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The human knee is designed for two movements, bending and straightening, and it is used for many types of actions, including as sitting, walking and lifting. Because the knee is incorporated in many daily activities, it can be more susceptible to injuries, strains and sprains than other parts of the body. Knee wraps are common tools used to help the knee recover when it is injured and to help prevent knee injuries. There are several types of knee wraps, including power wraps, hinged wraps, ice wraps, warming wraps and therapeutic wraps.
Bodybuilders and powerlifters often wear power knee wraps to provide knee support to avoid injuries when lifting heavy weights. This type of wrap usually is made from a thick, stretchable material that resembles a bandage. The knee is wrapped to keep the knee joint in place and provide stability when moving between the squatting and standing positions.
Hinged knee wraps are also called knee sleeve wraps, and they cover more area than power wraps. They are made from stretchable material that sometimes has copper weaving. This type of wrap works to warm the muscles around the knee joint and thigh muscles and to aid with blood circulation between the upper thigh and lower leg.
Ice knee wraps are popular with athletes, and they are worn before or after exercise. They usually are made of a thin wrap material with an internal ice pocket, and some models have a Velcro® closure strap. Many people with knee injuries use these types of wraps because the cold temperature works to relieve pain and reduce swelling. There also are ice wraps that are double-sided to provide cold therapy to the top and bottom portions of the knee.
Other popular knee wraps utilize heat to provide pain relief to the knee joint. Some are made of comforter-like material and wrap around the knee to keep it warm while exercising or resting. Another type of this kind of knee wrap works like a heating pad and uses electricity or battery-powered heat directly on the knee.
Therapeutic knee wraps are commonly worn when a person is rendered immobile because of an extensive knee injury. Compression wraps are worn tightly around the knee area to provide support to the back of the knee. They also can utilize ice or heat. Magnetic knee wraps have magnets in them, and they work by relaxing the capillary walls to increase blood circulation and oxygen flow to the injured area.
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