Knee injuries are amongst the most commonly reported type of injury in runners, with women being even more at risk than men. However, not all knee injuries are serious or painful enough to stop you running altogether.  Finding the right support for your painful knee may be enough to get you through the race season. There are a confusing number of braces, strapping and sports tapes available, but which one you choose should depend upon the type of injury and the severity of your pain. Visit our online store to see our full range of knee straps and supports. Knee supports do not heal injuries and it’s important to understand that when you start out.  Do not attempt to run on an injured knee unless your doctor or physiotherapist says it’s alright to do so. If you’ve been given the go-ahead to run and the pain isn’t too intense, then read on to see which form of knee support is most appropriate for you.

Knee straps

Straps are like bands that wrap around the bottom of the knee and sometimes around the top as well.  They support the tendon by distributing pressure over a wider area.  This relieves the pressure on the patellar tendon (located at the bottom of the knee) which is normally where the soreness originates. Strapping above the knee may help runners suffering from IT band syndrome by reducing pain caused by friction within the knee joint during running. Strapping is most appropriate for conditions such as runner’s knee, iliotibial band byndrome, chrondomalacia, patellar tendonitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.

Knee braces

Often, braces are given to patients after knee surgery to limit potentially dangerous movement during convalescence.  Sometimes, knee braces are even used to prevent injury in professional athletes.  There are a huge number of knee braces on the market, so choosing one can be difficult. One of the most common types of knee brace are “knee sleeves” which provide compression and manage swelling around the knee joint.  It can also provide some support for the quadriceps and supporting muscles around the knee.  It provides good support for conditions such as runners knee or minor sprains. Another popular kind of knee brace is the “patellar brace”, which is similar to a knee sleeve but it has a hole in it.  This is a useful choice if you have one of a number of conditions which cause the knee to track improperly.  This means the knee moves out of alignment during running or walking and it can often be very painful.  The hole in a patellar brace holds the knee in place during running, which may alleviate some symptoms of conditions such as chrondomalacia or loose knee caps.

Knee tape

Sports fans will most likely have seen their some of their favourite athletes wearing vividly coloured stretchy tape at some time or other.  It’s called kinesiotape (sometimes shortened to K Tape).  K Tape is formulated to imitate human skin, providing support without restricting range of motion. When it comes to applying K Tape accurately, it gets a little complicated.  There are many tutorials to be found online, but it’s probably best to get help from a physiotherapist.

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