This $6 Compression Sleeve Helps Me Run with Less Pain After Multiple Surgeries
At age nine, I dislocated my knee for the first time. Yikes, right? Twelve years and countless dislocations and subluxations (when it almost dislocates) later, I had my first ACL replacement and tibial tubercle osteotomy surgery. (Full disclosure: I was diagnosed with a genetic disorder called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disease that makes all of my muscles and ligaments too lax - which can result in dislocations.) My surgeon broke my leg - on purpose - and it was insanely painful. Less than a year after, my ACL tore and had to be replaced again. It's been nine years since, and guess what? I'm a runner.
But in no way did this come easily. I was in physical therapy for years to make my knee stronger and to learn how to run, and now I need to listen to my body when my knee tells me it's had too much. I ice, elevate, and rest. But no matter what I've done, I've never really curbed the pain, swelling, and occasional moments of instability that come with running, and I don't run as often as I'd like. The UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve (Buy It, $6 was $20, amazon.com), however, is changing everything.
I'm far from declaring this sleeve a cure for all of my intense knee issues - after all, a "cure" doesn't exist and isn't what I was after - but the UFlex sleeve gives me the ability to run longer and run more often with less pain. And right now, it's on sale for 55 percent off. Plus, you can save an additional 40 percent by using the on-page coupon from Amazon, making it a total bargain at just $6. (Check out more compression sleeve options here.)
Not only does it get my stamp of approval, but more than 16,000 Amazon customers have given it a five-star rating. Plus, using a knee brace for running is doctor-approved: "Sleeves definitely help with knee pain and swelling," says Joseph J. Ciotola, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. "They should be worn during exercise and are helpful for patients with arthritis as well as those recovering from a sports injury because they add warmth, increase blood flow, and limit patella (knee cap) movement."
When I first put it on, the sleeve felt surprisingly comfortable. I followed the sizing directions UFlex Athletics provides in its Amazon description, measuring the circumference of my thigh about four inches above my knee, and was thrilled to see that it fit and didn't squeeze my skin in an awkward or uncomfortable way. I went for a run that day and had less than half the amount of swelling afterwards than I usually do. Then I went for another the following day - something I've never been able to do. (Related: The Best Running and Athletic Shoes for Every Workout, According to a Podiatrist)
Since then, I've used the sleeve every time I've hit the pavement, and I've noticed a huge improvement in my overall pain levels. My kneecap, which is still notorious for sliding back and forth each time my knee bends, feels securely but comfortably supported inside the cradle of the sleeve each time I run. This is hugely important to me, as I'm always extremely careful and conscious of this instability. I'm grateful for the confidence it instills in my body's ability to perform.
Shop the UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve on Amazon while it's on sale for only $6 and give it a run for its money.