Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Knee straps

  1. #1
    Registered User Bubblehead's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-06-2015
    Location
    Port Orange, Florida
    Age
    58
    Posts
    114

    Default Knee straps

    Who has experience with wearing knee straps on the AT? Do they really help with the descents?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-18-2010
    Location
    NJ
    Age
    43
    Posts
    3,133
    Images
    1

    Default

    for a time i wore an IT band strap, specifically because my IT band was flaring up. i dont know if it was specific to up or downhill. probably wasnt, generally. it worked in that my IT band finally settled down and i no longer wear it, though i usually carry it in case it comes back.

    my totally limited experience and un formally educated opinion is they work if you have the correct strap to correct a specific issue youre having. i dont know of any generic "knee straps" that just make your whole knee not hurt any more when going downhill.

  3. #3

    Default

    I wear a knee brace, the expensive kind with metal bars (cost me around $70.00 four years ago). Can't hike without it. Fractured my knee on my thru attempt in 2015. I don't know what "knee straps" are?

  4. #4
    Registered User Bubblehead's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-06-2015
    Location
    Port Orange, Florida
    Age
    58
    Posts
    114

    Default

    It's about a one inch wide strap that goes around the knee just beneath the patella (knee cap)

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubblehead View Post
    It's about a one inch wide strap that goes around the knee just beneath the patella (knee cap)
    Yes. I have seen those on the trail but i don't know how effective they are. I guess, if they don't help, they don't harm either.

  6. #6

    Default

    My personal opinion is, if you have knee issue, get the best knee brace you can get. I took my knees for granted, until I didn't.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-18-2010
    Location
    NJ
    Age
    43
    Posts
    3,133
    Images
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubblehead View Post
    It's about a one inch wide strap that goes around the knee just beneath the patella (knee cap)
    there are ones for patella and ones for IT, as well as probably others. they arent the same, and i said above, i really think they only work if you get the correct band for the correct issue youre experiencing and use it properly.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-01-2016
    Location
    Chattanooga, Tennessee
    Posts
    858

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubblehead View Post
    Who has experience with wearing knee straps on the AT? Do they really help with the descents?
    Not on the AT, but on the nearby Cumberland Trail.

    Worse than worthless, IMO. Caused a great deal of skin irritation (sweat + abrasion = rash) and did nothing to help me with descents.

    Hiking poles helped and are what keep me going (downhill).

  9. #9

    Default

    If you have a pre-existing knee issue, you may need a brace. But, what is really important going downhill is good hiking technique. Knee straps won't help if you pound the downhills, and then injuries will occur.

  10. #10
    illabelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-25-2012
    Location
    Lurkerville, East Tn
    Age
    60
    Posts
    3,366
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    I've used a knee strap on occasion, though not in the last couple of years. It seemed to help, but I wouldn't swear to it. The strap is pretty inexpensive. Just get one, and see how it works for you.

    Before the strap I tried a larger knee wrap. For me, that was really uncomfortable. Sweaty, chafing.

    I'm glad this thread came up. I've had some sharp pain in my left kneecap lately. I'm not aware of any injury or strain. I'm going to wear the knee strap for a few days and see if it gets any better.

  11. #11
    Registered User handlebar's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-05-2005
    Location
    Youngstown, OH
    Age
    74
    Posts
    988
    Images
    1

    Default

    I routinely have used Chopat knee braces over my hiking career of over 15,000 miles of long distance trails since I did the AT at age 61. They seem to help. For a little background, I fractured my right tibia-fibula in a skiing accident when I was 25. It healed 1/2" shorter than the left. My doctor never prescribed physical therapy or recommended using a lift. After 30 years walking with an unusual gait, I needed surgery on the joint between my right big toe and corresponding metatarsal. My lopsided gait led to a thinning of the cartilage on the inside of my right knee which tore (torn right medial meniscus) and for which I had arthroscopic surgery. After I had the toe surgery, the surgeon noted how the difference in leg length and recommended that I wear a lift in the right shoe. I noticed an immediate improvement in my back which no longer had to compensate for the difference in length. Now I have a little arthritis within my right knee which causes some pain (more like an ache) and inflammation at the end of a long hiking day or a long day on my feet, but not enough to require more than a couple ibuprofen.
    Handlebar
    GA-ME 06; PCT 08; CDT 10,11,12; ALT 11; MSPA 12; CT 13; Sheltowee 14; AZT 14, 15; LT 15;FT 16;NCT-NY&PA 16; GET 17-18

