Are you worried about your knees because you are starting to notice those scary screeching sounds coming from them during squats? If that's the case, get a protective accessory for your knees. But which one?
There are knee sleeves and knee braces. Which one to buy: perhaps they are both the same with different names?
When in the market, you might feel confused between compression knee sleeves and braces if you do not know their distinct purposes and benefits. Knee braces and sleeves are used for two very different purposes, and there is no way to use them interchangeably. Not knowing which one to choose can be a serious mistake.
If you are ready to spare 4-5 minutes, go through this article to know how the braces and sleeves are different and what purposes they serve. This is your only chance at getting the decision right!
Here we go!
Compression knee sleeves and knee braces can be perceived to be the same: many may even use the names interchangeably. However, the two are very different products and serve two different purposes. The only thing common in them is the "knee."
Let's discuss knee braces first.
Knee braces are post-injury supportive accessories. They restrict the movement of the joint, partially or completely, allowing it time to heal completely.
The kind of support you need after injury depends on how you were injured and how your joint's healing process would work. Since you will need different sorts of support garments for different injuries, there are several different types of knee braces.
Knee braces come in many shapes and forms, made from several different materials. You can come across knee braces made from foam, plastic, stretchable material, and even metal. Depends on the support needs prescribed by the doctors.
Knee braces are strongly structured: they aim to give the knee joint a firm, solid support, which helps restrict rotary pressure.
Knee braces of all types are post-injury accessories, and they are to be used with a doctor's prescription. Frequent use of knee braces without needing it can weaken the joint.
Benefits of Knee Braces
There are different types of knee braces in the market, and they all come with a particular benefit:
Prophylactic braces are strong structures consisting of bars and hinges aiming at preventing the joint in stressful, high-risk sports like football, hockey, basketball, volleyball, etc.
They are preventive: they protect your knee from injuries in those intense games where you have higher chances of receiving acute joint injuries.
If you have had an injury that partially impaired the normal function of your knees, you will need to wear functional braces. Most of the time, athletes with ACL injuries and surgeries are asked to wear these braces.
These braces will help make movement easy despite the impairment. They stabilize the knee under rotational stress. They will normalize and improve the overall joint function.
These will limit knee function in the aftermath of a knee injury. They help keep the knee static while the ligaments, bones, or tendons heal after a shocking injury. This kind of support and limited mobility is necessary for the joint to recover fully.
Rehab braces are worn immediately after surgery or during recovery. They limit the functions of knees, and they are worn for a limited period, usually just a few weeks before the patient moves on to wear functional braces.
These are the ones that help osteoarthritis patients. They support the knee, prevent pressure in the hurting area, and mitigate pain and inflammation. They reroute the bending pressure to your thighs, away from the knees.
Compression Knee Sleeves
Compression knee sleeves are very different from knee braces. Knee sleeves are compression garments for athletes or fitness enthusiasts. Compression garments support the joint, help increase blood flow towards the heart, prevent swelling and inflammation because of overuse of the knee joint.
Compression knee sleeves do not restrict movement: in fact, they help ease movement with the support system they provide.
Compression knee sleeves are worn like garments (slipped on), while braces are wound around the knee with firm straps. Sleeves are stretchable, made from firm but flexible material. DMoose compression knee sleeves are made from breathable material for comfort, while their firm stretch offers strong support. They keep the knee warm, which helps prevent clotting in the area.
Compression knee sleeves prevent injury, and provide joint stability, while braces help during the post-injury/recovery period.
Benefits of Knee Sleeves
Increased Functional Movement
The functional movement of the knee joint is greatly increased with the compression knee sleeves, which provide support and slight pressure to keep the joint stable and in the right position, especially under pressure.
The knee sleeves have a perfect, full round grip around the knee joint, which increases blood flow, keeps the joint warm and lubricated, and rules out joint sprains and dislocations.
Knee / Joint Support
The flexible, mild support system of a compression knee sleeve is the best thing athletes can do for their knees. The compression sleeves support the joint with their warm, firm snug feel. They also prevent pain and discomfort by supporting the joint and keeping it right.
Comfort During Workouts
Joints come under stress during strenuous workouts. The rubbing of bones in the knees can lead to inflammation and soreness. The slight warmth and pressure of the compression knee sleeves come in very handy in those times.
One thing to note is that seasoned weightlifters and fitness guys are more likely to appreciate the snugness of compression knee sleeves because their joints have become weak from the abrasions and stress. Newbies may not feel much difference.
Lightweight and Breathable
Compression knee sleeves are extremely lightweight; so much so that you can wear them under clothes without getting noticed. They slip on without hassle or effort and stay in their place without slipping- no stress at all!
They are made from breathable material which gives your perfect dry comfort- something absolutely necessary for a compression garment or the sweat will just make them unbreakable.
Improved Blood Circulation
Compression sleeves are just the right thing for athletes whose legs may not be doing a great job at blood circulation. This happens to active athletes because they are on their feet most days: the downward position of the legs can decrease blood flow.
Increased blood flow is very important for the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Blood flow washes away muscle waste and brings the necessary nutrients for recovery..
Relief From Pain
Increased blood flow from your legs to your heart means no inflammation in the legs and consequently no pain or discomfort either. You will feel no pressure in your legs and will be able to perform much better with a light, healthy feeling.
Which One is Better?
Compression knee sleeves and knee braces are two different things, and they serve different purposes. It is impossible to categorize one as better than the other because you cannot use the two interchangeably.
Knee braces are worn in a particular situation, and compression sleeves will not be enough in those situations. Compression knee sleeves will ruin the joint and may cause serious complications if you wear them where the doctor has recommended using a particular type of knee braces. Knee braces are not for regular use: they are special case protective garments.
Similarly, compression knee sleeves serve a particular purpose, and it will be a dumb mistake to wear a brace in its place. Braces restrict activity and motion, while knee sleeves help with accurate and safe motion. They prevent injuries, relieve pain and discomfort, and may improve blood flow, eliminating leg stiffness. They are everyday activewear.
You need to use the one that suits your needs and your pocket. Whichever suits your needs, that is the best one for you.
Compression knee sleeves and braces are two different accessories, and they are used for two very different purposes. They are not the same and can't be used interchangeably. There is no comparison of these two either because the two are not used for the same purpose. In addition to purpose, they are manufactured with different designs and structures. It will be much easier to choose one for yourself after considering your particular needs.