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Patella bands are elastic bands that are worn just below the kneecap, or patella. These bands put a slight, constant pressure on the patellar tendon. Manufacturers of these bands claim that they help relieve pain and increase mobility. Some doctors are skeptical, however, and believe that patella bands may be useless, or even dangerous.
The patellar tendon connects the patella to the tibia. This tendon is partly responsible for the knee moving forward and back. A person can feel this tendon just below his kneecap.
When this tendon is used too much or strained, it can tear or become stretched. This is a common sports injury sometimes referred to as runner's knee. Patella bands, sometimes called knee bands, are bands that can be worn in this area to help relieve the symptoms of this condition.
Most patella bands are made from a stretchy material, such as elastic. Many of them are secured around the leg with Velcro®. These should be placed right on the tendon located just below the knee.
Some patella bands come in varying sizes to fit a variety of leg sizes. Other bands, however, only come in one size. These one-size-fits-all bands are generally adjustable.
Patella bands may also have an additional strap or band that is supposed to be positioned above the kneecap. This extra strap is supposed to provide additional support. Beads and magnets are also built into some of these bands. These additions reportedly help increase circulation in the area.
Placed correctly, patella bands will put pressure on the patellar tendon. This pressure is supposed to be constant and mild. It is supposed to tighten, or shorten, the tendon.
Patella bands are supposed to relieve the symptoms of certain knee problems. It is supposed to provide some pain relief, for instance. Since the tendon is tightened, it can also increase the range of motion in the knee.
Some doctors agree with these claims. Other doctors, however, do not. While some believe that these knee bands just do not work, others believe that they are somewhat dangerous for the wearer. If they are tightened too much, they can block the flow of blood in the area, which can lead to serious complications. Also, if these bands are worn in place of medical treatment, they could cause more serious damage to the area.
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