  12. #12
    Registered User Shooting Star's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-27-2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Age
    62
    Posts
    138
    Images
    9

    Default

    I've used the Mueller patella bands at times if I had knee pain flare up and they worked well for the problems I have.
    As several people have stated, there are different bands and braces for different issues. Using the right one will probably
    help. Also, the bands vs the full braces are a lot more comfortable to wear wrt sweat and chafing.

  13. #13

    Default

    I use a Cho-Pat Dual Action Knee Strap on both knees for all backpacking trips. That particular strap stabilizes the IT band where it connects to the knee (the IT band runs from the outside of the hip to the outside of the knee). I have significant pain on descents if I don't use the straps. It's always a relief to take them off at the end of each hiking day, but I can't say they are that big a bother to me while I am hiking even though I do sweat under them.
    Life Member: ATC, ALDHA, Superior Hiking Trail Association

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-31-2016
    Location
    Currituck NC
    Posts
    136

    Default

    I started using a simple wrap after 2 trips ruined by excruciating pain in IT band on one knee. Works for me, and gives me confidence to push through slight discomfort.

    Try it, they are cheap enough.

  15. #15
    Registered User EO.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    06-16-2016
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Age
    27
    Posts
    44

    Default

    I had IT band issues for the first time in one knee when hiking the Knobstone in November 2017. Did a section of the AT in November 2018 and started feeling the pain on the downhills. Had to move extremely slow. After a couple hours of inching along, I rolled up my bandanna and wrapped it on my knee where a knee brace/strap would go (below the kneecap). It helped immensely with the downhills! So I ordered a proper strap (link) for my attempted thru hike this year. IMO definitely helpful with descents.

  16. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-18-2010
    Location
    NJ
    Age
    43
    Posts
    3,133
    Images
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EO. View Post
    I had IT band issues for the first time in one knee when hiking the Knobstone in November 2017. Did a section of the AT in November 2018 and started feeling the pain on the downhills. Had to move extremely slow. After a couple hours of inching along, I rolled up my bandanna and wrapped it on my knee where a knee brace/strap would go (below the kneecap). It helped immensely with the downhills! So I ordered a proper strap (link) for my attempted thru hike this year. IMO definitely helpful with descents.
    your IT band is not below your kneecap and that isnt where an IT band strap goes.

  17. #17

  18. #18
    Registered User EO.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    06-16-2016
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Age
    27
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    your IT band is not below your kneecap and that isnt where an IT band strap goes.
    Thanks for the clarification. It was my understanding that the IT band connects/ends just outside the knee cap, but I am no medical professional. Regardless - I was experiencing pain on the outside of my knee. The strap placed just below my kneecap alleviates the pain on downhills.

  19. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-18-2010
    Location
    NJ
    Age
    43
    Posts
    3,133
    Images
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EO. View Post
    Thanks for the clarification. It was my understanding that the IT band connects/ends just outside the knee cap, but I am no medical professional. Regardless - I was experiencing pain on the outside of my knee. The strap placed just below my kneecap alleviates the pain on downhills.
    ive never used one of these and (as far as i know) havent had patella issues so my ability to say anything here is limited, but at least in terms of how you describe wearing the strap, it sounds more like this-

    https://www.amazon.com/Pro-Tec-Athle.../dp/B004AOGA56

    i believe you are correct that the IT band ends just below the kneecap, but (again, far from an expert) i think pain in it is caused by it moving in a way it isnt supposed to (and rubbing against the bone as it does so), which is generally going to be closer to the center of the band, not at one of the ends.

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •