How to Choose the Best Knee Support Sleeve for You
Whenever I think of knee braces, the first thing I think of is this scene from Forrest Gump.
We can hope we won’t need the kinds of knee brace that he wore in this scene. And some of us can only dream of running like he did in that scene. But in this life here and now, we may well face a decision on what type of knee brace or knee support works best for us.
This article will give a brief overview of ways to relieve your knee pain, and will concentrate on one specific approach, the use of knee support sleeves, knee braces and knee wraps.
If you have knee pain, there are various approaches to deal with it.
Prescription medicines, like Ibuprofen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
You could consider supplements like Glucosamine, which seems to build cartilage.
Exercises to strengthen the joint, muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Physical therapy, acupuncture, yoga, are all methods that have been used to relieve knee pain.
Knee support sleeves and knee wraps
Let’s consider the various types of knee supports and braces.
Two main categories of knee appliances.
The first type are knee wraps. These are devices that use straps that wrap around the knee, and usually attach with velcro. They are adjustable, depending on how big the leg is.
Here are some examples of knee wraps:
The other main type of knee support is the elastic kind. With that type, heavy cloth that is elasticized in a tube shape slides over and above the knee. Here are some examples of some name brands.
Now within these categories, there are different variations, as well. The more traditional types are pretty much basic wraps or basic elastic tubes. However, in recent years, new technologies have arisen, that augment the basic characteristics of the traditional kinds.
For example, some products are designed for serious knee injuries, such as after a car accident, where significant damage has been done, and the knee needs to be almost completely immobilized. Such knee appliances will have much stronger lateral straps internal to the product.
On the other hand, the tube type products will have special ingredients.
These may include copper thread.
The one that I use and like has a combination of both magnets and tourmaline.
That model is show above.
Elastic knee support that also uses magnet therapy and far infrared therapy.
Knee Support Sleeve
Use of ‘secret ingredients’
The ‘secret ingredients’ such as copper, bamboo, magnets, and tourmaline all help in subtle ways to improve circulation, stimulate healing, create more heat in the joint. For most people, these types of knee supports can help support the knee, and reduce pain.
Some products will have one or more of these special characteristics. For example, one type of product is a knee wrap. It is not meant to support the knee, but rather to deliver far infrared heat through the use of tourmaline. If you wet your skin or the brace itself, after a few minutes, you will feel real heat, without electricity. Amazing. You can only wear it for perhaps an hour, otherwise, the heat gets to be uncomfortable. But most people feel the effect of the tourmaline beads that are part of the fabric.
All of them have been tried by many people and have good characteristics, although my personal preference is for the magnetic/tourmaline sleeve. The reason for that is as follows.
First, the cotton fabric is breathable, so it is less ‘sweaty’ than ones with more rubber content.
Second, they seem to fit more sizes. Many sleeves come in multiple sizes, these however seem to do alright with just a regular size and a small size, for people with smaller legs, less than 13 inches around the knee.
Third, the magnets have the ability to attract iron in the blood, so your knee joint gets more nourishment and oxygen. Traditional Chinese medicine says that magnets have a healing effect on the body.
Fourth, the tourmaline is a semi precious mineral, which is activated with nanotechnology. Similar to a luminous dial watch, which reflect light back when stimulated, the tourmaline reflects body heat back to the joint, and also releases negative ions which are beneficial to the body.
The only drawback is that these types of ‘special ingredients’ increase production costs above the traditional elastic cloth types. And the magnets and tourmaline are more expensive than copper or bamboo. So that type does cost more. The benefits, though seem to outweigh the cost.
In conclusion, many products are good, and will help you if you have knee pain, or need support for your knee.
Using these, along with exercise, and possibly the use of dietary supplements or salves, physical therapy, or acupuncture can give your knee some comfort.
The key point is to investigate and research for yourself what works best in your situation.