Would anyone care to explain the function and dynamics of knee sleeves / wraps? Is the purpose to increase joint temperature? to provide support to tendons? encourage proper joint alignment? Are these aides meant to be a therapeutic option or a performance enhancer? What is the current consensus on their use within the medical / sports science / weight training realm?
As I have aged I have experienced more and more problems with my knees when I squat (specifically, pain and pressure). I've been lifting long enough to feel like I can confidently say that my stance, form, and knee alignment are all within accepted norms. I know that I am not over training and I have varied my stance and form enough over the years to realize that it is probably something that I am going to have to live with. Based on this brief description, do you think sleeves or wraps would be beneficial?
Here is how I would break down wraps/sleeves:
Cloth Sleeves = Compression and some warmth, can be used for performance or injury prevention.
Neoprene Sleeves = Warmth, typically worn for injury prevention.
Knee Wraps = Extreme compression, typically worn for performance.
If you are having knee problems it would be best to figure out why the issues have occurred before looking for a 'band aid'. You could be experiencing tendinitis, pain due to mobility issues, etc. - in some cases the sleeves will allow you to work though the pain but without identifying the root cause they will not 'fix' the overall problem.
Thanks for the input. I actually recently attempted to do this without much success. A couple of months ago I took it back to the basics: I dropped a large amount of weight from my squat in an effort to focus on good form and depth. I recorded myself and after reviewing everything I feel like my form was decent, and I think my knees are tracking properly over my feet (in other words they aren't shooting out over my feet when I squat). I can't make any promises that this form translates to bigger lifts, but I feel like the basics are pretty solid. I should mention that (not sure what the medical term would be) loose joints run in the family. The best way to describe this is I have just a little too much freedom in the movement of my joints. This gives me a tendency to roll ankles, etc. Not sure if this would correlate, and I'm sure this would be a good question for my doctor - which i will bring up at my next annual. I don't want to mask a problem with a band-aid as you suggested, but I am beginning to think that a bit of added support would go a long way. Thoughts?
Last edited by ancom41; 07-19-2012 at 09:02 AM.
I would agree with Tom in that added support should be used when needed, but not as a crutch. Address the underlining problem, whether that's mobility, scar tissue, flexability, etc, otherwise the issue will never go away.
H: 5'7" W:185
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I wear sleeves for injury prevention when I play spots (though not when lifting). Really helps stabilize the ligaments so your don't tear your ACL/MCL/PCL (I've torn 3 ACLs).
Can anyone tell me the difference in use between the 5mm the 7mm thick sleeves? How much more supportive are the thicker ones?