Compression and knee pain: How a compress helps reduce knee pain

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Compression and knee pain: How a compress helps reduce knee pain

Having painful knees is definitely not a breeze. It’s been found that approximately 25 percent of adults are affected by frequent knee pain. As knees are the biggest and most complex joints in the human body, knee pain sufferers often experience limited function and mobility. 

Rise from knee pain with RICE

The RICE method is probably the most well-known way to combat knee pain when experiencing a knee injury. When your knee sustains an injury, inflammation and pain are sure to follow immediately. The RICE method, when followed vigilantly, can help reduce both swelling and pain. 

RICE stands for rest, ice, compress and elevation.

Rest – Immediately after the injury or at the onset of knee pain, stop any strenuous activity and rest the affected area as soon and as much as possible. Do not bear weight on the affected knee for 24–48 hours.

Ice – The first 48 hours of the injury is critical. This is the time you must ice the area to help reduce pain and swelling. Use a knee ice pack to provide cold therapy to your knee for 20 minutes at a time, every four hours. If you do not have a knee ice pack, ice wrapped in a towel will do. Be careful not to ice the injured area for more than 20 minutes at a time as this may cause tissue damage. 

While using makeshift ice packs will also do the trick, it’s highly recommended that knee ice packs are used, especially those that are flexible when frozen. An injured knee is sore, and you will want the ice pack to contour around it easily. 

Compress – To help prevent further swelling, compression must be applied on the injured area. Elastic medical bandages can be used, but knee ice packs like this one double as compression as well, so you can ice and compress at the same time. The compression should be snug but still allow for proper blood circulation. 

Elevation – The injured knee should be raised above heart level. Gravity will help move fluids away from the injury, decreasing the chance of swelling. Rest your injured leg on cushions or pillows while lying down.

How does compression help with knee pain?

Knee compression can be done via knee braces, knee sleeves or elastic bandages.

Compression holds the knee to its proper shape, size and positioning so that it prevents the injury from over-swelling. Compression also holds the knee in place as to lessen the pain from the injury, especially when the affected knee is already being used for daily movement.

During injury

While nursing your injured knee, compression is crucial as it will prevent the knee from being swollen. Swelling is the body’s reaction to injury, the result of the increased flow of fluid and white blood cells into the injured area. When the injured area is compressed (during or while being iced), the pressure surrounding the injury prevents fluid from gathering in the injury. 

A certain amount of swelling is unavoidable, but it’s still essential to prevent this because too much swelling may slow down healing. 

Post injury

After healing, it’s quite common to see people who’ve had knee injuries still wear a knee compression sleeve. You will often see athletes wear this even while they train. 

Wearing knee compression sleeves allows one to exercise and use the previously injured knees without or with less pain. 

The sleeve’s compression keeps the knee in place, reducing the weight load on the joint. 

Beyond knee pain 

The benefits of wearing knee compression goes beyond healing. One may not have necessarily injured their knees, but if they have weak knees, or that they have better ease of movement with it, they can still benefit from wearing knee compression sleeves. 

Knee compression sleeves are perfect for everyday wear because they provide compression while allowing the knee to still be mobile and active as it is not too tight. Wearing knee compression sleeves gives an improved sense of stability, so many athletes enjoy wearing them while training. 

They also increase the knee’s range of motion, making them perfect for both everyday movement and sport.

Pain-free knees for good?

Because knee compression sleeves provide much not just assistance with exercise but everyday movement, it encourages one to be more active. 

With regular active movement and exercise, weight loss will surely follow. This is great news because obesity or being overweight is proven to be linked with knee pain.

Wearing knee compression also allows one to engage in a broader range of activities like cycling, lifting weights, walking, running and more. When you live a regularly active lifestyle, your mind also improves along with your body. 

From taking the pain off the knees to paving the way to a healthier lifestyle, we daresay that compression is not just your knees’ best friend but your waistline’s, too. 

When to see a doctor

If you still experience instability, extreme pain or cannot bear weight on the knee even after healing and while wearing a knee sleeve compression, please see a physician immediately. It is quite possible that you may need to wear a knee brace. 

Have you ever worn a knee compression sleeve or wrap? If you have any questions about compression, please get in touch and we’d love to discuss this with you.

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