Try this strange "bandage-brace" method for knee pain relief (compression therapy guide)

Compression therapy is one of the methods you can use to reduce knee pain.

You can wear a compression brace to stabilize the knee joint and decrease swelling (and relieve pain).

You can also DIY and make "bandage-brace" from home too! (We'll show you how).

So today we'll cover:

- What is compression therapy and how does it relieve pain?

- Is there proof that it works?

- 3 easy ways to start using compression therapy at home (well-worth taking the time to try these!)

What is Compression Therapy?

Compression therapy is a method where pressure application reduces pain, for example, on knee joints.

This pressure stimulates blood flow, which helps speed up your body's natural healing process. Many report this ultimately provides much needed pain-relief.

How Does It Work to Reduce Pain?

The best way to understand how compression therapy works to reduce pain is to note its effect on the body.

Among the leading causes of joint pain on the knee is poor blood flow. Your veins fight against gravity to move blood from the legs to your heart.

The veins' experience can cause you to experience excruciating pain and stiffness. Not to mention that your feet feel cold, and it gets hard to move.

When you apply compression therapy, the gentle pressure from the knee brace helps improve blood circulation.[1]

In addition, compression therapy decreases swelling. There's a gentle application of pressure on the knee, for example, from a compression knee sleeve.

The pressure prevents the small veins in this area from leaking fluids to your legs when sitting down.

Arthritis can cause swollen knees and legs when you sit for an extended period. The swelling feels uncomfortable, can interfere with mobility, and makes your legs feel stiff.

Compression therapy will prevent this from happening. The body absorbs all the fluid, so you won't have to worry about poor mobility.[2]

Moreover, you can use a compression brace when healing from knee surgery or an injury. Since the area has torn muscle ligaments, they need time to heal. The brace helps keep the muscles in place and can be worn for a short duration.[3]

Work with your doctor when you need a knee brace or other compression therapy product. They can recommend the best to use for a short or long duration.

Does It Really Work?

Does compression therapy work to reduce knee pain? Well, according to Mivanovich, when he started using compression socks. "I don't understand the science behind them, but they really work for me. I wear compression socks on long runs at the gym (anything over 5 miles) as well as at work for recovery." [4]

Fritohikes says, "My sports medicine doctor prescribed some silicone knee braces. She said my only other option was a knee replacement. These braces are fantastic. Use for hiking, skiing, and golf. Still some knee pain after 20 miles a day, but nothing compared to before." [5]

3 Easy Ways to Try Cold Therapy at Home

1. Sock Compression Brace

By far, this is the most affordable and easy-to-make knee brace option. The result will be a knee sleeve that you can wear to reduce knee pain.

It works thanks to the elastic nature of the sock that will apply pressure on the knee joint.

How to make your own sock compression brace

When making the sock compression brace, you need:

  • A pair of scissors
  • A marker pen
  • A pair of knee-high socks

The idea is to:

  • Fetch the scissors and cut the toes off the knee-high socks.
  • Put on the socks and pull them up past your knees. Ensure the heel part rests on your knees to apply gentle pressure.
  • While it's good to leave the heel on the socks, you can cut it off. This leaves you with an open knee sleeve to apply pressure on the painful knee joints. Also, go for a pair of socks that are a little tighter to apply pressure. 

2. Elastic Bandage Compression Brace

Another cheap and reusable option for a compression brace is an elastic bandage. You can buy some from the nearest drugstore and some metal clips to lock it in place.

To reduce knee pain and inflammation, work with the spiral wrapping technique. The result will be better blood flow which reduces swelling in the knee joint.

How to make your own bandage compression brace

1. Take a seat and ensure you are right at the edge, stretching out the leg with the painful knee in front of you.

2, Bend your knee at a 30-degree angle

3. Start wrapping the elastic bandage about 5 inches below the knee cap. This is the best starting point for the spiral wrapping technique.

4. As you wrap, stretch the bandage and move at an upward angle. Always ensure the top layer of the bandage covers half the bottom layer. With each wrap, you start to form a spiral.

5. Take a metal clip and secure the bandage in place after wrapping the knee area.

3. Patellar Compression Straps

Patellar straps are an excellent way to reduce knee pain when performing any physical activity. They work to decrease the pressure on your knee caps.

Often the pressure can be quite a bother when working out or doing extensive physical work.

The idea is to apply gentle pressure on the patellar tendon. That way, there's less pressure on your knee caps. The best way to create the patellar straps is by using athletic tape.

How to use patellar compression straps

  • Fetch the athletic tape and stretch out a length that's enough to cover the circumference of your knee.
  • Use one hand to grab the top of the tape and the other to twist it over and over. You will start to create a tight rope of sorts.
  • Place the rope on the horizontal line of your knee cap and start looping it around your knees. You'll start to feel slight compression with each loop, but ensure it's not painful.
  • Complete the wrap, cut the tape and stick the end on your knee area.

Remember, the goal is to increase blood flow in the area and lower swelling. When this happens, you can have better mobility and not experience stiffness.

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