Knee Braces VS Knee Sleeves VS Knee Wraps – Define Difference
Injury to the knee is common for athletes and non-athletes alike. To support the tissue surrounding the knee while you are recovering from an injury; or to prevent an injury from occurring; medical devices such as knee wraps, knee sleeves, and knee braces are recommended.
The information gathered here will help you to understand the differences between the braces, sleeves, and wraps. Knowing the difference will help you to decide which item would benefit you the most.
While this information is designed to help you understand the knee braces, and choose a brace to try; it is not meant to replace the advice of your physician. If you experience an injury to the knee that is causing pain, swelling, or a limitation in your ability to ambulate you should seek the advice of a medical professional.
What is Knee Brace?
Knee brace are wearable items designed for the knee. Braces have rigid metal or hard plastic sections that restrict movement while the knee is injured. Braces have very little give to them, and they are usually prescribed by a doctor or therapist.
The purpose of a knee brace is to allow your knee to have time to heal from an injury. People who have recurring injuries may wear a knee brace during certain activities to prevent the recurrence. These items are not very comfortable, but they provide the ultimate in support for the knee joint and the surrounding supportive tissue.
What is Knee Sleeves?
A sleeve is a garment that slips over the knee joint such like the sleeve on your clothing slips over your elbows. A portion of the sleeve rests over a small section just above the knee and a portion of the sleeve extends below the knee.
The purpose of a knee sleeve is to provide support to your knee and supportive tissue surrounding the knee by compressing the tissue and holding everything firmly in position. These compression sleeves help reduce swelling and they can stop you from turning your knee, or spraining your knee during physical activities like running, jumping, and sports.
What is Knee Wraps?
A knee wrap is made up of pieces of stretchy elastic type material that can be pulled tightly to create a support or area of compression.
The purpose of a knee wrap is to support the knee. People use this type of support so they will be less likely to turn their knee, or sprain their knee. Weightlifters use this extra support so they can lift heavier amounts of weight without injuring their knees.
Differences Between Knee Brace, Knee Sleeve and Knee Wrap
Although all 3 of these items are designed to help support your knee and the surrounding tissue there are big differences in the items.
Designed for injured knees
Designed for support
Designed for support
Braces are the larger items and they include metal or plastic “bones” to make them rigid
These are medium size and are usually made of neoprene, and they have a cut out for the knee cap to be positioned in, they are soft
These are the smallest and they have usually got a series of bands made to cradle the knee cap so you can exercise or work without injury
These are the least comfortable of the knee supports because they restrict movement the most
These items are moderately comfortable because they supply support without the rigid plastic inserts and the hinges
These are the most comfortable because they are simply elastic bands that are stretched around your knee to add support
Anyone who has suffered a traumatic knee injury may be wearing these items at doctors request
Anyone who has had previous knee injuries and anyone wanting to prevent knee injuries
Anyone who engages in heavy lifting or intense squatting will use these elastic bands for support
Knee braces, knee sleeves, and knee wraps are made to help protect the knee while the wearer engages in physical activity, or heals from a physical injury. Most athletes wear some type of support for their knees because they understand that a knee injury could stop them from participating in the sports they love.
Choosing the best knee support is important. If you wear a brace you may restrict movement too much, and if you wear a simple wrap you may not get enough support to stop a ligament from being further damaged.
Choose your knee support according to the activities you will be engaged in, and the level of risk your activity causes for your knee.