pressure on their knees.
Knees sleeves are also compression garments, meaning it has a compression element that helps increase blood flow to the knees. Compression can also help during warm-ups as it keeps the knee joints warm. An increase in blood flow to the knees can also improve performance as it can reduce pain and swelling, causing faster recovery.
Aside from compression, knee sleeves limit the movement of the knee cap, making it a good mechanical support for the joint and prevent any knee dislocations. The use of knee sleeves also improve proprioception, or the ability to sense where parts of your body are in relation to each other, and this also help prevent future risk of injury.
With its advantages in mind, let’s see what top rated knee compression sleeves are out on the market.
Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves
These ergonomically designed knee sleeves are made with premium quality 7mm neoprene and have reinforced stitching for a more comfortable and snug fit. This pair is colored black, with black, gray, and white stripes on its stitching. It also comes in many sizes. To know which size to buy, measure the circumference of your knee, and make sure that your tape is placed mid patella for a more accurate measurement. XS is for measurements under 11.8 inches, SMALL is between 11.8 to 13 inches, MEDIUM is from 13 to 14.2 inches, LARGE is 14.2 to 15.7 inches, XL is 15.7 to 17 inches, and XXL is 17 to 18.3 inches. With this sizing chart, finding the right fit is a breeze.
This item also has a one year warranty.
Mava Sports Knee Support Sleeves
What sets this pair apart is the use of bamboo charcoal fiber, which is great for those with sensitive skin. Bamboo charcoal fiber is also a lightweight and soft material that makes these comfortable enough to wear all day. It is also anatomically shaped, preventing it from slipping, and offering full mobility and support. You can choose for the black with thin white stripes on the knee, or the gray with white stripes. It comes in five sizes. To know which size to buy, measure the circumference of your knee, and make sure that your tape is placed mid patella for a more accurate measurement. SMALL is between 11.8 to 14.17 inches, MEDIUM is from 17.17 to 16.5 inches, LARGE is 16.5 to 18.5 inches, XL is 18.5 to 21.2 inches, and XXL is 47 to 54 inches.
Rehband Rx Knee Support
Rehband has the patented 3-D anatomic construction for its knee supports and is classified as a medical device. It’s designed to be aligned with body mechanics, allowing it to stay in place even during heavy workouts. It also has uniform contoured compression, making compression more even throughout the whole knee. It is available with 5mm and 7mm thickness of its neoprene material, although the 7mm is only offered by select sellers with exclusive agreement with the company. It is sold as a single sleeve, not a pair, and comes in a variety of colors and sizes. To measure, find circumference of leg 15cm below the knee cap. XS is 31 – 33cm, SMALL is 33 – 35cm, MEDIUM is 35 – 37cm, LARGE is 37 – 40cm, XL is 40cm – 43cm, and XXL is 43 – 46cm.
Incrediwear Incredibrace Knee Sleeve
These knee sleeves are a blend of nylon, polyester, cotton, and spandex. It comes in gray and is sized as MEDIUM for 12 to 14 inches, LARGE for 14.5 to 16 inches, XL for 16.5 to 21 inches, and XXL for 21.5 to 24 inches. You need to measure the circumference that is 2 inches above the kneecap to get the right size. The Incrediwear Knee Sleeves are embedded with Carbon and Germanium that helps increase circulation.
Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Support
Don’t let the high price scare you away. Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Support is made with natural rubber latex with a knit of nylon and elastane for cover. This blend makes a breathable material and provides a snug and comfortable fit, and even prevents bunching behind the knees. You have the option of choosing from black, nature, titan blue, or titanium for its color. It has two stainless steel stays along the sides to keep it from rolling down; there are also grip handles on top of the stays to make putting on easier. It also has a viscoelastic insert, a silicone pad that relieves pressure from the kneecaps. Each pack is sold with a single sleeve, and not a pair. It comes in eight sizes, and you can get your measurement by sitting down with a 30º bend. From the outside bend of the knee, measure down 4¾ inches and measure for loose calf circumference; from the same bend of your knee, measure up 5½ inches and measure for loose thigh circumference. A sizing chart is available at the website.
What to look for
Though knee compression sleeves have a general function, and that is to provide support for the knee joint, there are so many variations and designs available to choose from. Keep these in mind when picking out the right one for you:
- Need – Before going out and buying one, make sure you know what you need. Remember that knee compression sleeves are only there to prevent any risk of injury while putting strain on the daily strain on the knees. If there is an underlying medical condition, it is best to get what your doctor would recommend for your knees. It is not good to buy a knee sleeve when your doctor had asked for a knee brace. Research on activities would need the use of knee sleeves, and evaluate if you would need on for yourself.
- Type – Knee sleeves are made from different materials. The most common one is neoprene, a form of synthetic rubber. While neoprene has good compression and insulation properties, it causes a greenhouse effect, making your skin get too warm, and causing perspiration build-up, making it uncomfortable and irritating. Also, after continuous use, the sweat build-up would cause the material to smell. Another material used in knee sleeves is charcoal bamboo fiber. This material is more breathable and comfortable to wear, and the charcoal keeps it from smelling. There are also knee sleeves created from a variety of synthetic and natural fibers. Try to find out which one would suit you and your skin, check if you are allergic to any material before deciding which to buy.
- Budget – The best knee sleeves are usually the most high priced. Depending on your need and your preference, make sure that what you buy is worth what you pay for. There are also plenty of product promotions online. Check out other sellers who might have what you want at a lower price.
Knee compression sleeves are very valuable, especially for athletes and people with active lifestyles. Buying one can help prevent a lot of pain in the future. However, there are plenty of factors to consider in choosing the right one for you.
First, a visit to the doctor would be very helpful in knowing what you need for your knees. Second, choose the one that would best suit your need. Check the materials if it would not cause any allergies or irritation, find the one that you feel would be most comfortable for your usage. Take time to measure yourself and checking the size chart to get the right fit for you. The most disappointing thing would be buying the right product, but getting the wrong fit, just because you failed to measure first before buying. Lastly, make sure you have the right budget. Read the product description carefully, as there are products that sell only one sleeve instead of two. Many buyers make this mistake and end up spending more than they allocated.
With all these in mind, be confident that you are ready to choose which one would be the right one for you and your lifestyle.