- What are the most common knee injuries when we practice running?
- What kind of knee braces and patellar straps are best for injuries in runners and athletes?
- What characteristics should you take into account before choosing the best sports knee brace for running?
- Do compression knee braces really work for running?
Running is a term to refer to those who engage in continuous running, an action where the feet and legs are compromised by effort and training. For these people were also created the knee braces compression, which are a garment that works both for sports practice as a therapeutic element for knee injuries and recovery from them.
The following article will help you to better understand when to wear knee compression sleeves, what ailments they are, what types and benefits they have, how to choose the right size, the standard of pricing, among other tips to make the right use of them.
What are the most common knee injuries when we practice running?
It is normal that when practicing this type of sports activities, injuries or accidents are generated at some point in life. When a runner suffers a trauma, he or she seeks to recover quickly to return to their training routine, which is why knee braces play a fundamental role in their day-to-day life.
Many have been forced to stop their activities because of a discomfort or because they suffered some incident, not being able to bear the pain, but this garment can become the solution. It should be noted that the injury is not always generated directly by running, but by the excessive use of the knees or poor training and even the context of the surface on which the athlete performed the activity.
The most common injuries are:
It is the inflammation of the membrane that covers the tibia, which is called the periosteum. An example of these cases is when running with great intensity the impact of the foot against the floor generates so much force that there is a contraction of the muscle, this presents a kind of vibration against the union of the bone and consequently it becomes inflamed. In the case of sportsmen and women this can be avoided by changing exercise routines or by doing the correct pre- and post-stretching. Protective equipment or clothing should also be worn.
If treatment is required, it is best to use knee compressive sleeves for support and to apply the cold technique to the affected area keeping the leg elevated so that the inflammation can go down. At the time of this incident, the study of the footprint can be considered, which is a way of diagnosing biomechanical defects, in other words, poor posture when walking, running or standing as a result of the injury.
It is also known as chondromalacia patelluliana. It is described as a discomfort in the lower part of the kneecap. It is a pathological state of the cartilage found on the back of the kneecap, which causes intense pain throughout the knee, instability and a sensation of friction that worsens as you run over uneven ground, go down stairs and bend the knee.
It can be defined as the wear and tear on the cartilage that consequently causes the kneecap and the muscle to rub together. This brings about acute pain and the displacement of the kneecap towards the outside. On some occasions, depending on the severity, surgery may be required. It is usually caused by weakness of the quadriceps muscle, which is located in front of the thigh, by the shape of the person’s knee or by the position of the foot.
The kneecap can be defined as a small triangular bone. In other words, the ligaments, muscles and bones of the leg form the knee joint, we mention this because it is in the area that receives the greatest impact. This occurs because of the friction of the kneecap with the thigh bone or femur when the knee is moved. This syndrome can also be generated by the misplacement of the kneecap.
It is known as “jumper’s knee” and is an inflammation of the patellar tendon, which allows extension movements in this part of the leg. It can be caused by runners training on a very hard surface or when the magnitude of the exercise is increased. Treatment can be done with physiotherapy to improve the position of the kneecap.
As long as the injury remains painful, the person should avoid crossing their legs, wear high heels, maintain a correct posture and finally, and most importantly, stop exercising and running. It is important in these cases to wear shoes with which the person feels comfortable and can support the foot with stability and, protection of the area with a knee brace for greater safety.
It is a stabbing pain in the tendon and considered one of the most difficult injuries to deal with. The discomfort can be felt even when sitting and especially when climbing stairs, therefore rest is indispensable. It can be caused by a bad movement while running and not doing the previous stretches to warm up the body before exercising. Patience, together with a close follow-up of the treatment, will be the best allies of those who suffer from this situation. They must stop the exercise and rest in order to recover.
Iliotibial band syndrome
It causes continuous pain on the outer side of the knee and increases when running downhill or at a very slow pace. It is an inflammatory injury, not traumatic, caused by the excessive use of the area. You must keep all the rest you need for recovery to be really effective and not to worsen the symptoms or to need surgery; if so, you will have to suspend running for a long time while the knee heals. The injury is most often felt on the outside of the joint and the main symptom is pain between the hip and the knee, which can be made worse by very intense physical activity.
What kind of knee braces and patellar straps are best for injuries in runners and athletes?
Choosing the right knee brace or compression band is important so as not to cause worse injuries or damage the area unnecessarily. From evaluating the material to accurately identifying what the discomfort or pain is, these are critical decisions for getting recovery results as quickly as possible. There are several types for each case:
Knee compression sleeves
Reduces inflammation and relieves pain, this takes pressure off the kneecap, improves circulation and mobility. It is perfect for activities that cause high pressure on the joints such as running which, being in constant movement, overloads this area of the body which can cause severe pain and the suspension of this activity for a short time (depending on the severity).
For this type of ailment, either to a lesser or greater extent, compression knee braces can be used, without the use of drugs which may cause contraindications. This garment has so many benefits for any traumatism inside or outside the races, that is why they are divided into several parts to give more concentration to an area, here some:
- Patellar strap: The runnig does not seem in many cases the kind of activity where a person would get hurt, but it happens and that is why the garment exists, which also fights many conditions. It can be summarised that the piece seeks to protect: the kneecap, chondromalacia patella and osteoarthritis. Also, they are recommended for the injury of the iliotibial belt syndrome commonly called, athletes’ knee.
