If you watch any NBA game, you will take a look at the legs of the players. You will see very few naked knees! Everyone is wearing something: sleeves, pads, braces, pants.
There are different reasons why basketball players wear protective gear on their knees:
- To reduce chronic pain caused by the immense burden put on the knees in basketball
- To prevent bruises caused by collisions and hard falls
- To provide support after a significant knee injury like an ACL tear
Now, let's go and see what's the key difference between knee pads, sleeves, and brace.
Knee sleeves are usually made from a tight but flexible material and provide extra compression for your knees. Here are the benefits of wearing knee sleeves during sports activities :
- Increases blood flow which helps recovery after a workout or basketball game.
- Actively reduces pain during stress.
- Improves Proprioception (active recognition of the knee joints by the central nervous system)
If you want to prevent future injuries or want to reduce chronic pain in your knees, knee sleeves are especially useful. However, if you are recovering from serious injuries like an Arthritis, Meniscus tear, ACL PCL MCL, knee sleeves will not be enough.
When it comes to protecting your knee from injuries, knee braces are a clear step up from simple sleeves. While knee sleeves mainly provide compression, knee braces increase the stability of your knees and provide the anterior knee and patella with external support. Sewn-in support stays help to increase knee stability – hinges eliminate dangerous hyperextension.
Knee braces are most often used after injuries as part of the recovery process. They help athletes prevent re-injuries and increase the confidence of recovering basketball players. If you want to buy a knee brace, make sure to talk to your doctor to get the right type for your specific injury.
The purpose of knee pads is different from sleeves and braces. The main purpose of knee pads is not to prevent damage to the ligaments and tendons, but to soften the external impact from opposing players or the floor.
These pads have become very popular with basketball players in recent years, and allow players to attack with an added sense of security. In addition to providing compression, they also prevent floor burns and dampen the pain after banging knees with an opponent. As such, they are a great piece of gear for basketball players with an attacking style similar to a young Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook. A popular example of a knee pad is the COOLOMG knee pads.
Sleeves vs Braces vs Pads – What should you get?
So what do you need in your specific case?
If you have chronic pain in the knees, want to speed up recovery, or are looking for a slight increase in stability, go for knee sleeves.
If you are coming off an injury to your ACL, MCL, etc., go for a knee brace. Make sure to talk to a doctor to make sure you get the appropriate brace for your injury.
However, if you are banging knees all the time and want to prevent knee contusions, go for knee pads.
Okay, that's all so far we do the collation info about the difference between basketball knee pads, sleeves, and brace.