If you are reading this, then chances are you are suffering from some sort of knee pain and you are interested in finding out what the best knee sleeves are depending on the type of activity you are doing. Before we get into that, we want you to keep in mind that there is a difference between knee sleeves and knee braces. Yes, they both provide support to the knee, however they are not designed with the same goals in mind.
Most knee sleeves are made of neoprene, and they are designed to slide over the knee easily and work by adding warmth to the knee, increase proprioception and reduce patella movement. While the main goal of knee braces is to protect a previous injury to the knee from getting worse, knee sleeves are generally used to provide general support to the knee and to prevent the knee from future injury or risk of damage.
Benefits Of Knee Sleeves
Here are some of the benefits you may get from a knee sleeve:
- They provide basic protection and can be used for sprains, arthritis, mild knee pain, weakness, cartilage irritation, tendonitis, and knee swelling. However, they are not appropriate for moderate to severe instability and pain. In such cases it is advisable to go for elite and advanced protection.
- They work both for minor knee injuries as well as being helpful for long term problems by giving extra support to the knee so that one can go on with their normal activities. This protection is important for knees that are under constant pressure on a daily basis, such as jumping, weightlifting and running.
- The best knee sleeves are the ones that provide a compression element that helps increase blood flow and reduce pain both during and after the exersion. The compression aspect is so important since a compressed knee encourages blood flow through the blood vessels of the knee. A knee sleeve also helps in reducing swelling, which increases recovery time.
Even The Best Knee Sleeves Are Not A Cure
We want to be honest with our readers up front and say that knee sleeves are not a cure for knee pain. There is a reason why you are in pain and you need to take the time (with your doctor) to figure out what’s going on. Having said that, we strongly believe that knee sleeves have the ability to reduce the pain in your knee (depending on how bad the situation is of course) to a point where the pain is at least manageable and you are able to continue with some sort of physical activities. Again, there is an underlying cause to the pain and you need to figure out what that is in order to permanently get rid of the pain.
Different Styles Of Knee Sleeves
Knee sleeves vary in different ways and they can be placed in three categories which are:
- Open patella knee sleeves – these have a hole (opening) at the front of the knee so to reduce the pressure through the kneecap. This also allows the knee to breathe.
- Closed patella knee sleeves– this is a complete sleeve with no opening and it supports the entire knee allowing more heat retention. These are designed to increase blood flow.
- Knee sleeves with side stabilizers – these are knee sleeves that have stabilizers on both sides that provide extra support to the knee ligaments for quicker recovery. Best knee sleeves when recovering from a ligament tear/injury.
- Magnetic knee sleeves – These sleeves with built in magnets, which are designed to relieve swelling, pain and/or general discomfort in the area causing you pain. (Refer to our post “What Can a Magnetic Knee Brace Do For Me?” for additional information.)
Popular Choices For Knee Sleeves
Here are examples of extremely popular knee sleeves on Amazon right now:
1. Ultra Flex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve
This is a popular pull on sleeve that provides basic support for running, general sports, relief from joint pain & arthritis and injury recovery. This sleeves provides compression and warmth which reduces inflammation, aches, swelling, soreness as well as stiffness.
2. CopperJoint Copper Knee Sleeve
This sleeve is made of extremely breathable material and promotes muscle and joint recovery. The material is also designed to avoid slippage during physical activities. Made with Anti-Itch UPF 50+ material, which is easy to slip on and keeps your joints at the optimal temperature.
3. SimplyJnJ Open Patella Knee Sleeve
Not only does this knee sleeve provide amazing compression, and is comfortable to wear, it also comes with a few added bonuses. First, it comes with a top and bottom adjustable strap. You can remove them altogether, or tighten/loosen them depending on the level of activity you are doing. Second, it has side stabilizer stays on each side which provide additional lateral support. Third, you also get a bonus resistance band kit and eBook with lower-body exercises geared towards reducing knee pain. Great bang for your buck.
These are just a few knee sleeves that have been known to work well. The most important thing to remember when buying one is to get the correct size to ensure you are comfortable and to get the right value of support. For measuring instructions, refer to our post “How to Measure For a Knee Brace“. The instructions apply to knee sleeves as well.
Disclaimer – I am not a doctor and I am not qualified to provide medical advice. We posted the information on the best knee sleeves and their benefits for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Read full disclaimer.
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