- Patellar tendon brace: To begin with, the patellar tendon works with the muscles on the front of the thigh so that the knee can be extended. It is basically what helps the person to perform ordinary movements such as kicking, running and jumping. It is often very helpful when there are micro-tears on the tendon caused by repetitive movements and jumping or running on hard surfaces.
- Knee braces with cold gel packs: These are a special type and come with a built-in gel pack so that when it gets cold, it relieves pain and reduces inflammation. Very useful to use after an injury, you can also use it in training.
Patellar tendonitis strap
It is mainly used by sportsmen who have problems with their kneecaps or patellar tendons. The piece is placed under the kneecap so that the pressure exerted on the tendon releases the tension generated by doing a lot of exercise. It is also essential to keep a rest. The problem develops because the quadriceps tendon does not function as it should, and consequently generates discomfort. The aim of the tape is to exert sufficient pressure and immobilise the tendon to make recovery easier.
Orthopaedic knee supports
Despite being orthopedic type, they are also widely used in sports. This is due to the protection it generates in the knee, avoiding injuries and if you already have it, it will help you to recover faster. It is a stabilizing garment with good support, which causes a good support and rest of the joint while using the product, accelerating the cure.
What characteristics should you take into account before choosing the best sports knee brace for running?
Choosing a sports brace seems like a simple task, but it is not. Starting from the fact that running is no longer just any activity, but requires strength, perseverance, and maintaining a good diet and hydration to achieve the objectives set.
In order to choose the best garment for running you must take into account elements such as:
According to its function
- Pain relief knee braces: The sports knee brace acts and provides compression, this is what brings relief so that the area can rest and start to recover. This is beneficial for all running, since the excessive use to which they expose the knee, causes constant discomfort, which can be avoided and reduced with the use of these clothes.
- Knee braces to reduce inflammation: Swelling is an unavoidable situation in the context of the athlete, it happens to everyone. The knee brace is designed to provide the necessary compression to produce the opposite effect. It is important to bear in mind that in this situation, the garment can be accompanied by heat and cold therapy for a more optimal recovery.
- Knee braces to improve comfort: First and foremost there is the feeling of well being. The compression garment does not cause discomfort during training or recovery from an injury. Sports knee supports guarantee good support and an adequate temperature in the joint, generating better and easier physical activity or running.
- Breathable knee supports: Sweat is an element that accompanies every sportsperson, regardless of the activity to be performed. Choosing a knee brace that is light and breathable is essential so that at least this is not a cause of accidents and even causes skin irritation and even discomfort when training. The issue with sweating is that it is a natural process that occurs to a greater or lesser extent to each person, which is why ventilation is important.
If the materials are involved, it is an important point to evaluate the quality of the product. These products are manufactured with breathable and elastic materials such as nylon, neoprene, elastane, latex and fabrics strong enough not to deteriorate, although there are different thicknesses.
There are models between 3 mm and 7 mm thick, this for marathon runners who need stability. In the case of the neoprene garments that are widely used today, these offer uniform compression that provides elasticity and are beneficial for the circulation of the runners.
Type of support
The knee braces are compression garments par excellence, but it should be noted and taken into account that each type of injury requires a different level of pressure. Another important point is that the garment is always kept in the same place and, during a race, a difference in level may occur, so the support materials are also used to provide this support.
The most recommended ones for this discipline are:
- Knee braces with Velcro: This type of closure is ideal for runners, as they will not feel the material directly and will be able to make the pressure they need. There are many models in the market with this system, so it will not be complicated to acquire them.
- Knee supports with hinges: It is a type of closure with which you can have much more stability and support. This material is much more used in garments that provide greater stability to the knee. So, if you have an injury, this one is perfect for you.
- Neoprene knee braces: Most of these garments are made of this material because it adheres easily to the skin. For training or physical activities you can use it alone but, during a race, it is advisable to use an extra material such as Velcro for greater support.
The size of the knee brace does not cease to be important in this matter, because if it is not the right size it can fall off and not generate the desired effect or, on the contrary, it can be so tight to the skin that it does not allow mobility and even cuts off circulation. There are a variety of models that are adjustable, but there are others that require one size. To know yours, you should measure the contour of the knee with a tape measure, and compare the results with the table provided by the manufacturer.
Design is a subjective subject, because everyone has different tastes and styles. What is really important about the knee brace is that it fulfils its functions in terms of pain relief, swelling and compression, but the ideal is an anatomical model that can be adapted to the body’s movements.
But, if you still want to feel fashionable and stylish, this garment will make it possible. They come in all colours and with many shapes for you to choose from. In this way, not only will you feel good and protected inside, you will also project it on the outside.
Beyond an amount, you should evaluate all the characteristics previously presented and thus determine the garment you should acquire according to your needs, since it is a product that changes the way of training and running races, being able to perform them in a safer and optimal way.
The prices of compression sports knee braces vary, the most expensive being those with the highest quality, durability and ensuring proper functioning. If you want to have a healthy knee and continue running, you must take this into account.
Do compression knee braces really work for running?
Although ideally, injuries do not make it into the life of a runner, they are common, especially to the knees because of the continuous use of the knees. Their protection must be a priority for every runner if they want to extend the practice of this sport, the best solution being the use of these compressive garments.
Sports knee braces for running work in all their aspects, and if used properly and with the right materials, they will fulfill their objective of: improving circulation and performance, relieving pain, protecting the affected area and even a quick recovery, simply by placing the garment on your knee.
There is no doubt about how dangerous and easy an injury can be for runners, so the best thing is to prevent, and whenever possible, use sports knee compression sleeves so you can have a healthier and safer sporting life.