Indeed, most individuals ignore their bodies until something goes wrong.
Among the many areas that suffer include the knees. In general, knee issues and pain are prevalent concerns among all ages. They can arise from injuries or medical conditions like arthritis or gout. And coping with pain isn't easy!
Knee sleeves can help prevent pain or injuries besides providing operational support. They're suitable for sports like basketball, weightlifting, and jogging to support the knees.
In this article, we'll discuss knee sleeves in more detail, including their benefits and how to utilize them.
Uses of Knee Sleeves
Before highlighting the uses of knee sleeves, let's start by distinguishing them from knee braces. Firstly, while knee compression sleeves provide support, unlike knee braces, they're also set up to protect knees from damage and injury. And are therefore vital for persons who frequently run, jump, or weightlifter.
Another difference can be seen in the construction. A knee brace's padding supports the patella and the anterior knee. The knee compression sleeve doesn't provide the same ligament support. And so, a sleeve will not give the necessary stabilizing power for an unstable knee.
And so, if you're not sure about your needs, consult an orthopedic surgeon or doctor before purchasing. It's important to note that sleeves can destabilize or irritate unstable knees because they restrict your venous or lymphatic return below your knees.
Commonly perceived as high-intensity aids, knee compression sleeves are usually neoprene and readily glide over the knee. The knee compression sleeve also improves proprioception (the capacity to detect joint location via the nerve system), increases warmth, and minimizes patella movement. Besides mechanical support for your joints, the sleeve boosts your proprioception, making it harder to damage yourself.
In general, the main uses of sleeves include preventing catastrophic injuries, enhancing blood flow and reducing discomfort during and after exercise. Increased blood flow during high-intensity workouts promotes rapid and complete recovery.
The Advantages of Wearing Knee Sleeves
1. Offer Support for the Knee
During workouts, your joints are subjected to a great deal of stress and pressure, mainly your knees. You can use knee sleeves to alleviate pain and get the much-needed support during workouts—that's why they're popular among Olympic weightlifters and powerlifters.
Knee sleeves can also help you in mastering a workout technique by aligning and supporting key areas. This should help you do better squats and other lower-body workouts.
2. Help in Knee Compression
Knee sleeves help to enhance blood flow while decreasing pain and swelling because of their compressing feature.
Wearing these sleeves helps warm the impact area, facilitating adequate blood flow and alleviating pain—the ultimate reason for wearing them!
3. Help in Knee Injury Recovery
Among the many reasons these sleeves are pretty popular in CrossFit is that they boost recovery. Knee sleeves minimize swelling and soreness after "workouts for the day" by their compression warming action.
Using a Knee Sleeve Properly
1. Choosing a Sleeve
Before anything else, choose a sleeve that feels comfortable—not too loose or tight. An overly sleeve can restrict blood vessels or nerves in rare situations. Nevertheless, consult your doctor before buying, particularly if you have diabetes.
Another essential thing to note is that be sure your sleeves allow you to stretch your knees during workouts. They must be flexible to enable you to move freely.
2. Using the Knee Sleeve
As regards wearing, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Every knee sleeve has its preferred technique; however, in most cases, the widest part should come at the top—partly cover your hips or the area above your knees.
Remember to wear your sleeve during and after workouts. After working out, you can keep them on for several hours—depending on your schedule. In a particular study, researchers found that people who wore their sleeves for more than 24 hours after working out witnessed decreased soreness and a slight increase in performance during their subsequent workouts.
While sleeves can be beneficial, they are not a substitute for proper training and technique. And so, if you're still an amateur, look for expert guidance for good results.
Stop using your sleeves if you suffer any discomfort or pain.
How to Wash Your Sleeves
Knee sleeve maintenance is a crucial aspect of ownership. After all, we sweat a lot throughout our exercises, and sleeves can quickly become musty. Here's how to care for your knee sleeves, so they last as long as possible.
Depending on how frequently you use them and how they smell, the simplest method to wash your knee sleeves is to toss them in with your usual laundry and let them air dry.
If you wish to give your knee sleeves a more vigorous wash, boil them in hot water. Please place them in a kettle of water for five minutes. Then, turn off the heat and add dish soap. Allow cooling. Once the knee sleeves have cooled, rinse them with water and lay them out to air dry.
To eradicate mildew, use distilled white vinegar and soak your sleeves in a (hot) solution comprised of water and vinegar. Soak them for around 10 minutes beforehand washing or mixing with your other clothes.
Washing your knee sleeves regularly helps them restore their support and tightness. The compression material gets some slack in most cases, so give your knee sleeves an excellent rinse to bring them back to their original shape.
Knee compression sleeves are suitable workout accessories. As we've seen from the above, you can use them during physical activities to help with support or relieve minor knee injuries and pain. The sleeve's compression helps increase blood flow, which can lower the risk of pain and edema in your knees.
However, if you're having second thoughts regarding their suitability, consult your orthopedic surgeon or doctor. Similarly, if they're causing you pain or discomfort, stop using them immediately and seek professional help!
Read more: Should I Wear Running Knee Braces?