09.15.16

How Rehband knee sleeves support and protect your knees during a workout

Knee sleeves are anatomically shaped support sleeves for knees, providing both compression and warmth to help increase performance and to prevent injuries. The knee is one of the most vulnerable areas of the body, and requires extra support during heavy or long workouts as well as following an injury. The Rx Knee Support has a patented anatomic construction and provides higher muscle coordination, increased joint stability and reduced energy waste.

“The Rehband Rx Knee Support combines the key benefits of stability, compression and warmth. The stability offers a mental and physical feeling of safety. The compression helps prevent injuries and increases muscle memory of how to move correctly. The warmth protects the user’s joints and soft tissues from injury. Together these elements improve the athlete’s performance capability,“ explains Johan Bohlin, Physiotherapist and Head of Development at Rehband.

“Knee sleeves are designed to protect your knees when you are injured, but also to prevent injuries and re-injuries. The largest user group is people who have suffered injuries to the knee once, and who have or have had a weakness in the knee, and want to prevent getting injured again. The faster you get back to exercising after an injury, the faster the recovery process is. Knee sleeves basically help you getting back to being active faster,” explains Johan Bohlin, Physiotherapist and Head of Development at Rehband.

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How knee sleeves work

Knee sleeves work by providing warmth and compression to the knees. The compression increases the blood flow and the receptive input from the knee, helping an athlete perform more controlled and stable movements.

“An increased receptive input means that your brain is receiving more information from the part of your body experiencing the compression, making us more aware of how we are using that joint or body part. When using a knee sleeve, you can perform movements better – both in terms of balance, coordination and muscle activation. The compression can help us jump higher or run faster. When you are injured or at risk of being injured, the knee sleeve helps you regain control of the knee,” Johan Bohlin says.

The warming effect of the knee sleeves helps with increasing blood flow quicker, and is effective for keeping knees warm throughout an activity.

“By wearing a knee sleeve, the knee reaches an ideal operating temperature faster, so that the joint is well prepared when you start exercising. It is also effective after an activity as the knee sleeve provides a slow reduction of temperature. It can be compared to jogging down”, Johan Bohlin says.

“Knee injuries are very common. If you have a weakness in your knee you will notice it very quickly, both when working out and during everyday activities. The knee is a central and vulnerable joint, and you can injure it regardless of if you are very active, or not active at all. If you move too little it needs support, if you move too much it is stressed too much. It’s all very complicated. That’s why one of Rehband’s main focuses has been on knee sleeves and to develop once that really support the athlete; because so many people need it”, says Johan Bohlin.

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Built on a Unique Patent

The construction of the Rehband Rx Knee Support is built on a unique patent, securing its anatomical fit. The shape allows the product to follow the body’s motions, ensuring that it stays in place during workouts. This creates a combined mental and physical frame to keep your body moving towards strength instead of injury. It also helps ensure that you perform movements in a more controlled and safe manner

“Ten years ago, Rehband got a patent on a new pattern construction, built on an anatomical fit, and we are the only ones who can legally use it. If you look inside a Rehband knee sleeve, you can see the actual contour of a leg, not just an angled tube. This anatomical shape makes the compression much more even throughout the whole knee, giving it a better effect and function,” says Johan Bohlin.

The Rehband Rx Knee Support is classified as a medical device, and is built on Rehband’s long medical history. At Rehband’s R&D center in Norrköping, all Rehband’s products are researched and developed in close cooperation with health professionals, athletes and clubs. The team consists of physiotherapists and textile engineers among others.

“When developing knee sleeves, we look at the scientific evidence and research available. The knee sleeve is classed as a medical device and has a scientific base. During the development process we go through risk analysis, toxicity testing, and physical trails. Our knee sleeves are then controlled by the Drug Administration in each country we are present in in Europe, to ensure that it can be classed as a medical device”, explains Johan Bohlin.

The knee sleeves are made of Neopren. A material with different degrees of hardness and that are both elastic and stable. All knee sleeves and materials are tested both in the lab and in close cooperation with athletes to ensure that they deliver the effects they promise. The material is very high quality and lasts for many years.

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User Groups and Risk Groups

Knee sleeves can be used by all athletes, practicing any sport at any level, to improve performance and to prevent injuries.

“Today, some sports have a stronger cultural community when it comes to using knee sleeves, like weightlifters or CrossFitters, but the interest is growing within other sports and physical practices as well. Knee sleeves are more about taking care of your body, preventing injuries, and recovering from injuries, than they are built to target a specific sport. Everyone can suffer a knee injury”, says Johan Bohlin.

For some risk groups through there is an extra importance of using knee sleeves for added protection.

“A 13-year-old girl playing handball is in a very vulnerable situation because the knees are experiencing a lot of stress during a period when the girl is also growing. Knee sleeves can help the handball player train more efficiently and to become stronger in the legs and knees in a safer manner,” Johan says and continues:

“The same goes for long distance runners, especially those running in terrain. They are at high risk of taking a wrong step, especially towards the end of a run or a race when you are more tired and your balance and coordination are worse. A knee sleeve can help prevent taking those wrong steps, helping the wearer regain control of their knee motion even after they start to get tired.”

Johan Bohlin explains that knee sleeves can be worn for as long as needed. The longer an athlete uses it the better and more controlled the knee movements become. Earlier there were claims that using knee sleeves and other protecting gear too much could prevent muscles from being activated. But today research has shown that knee sleeves rather help muscles become stronger because the movements are more controlled and stable.

Choosing the right knee sleeves

Rehband knee sleeves come in thicknesses of 3mm, 5mm and 7mm. To read more about the different sizes, read our article: How to pick the right knee sleeves for you: 3mm, 5mm or 7mm

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