No age group is immune to the pains and aches of aging, and knee issues are common among individuals of all ages — when you're out for a run, lift heavy weights at the gym, play sports or at office, or even while doing simple day to day activities.
If knee pain becomes an issue, the first step is finding the right treatment option. One of the most popular treatments for knee issues is compression therapy through compression sleeves, socks, and knee braces. But how long is it safe and effective to use these items?
In this blog, we'll discuss the benefits of compression sleeves for knee problems and how long it is safe to wear them. We'll also cover some tips and recommendations to ensure you use them safely and effectively.
Today, there are various types of compression sleeves designed to support and relieve the pain associated with knee problems. The options are abundant from hinged knee cap braces to knee supports and compression socks.
Regardless of the type you choose, they all serve one common purpose: to keep your knee joints stable and provide extra support during physical activity.
Here are some knee problems for which compression sleeves can be beneficial:
The intensity of arthritis can range from gentle to severe, affecting people across all populations. Approximately 60 million adults and 300,000 children in the US suffer from this condition alone. Symptoms of arthritis may include swelling, pain, stiffness, redness, and reduced range of motion.
Read: Common Mistakes That Lead to Arthritis
Compression sleeves can help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis by providing warmth through compression. According to a 2019 study, knee sleeves can lessen pain levels and increase walking speed within 6 weeks of application.
Any activity involving forceful knee joint rotation, can lead to a meniscus tear, including sports and weightlifting. The most common symptom is pain radiating from the knee's side. Knee motion can also be limited, and the extension of the knee can be weakened.
Approximately 30% of the meniscus (outer section) has its own blood flow, as backed up by scientific findings. Wearing knee compression sleeves increases blood circulation around the knee joint, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the area and helping facilitate healing.
This isn't just a problem for runners; anyone who engages in physical activity, such as walking or biking, can experience some form of runner's knee. Symptoms include pain in the knee joint and tenderness near the kneecap, which can get worse when walking downhill or running long distances.
Recovery from a runner's knee can take a while, and wearing compression sleeves can help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with it. According to a 2017 study, compression garments have been found to significantly aid in recovery following strength exercises and other forms of physical activity. This solidifies their ability to help manage runners' knees and other knee problems.
The difference between sprains and strains is that the former involves a ligament, while the latter affects a muscle or tendon. Sprains can cause swelling, bruising, and weak leg muscles; whereas strains lead to pain when moving or stretching the affected muscle/tendon.
The best way to treat sprains and strains is to use compression sleeves as they offer both support and warmth, which helps to prevent muscle strain and soreness. A 2021 study revealed that compression garments could elevate localized skin temperature, potentially helping to alleviate the perception of both muscle soreness and pain.
When inflammation occurs around the knee joint, it can cause swelling and discomfort. This type of pain is often caused by overuse and can be alleviated with rest, anti-inflammatory medications, or ice packs. However, compression sleeves are also beneficial for this form of knee pain.
The lactic build-up is responsible for the inflammation and swelling, and compression socks provide an additional barrier against this build-up. This is backed by a recent study published in 2022 that compression garments are connected to reductions of lactate dehydrogenase during recovery and are regularly linked with decreases in perceived muscle soreness after strenuous exercise.
Correcting a dislocated knee involves immobilizing the joint and keeping it in place with a hinged knee cap or a splint. For severe cases, a doctor may have to move the kneecap back into place.
Compression sleeves can help with this process by providing additional support to the knee and keeping it from moving around. A literature review from 2017 found that the use of compression sleeves can also help with pain relief, allowing the patient to move their leg more easily without feeling too much discomfort.
According to MedicalNewsToday, one should only wear a knee sleeve if they require additional knee stability while engaged in physical activity. One doctor also said that wearing a knee sleeve is unnecessary all day. The benefit occurs when you’re up and moving, and gravity is working on your veins,” he says. “When you’re lying down, you take away the effect of gravity. So there’s no reason to wear compression socks when lying down or sleeping.”
Yes! Knee sleeves are often worn as part of a warm-up routine for weightlifting, running, and other sports activities. In fact, research on rugby players wearing compression garments proved that these pieces of clothing are essential for efficient recovery after an intense workout. When the participants wore a compression garment during a sprint test, they managed to attain better results in shorter times, felt less drained afterwards, and prevented muscle soreness from setting in quickly.
Compression had moderate effects on body core temperature and large positive effects on time to exhaustion, clearance of blood lactate, exertion levels, peak muscle power, leg soreness post-run, and muscle fatigue.
A 2020 journal revealed that the most reported non-severe medical compression therapy side effects were skin irritation, discomfort, and pain. Yet, very rare but serious injuries to nerves and soft tissue can also arise from this treatment.
They also added that if compression is used correctly and contraindications are considered, no major adverse events can ensue. Therefore, it is essential to have proper guidance with a knee sleeve and use it according to the necessary measurements and specified guidelines.
While knee sleeves can initiate enhanced recovery, they cannot replace the benefits of rehab and therapy. It is essential to understand your injury beforehand and obtain advice from a medical professional if you have any of the following conditions:
For severe joint cases, physical therapy can help set the foundation and develop strength and stability in the joint, knee sleeves can then be used to stabilize the joint and accelerate the recovery process.
Knee compression sleeves are a great tool to provide support and pain relief for those suffering from various knee injuries. If used correctly, they can effectively correct dislocations, reduce pain levels during physical activity, improve performance during runs and workouts, and accelerate recovery time afterwards. However, it is important to take precautions when using a knee sleeve and to adhere to the recommended duration of use.
It is always important to listen to your body and pay attention to any discomfort that arises from using a knee compression sleeve. If you experience pain, swelling, or redness in the affected area, then it is advised to seek medical advice for proper diagnosis and treatment.
In conclusion, knee compression sleeves can be an effective tool for managing pain and discomfort caused by various knee injuries such as meniscus tears and arthritis. However, it is important to take necessary precautions when using a knee sleeve in order to avoid any adverse effects or further injury. Seek advice from a medical professional if you have any questions or concerns, and remember to listen to your body in order to stay safe and healthy.
If you are looking for the right knee sleeve to suit your needs, Koprez® Knee Compression Sleeves are designed to provide maximum support and comfort while helping you get back on the path of healthy living. Get your Koprez® Knee Compression Sleeves today and start reaping the benefits!