Our knees take a beating. Whether you are walking, jogging, or just doing every day activities you are putting pressure on your knees. This revealing information is provided by Harvard Health Publications:
Let’s look at weight and your knees. When you walk across level ground, the force on your knees is the equivalent of 1½ times your body weight. That means a 200-pound man will put 300 pounds of pressure on his knees with each step. Add an incline, and the pressure is even greater: the force on each knee is two to three times your body weight when you go up and down stairs, and four to five times your body weight when you squat to tie a shoelace or pick up an item you dropped. 
Our ability to withstand the incredible forces on our knees can be exceeded and result in minor injuries, such as strains and sprains, or major injuries, such as torn ligaments, tendons, muscles or damage to cartilage or menisci. During The Championships, Wimbledon, 2017, Bethany Mattock-Sands ruptured her patellar tendon. This is an excellent example of a fit, lean, professional athlete sustaining a devastating injury.
Pre-existing joint damage from arthritis, trauma or anatomic abnormalities adds a further mechanical burden on normal joint function. Athletes will want to do everything they can to reduce the risk of injury and manage the risks they cannot eliminate. Weight reduction, flexibility/strength training, and sensible training habits are among the controllable risks.
So what options does the athlete who has active musculoskeletal problems have to reduce the pain? Let’s address three of the most common knee problems: Osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease, or DJD), Patellar Tendonitis and Patellofemoral Syndrome.
1.) Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Osteoarthritis is a progressive and irreversible degenerative process that can occur independent of trauma or overuse. This type of joint inflammation usually involves the large joints such as the spine, hips, and knees but can be detected in smaller joints as well. The most severe forms of degenerative joint disease frequently lead to total joint replacement to control pain. In the less severe forms, activity can result in severe pain and is usually eased by rest.
Athletes report that knee compression wraps and knee compression sleeves can improve functional movement and even reduce pain. Dr. Bert Fields, past President of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, is conducting a study with the use of the Body Helix Full Knee Helix in patients diagnosed with arthritis. Preliminary results indicate that there is a considerable reduction in pain, improved ability to tolerate activity and an excellent willingness to wear the knee compression sleeves. It is a great flexible knee brace alternative that provides stability while still allowing unrestricted motion of the knee.
2.) Patellar Tendonitis
Patellar tendonitis, also know as Jumper’s Knee, is recognized to be inflammation of the patellar tendon. This tendon attaches to the inferior patellar margin and the proximal tibia. This is the tendon that Bethany Mattock-Sands completely ruptured in her gruesome injury during The Championships, Wimbledon 2017. This tendon is necessary to extend the knee and is used repetitively in endurance sports and explosively with jumping or sprinting sports. It’s important to emphasize that proper weight, strength and flexibility activities are essential to proper function.
If the patellar tendonitis is the result of overuse without any misalignment of the patella, then the Knee Helix is an excellent choice. This Helix will provide warmth and support to the entire tendon without any targeted pressure on the tendon itself. The Knee Helix can be used as part of R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) in the treatment of tendonitis. It can also be used during exercise to insure that the tendon starts warm and stays warm, helping to prevent further damage.
If the patellar tendonitis is the result of misalignment, then a more targeted band may be appropriate. Bands that are designed to assure proper alignment of the patellar tendon can reduce the side-to-side movement of the patella and the resultant improper mechanics. However, many devices apply posterior pressure on the tendon and patella and are uncomfortable to wear. The Body Helix Patella Helix is a very comfortable compression band alternative that applies uniform pressure and alignment to the patellar tendon to offer patella stability.
One of the many positive benefits of all Body Helix products is the moisture-activated adherence that insures that the wraps and bands will not slip or migrate out of position. The comfort, coupled with the adherence, make these knee bands a favorite for those with patellar tendonitis.
3) Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, also known as Runner’s Knee is the last knee problem to consider. The patella rests at the end of the femur and acts as part of the lever responsible for leg extension. The posterior patella and the femur have a nice layer of cartilage that allows the two bones to operate in a nice, smooth fashion. Inflammation of the posterior patella can be provoked with normal movements but misalignment of the patella. It can also be caused with repetitive or explosive activity. This is another common injury among runners and athletes who jump repetitively. Many knee compression sleeves and knee compression wraps apply posterior pressure on the patella, which is often uncomfortable when suffering from Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. The Body Helix Adjustable Knee Helix is the ideal compression wrap for this problem since it supports the muscles and tendons responsible for correct alignment of the patella but avoids the undesirable posterior pressure. The Body Helix Patella Helix is an alternative to the Adjustable Knee Helix, applying targeted pressure to achieve alignment of the patellar tendon when a more narrow product is desired.
Listening to your body and taking precautions with compression technology will ensure the best possible outcome for these and other types of knee injuries. We are always careful not to give medical advice. Please seek a medical evaluation for severe or prolonged pain to be certain the diagnosis is correct and you are pursuing the correct efforts to facilitate healing.
 Arthritic Health, Dr. Garrett Hyman, MD 2011