Are elastic knee supports best for me?
Elastic knee supports are popular in sport and outdoor activities. They provide support and protection for weak and injured knees. But why choose an knee support made of elastic over the more traditional Neoprene knee supports?
Elastic vs Neoprene
Both neoprene and elastic are great for weak and injured knees. However, they both offer specific positives and negatives depending on your specific needs.
Neoprene is a rubber based material, usually 3 - 4mm thick. As a result, it is excellent at retaining the bodies heat. This is fine if you have a long term chronic injury which may benefit from heat retention.
However, if you have an acute injury and your knee is particularly swollen then your priority is to apply cold therapy and compression. In this case a simple elastic knee support might be more suitable.
The other down side of retaining your bodies heat is your leg sometimes becomes hot and sweaty, especially if you wear neoprene for extended periods. Elastic supports allow your skin to breath more easily so wearing them for longer periods is likely to be more comfortable.
In addition, they are less bulky, again increasing comfort and joint range of movement.
Elastic knee support with straps
Traditionally elastic knee supports were mostly simple elastic compression sleeves. They were perfect for immediate first aid where the priority is rest, ice, compression and elevation.
However, the Ultimate Performance range of knee supports includes more technical braces which give extra support for more severe knee injuries as well as later in the rehabilitation process when you return to sport.
The Advance Compression Knee Support has surgical steel springs down the sides plus crossover straps giving you extra lateral (sideways) support. You get the benefits of an elastic knee support with all the protection of a traditional knee brace. It is ideal for contact sports where exposed plastic buckles and solid metal components are prohibited.
Hinged knee braces
The Ultimate Compression Hinged Knee Support has solid metal stays down the sides which provide maximum sideways or lateral protection. This is ideal for more severe knee ligament sprains and joint injuries, especially where you need to wear a higher level support for longer time periods.