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Knee Brace Vs Sleeve: Difference Between Knee Brace and Sleeve

Both knee brace and knee sleeve indeed provide support for knee joints. But they are not the same thing. Many people confuse one with another. If you are one of them and want to know what is the difference between a knee brace and a knee sleeve, this article is meant for you.
Let’s take a look at how a knee brace differs from a knee sleeve.

Difference Between Knee Braces and Sleeves

What are knee braces?

In a nutshell, knee braces are for injuries. They are mostly designed for those who have already suffered from an injury. As opposed to knee sleeves, knee braces help reduce pain and provide recovery after surgery. Unlike knee sleeves, they are very functional and often recommended by physicians after a knee injury or damage.

Types of knee braces

Knee braces come in different types and sizes. They are basically four types: prophylactic, functional, uloader, and rehabilitative knee brace. Different types have specific applications and function distinctly in various conditions.

Functional knee braces, for example, are great for damaged and torn ligaments, whereas unloader braces are used to alleviate knee pain of patients suffering from osteoarthritis. Likewise, every type works in particular situations. 

When to use a knee brace?

If you have knee pain or you want to avoid injury during high contact sports like football and basketball, you can wear regular knee braces. Functional and rehabilitative braces can be worn after a serious injury like Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL, Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) or right after a recent surgery to have a recovery.

Raw materials used to make knee braces

Knee braces are made of neoprene supported with metallic rods and hinges. Neoprene is the brand name of polychloroprene fabric which is also known as scuba fabric. Neoprene is an ideal material for some special wears like sportswear, wetsuits, swimsuits, sports bras thanks to its excellent waterproof properties.

What are knee sleeves?

Knee sleeves are for support. They provide support and compression to the knee joint. As opposed to knee braces, they don’t limit the knee movements and function in replacement of a damaged or injured knee. They are used to take preventive measures before an injury. Athletes and people opt to use them while taking regular exercise and playing sports.

Types of knee sleeves

Irrespective of types and styles, all knee sleeves have the same function. In contrast with knee braces, there is no specific type or category of knee sleeves. They are commonly used to prevent possible injury when playing sports and taking daily exercise that requires flexion in the knee joint.

When to use knee sleeves?

Knee sleeves need not be worn all the time. They should be used for specific activities or adaptations. Athletes and people who are going to the gym and taking exercise like weightlifting, running and jumping may benefit from wearing knee sleeves.

Wearing knee sleeves at the gym provides light compression and warmth of the knee joint. Sleeves are more beneficial for athletes when warming up. Apart from this, knee sleeves offer the necessary support to perform squats and snatch well. 

Materials used to make knee sleeves

Like knee braces, knee sleeves are also made of neoprene. But sleeves are not supported with metallic rods and hinges. Some sleeves are made from spacer knitted fabric and composite materials.

To sum up with

A knee brace is used after an injury to alleviate pain and get a recovery. On the other hand, a knee sleeve is worn before a future injury as a preventive measure. This is where the main difference is that wearers should understand. Hope you found this article helpful and understood the relative difference between a knee brace and a knee sleeve.

Amelia Ema

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