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What is the difference between a neoprene knee sleeve and a knee brace?

The difference between a knee sleeve and a knee brace is basically the level of support that is offered to the knee joint, and depends on your individual knee problem.  If you need to recover from a minor injury or want to avoid a more serious injury, then a slide on knee sleeve may be just what you need.  On the other hand, if you need added structural support to recover from a more serious problem, as well as the healing properties from the neoprene sleeve, then you may need a knee brace.

Neoprene Knee Brace Guide

A neoprene knee brace is the most popular type of knee support brace that you can buy for treating your knee problems at home. In fact, a neoprene knee sleeve or knee brace is so popular that many doctors and physicians will recommend that you use a knee sleeve at home by yourself while recovering from knee injury.

The idea behind using a knee brace is that it will provide adequate support for the knee joint while you recover from injury, overuse syndrome, or arthritis pain.   So the real benefit of using a knee brace or knee support is to reduce pain and at the same time, to help the joint recover from damage or injury.


A Neoprene Knee brace is flexible enough to allow movement

These types of Neoprene knee brace are excellent to help protect the knee joint bones, the ligaments, knee tendons, and also the muscles whenever you conduct any type of exercise, as the neoprene material is flexible enough to move as your knee bends, therefore allowing movement, whilst protecting the joint from further damage.


Easy to wear and adjustable

All you have to do is simply slide the neoprene knee sleeve or knee brace up the leg and slide it into place around your knee, until it fits comfortably around the injured or damaged location.  A knee brace is adjustable so that you can adjust the straps to get the perfect amount of support to the knee joint, but also enough flexibility in the knee brace to offer just the right amount of movement within the joint to allow for recovery and healing.


Movement of the knee joint is important

The added advantage of using a neoprene knee sleeve or knee brace is due to the flexible material that allows the joint to move, but also retains the bodily warmth which helps decrease the recovery time and reduce the bruising, joint swelling and joint pain.  A neoprene knee brace will serve to support the knee joint, at the same time as keeping the joint warm, and increase the blood circulation even when you are resting or recovering from exercise.

A knee brace will promote healing and recovery

If you are familiar with neoprene material, you might know that is actually a synthetic rubber material that is woven into a fabric and is most commonly used for wetsuit materials, where keeping the body warm during water sports is the primary goal.  However, doctors and physicians are also aware of the useful properties of neoprene as one of the most suitable materials for promoting healing and recovery of soft tissue injuries.  Because neoprene is so good at retaining body heat, it actually acts as an insulation material, which prevents body heat dissipating into the air.  When the internal heat of the body is trapped next to the skin, then the body’s own heat can actually be used to create enough warmth to increase the blood circulation around the knee.  Increased blood flow means more oxygen and nutrients are brought to the location of the injury, which increases the natural healing process, and speeds up the time for healing and recovery.


Different Types of Knee Brace

There is a whole range of neoprene knee braces on the market, and depending on your ailment, or the stage of recovery you are at, means there are different types of knee brace and knee support that might suit you better.  From the basic knee sleeve, or athletic knee support, or an advanced knee brace for a more severe injury, there is a style that will suit you.  Whether you need a passive knee sleeve to rest and recover, or a knee support that lets you exercise safely, or even a structural knee brace for knee surgery, it is important to make sure you find the best option up front.

What level of protection do you need?

It basically comes down to the level of support or knee protection that you require from a neoprene knee brace, so you need to be sure of what you need.

Even if your doctor has recommended that you wear a knee brace at home to aid recovery from a knee problem, there are different styles available, and we can help to find the perfect solution for you!


Neoprene Knee Sleeveneoprene knee sleeve

A neoprene knee sleeve is usually a basic sleeve of material designed to fit snugly around the knee joint to provide basic support and protection, but more for ongoing recovery and warming therapy.  A knee sleeve may be adequate to prevent the onset of knee injury from overuse or the onset of arthritic pain, and is most suitable when you are resting or inactive, just to provide the benefit of keeping the knee warm, and to increase circulation during recovery periods.


McDavid Knee Strapknee strap

A knee strap is commonly prescribed to athletes who suffer from knee pain around the meniscus or patella, and is commonly brought on by overuse of the knee joint, or when excessive exercise has caused wear and tear on the soft tissues around the knee.  A knew strap can be effective worn during exercise to prevent the injury becoming worse, and also to change the wear pattern inside the knee joint while still enabling the user to continue to conduct their exercise regime.


Neoprene Knee SupportNeoprene Knee Support

A neoprene knee support may be prescribed by your doctor when either recovering from minor surgery, or trying to avoid a more serious injury from occurring.  If you have recently recovered from keyhole surgery, or cartilage repair, then it may be wise to use a neoprene knee support to protect the location of the injury from additional damage, and to provide just a little additional support to the knee while it fully recovers.


Basic Knee BraceBasic Neoprene Knee Brace

A neoprene knee brace provides the next level of support to persons suffering knee injury, whereby the knee requires additional support to prevent further injury.  Not only does a knee brace provide physical and structural knee support, but the healing benefits of the neoprene knee brace can assist in the recovery process.  A basic knee brace can come in different variations such as a closed patella, which basically is a completely wrap around knee brace for all round support.  The other option is an open patella whereby the top of the knee cap or patella has an opening in the front of the knee brace to allow for less restriction and compression of the front of the knee cap.  These variations are important depending on the nature of the knee injury, and will ensure the fastest recovery from injury.


Advanced Knee Brace – with added stabilization

Advanced Knee Brace

The next level of support and recovery from injury is provided by an advanced stabilized knee brace, which consists of the same basic knee brace support structure, but comes with additional knee straps around the knee for added support.  The knee brace straps are totally adjustable so that your knee gets the precise amount of structural support to protect the location of the injury, but also to allow a safe level of movement while the injury heals.

Better still, the advanced knee brace allows you to alter the knee straps as the injury heals, so that you only ever need one knee brace to see you through the recovery from the knee injury.  In the even that the pain in your knee becomes annoying or too much to bear, the adjustable knee brace ensures that you can tighten or loosen the straps according to your own comfort level.  For example, if you need to allow a small amount of knee movement, whilst still maintaining maximum support, then you can tighten the straps as much as necessary.  But when you are relaxing after a physiotherapy session, and knee support is no longer necessary, you can loosen the straps to ease the tension, and still benefit from the healing and recovery properties of the advanced neoprene knee brace.


Elite knee brace with structural knee support Elite knee brace

Now we move into the specialist level of knee brace devices which are designed to provide orthopaedic level support for the treatment and recovery from serious knee injury, knee surgery or knee reconstruction operations.  In the event that you have a serious injury such as a ruptured tendon, or serious knee surgery, you would require an elite knee brace to provide maximum stabilization to prevent the weakened joint from hyper extending and further damaging the weakened joint.  Especially designed for recovery from delicate knee surgery, the elite knee brace can actually be locked to prevent excess movement.  The same device can then be used to gradually increase the mobility of the joint, using the graduated brace mechanisms, and hence can help you all the wall to recovery from severe knee injury.

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