It's a common question among runners. A lot of runners wonder if they need to invest in a pair of knee sleeves. Especially when you are out of the track and you see other serious runners sporting some fancy sleeves on their run.
This is a question that depends on your running habits, your knee pain, what your doctor says, and your personal preference.
In this article, we'll review what knee sleeves are, how knee sleeves are used and when you might need them. We'll also talk about when you don't need them.
Will Running Ruin Your Knees?
It is not hard to see why beginners starting out their fitness journey may think that running is the cause of their knee pain. As soon as they start running and getting into the gym, their knees begin to hurt. However, this belief is misguided, as there are other factors involved that may have lead to their pain.
More often than not, the running has only highlighted the other fundamental issues. Such as incorrect equipment being used like shoes. Using the correct running shoes is an important element in maintaining your knee health. Incorrect support for your feet, will result in unnecessary strain being placed on your knee joint.
This brings us to another common cause of knee pain in runners - running form or style. This is particularly applicable to those just starting out their running journey. Poor running form, will cause your knee and the surrounding muscles to operate awkwardly. Incorrect function will most definitely result in strained ligaments and muscles. This will cause pain, or worse could potentially end in injury.
You can also maintain your knee health by using the correct support aids for your run - such as knee sleeves for running. More on this further down this article.
So to answer the question "will running ruin your knees?" - the answer is NO. If you take the time to research proper running form and the correct supportive equipment, then you can run pain free well into your old age.
What are Knee Sleeves?
As we identified in the previous section, knee sleeves are a great support aid for running. But what exactly are running knee sleeves?
Put simply, a knee sleeve is one piece of material that you slip over your foot to encase around your knee.
A good sleeve will apply compression around the knee to strengthen and support the joint while you are running.
Now that you know what a knee sleeve is, you may be asking what kind of benefits you can expect to receive?
First and foremost, knee sleeves help to minimize knee pain through compression and reducing any inflammation that may be occurring around the knee.
Knee sleeves also help to increase blood flow around the knee. Increased blood circulation results in more oxygen that is being delivered to your knee to help regenerate any damaged tissue and muscle fibers. This means you can expect faster recovery times so you can bounce back onto the track sooner.
Last, but not least, a knee sleeve helps to prevent injuries from occurring while you run. With the added support to the knee, the likelihood of any injuries drastically reduces and providing you with the confidence to keep on running.
Naturally you may be wondering whether a knee brace would be better suited over a knee sleeve. We generally recommend NOT using a knee sleeve when you have pre-existing knee injuries.
Knee sleeves are great for light support and preventative measures while you run. However, if you have already suffered a knee injury (such as a torn ligament or damaged cartilage) you may require additional targeted support that a knee brace will provide.
If in doubt, we always recommend seeking the advice of a medical professional who has the equipment to provide a full analysis of your knee and the best support solutions customized to you.
Final Thoughts on Knee Sleeves Running
Running is a fantastic form of exercise that we always encourage our readers to pursue. It doesn't require much preparation or equipment.
All you need is a pair of running shoes, some support aids like a knee sleeve and the open road.
Don't let knee pain (or the fear of pain) stop you from achieving your fitness and running goals. With a bit of preparation and research from the resources on our website, you will be running pain free in no time.