Anyone who has knee pain knows how much it can interfere not only with your fitness routine but life in general. It’s always best to see a physical therapist or doctor to determine the cause if you have a nagging injury or are in excruciating, sharp pain. But sometimes, the fix (or at least, alleviation) of your knee pain can be as simple as heat.
While no heating pack can repair a sprained knee or mend a torn ligament, warming an area in pain can help minor injuries and aches heal faster and temper pain.
That’s where Compex Electronic Heated Knee Wrap comes in.
This device, which looks like your run-of-the-mill knee sleeve (except with a little screen at the front) combines knee sleeve technology with electrical nerve stimulation and heat to provide temporary pain relief for the muscles in and around the knee, specifically the patella — or as part of a pain management tool for those suffering from arthritis of the knee.
Yep, it’s high tech, but don’t worry — it’s completely wireless, so you can wear it while you train, do housework, or just sit around and watch old CrossFit Games footage.
But does it actually work?
Considering the gear combines knee sleeves and TENS/heat, that’s a two-part question. First, do knee sleeves work? And secondly, does heat work? The answer to both is a resounding yes.
Let’s break it down.
Knee sleeves “work” by compressing the knee joint, which stabilizes the joint and helps with the mechanics of your movement patterns. The compression increases blood flow to the area, which delivers to the area the nutrients it needs to recover after a particularly grueling workout or activity. When worn during your workout, research has shown they increase your proprioception (a.k.a. body awareness), which may help prevent injury.
Heat therapy “works” by penetrating deep into the muscle where it hurts, to relax and soothe it. The heat also encourages blood flow to the area, which brings nutrients to the issue-area to reduce pain. TENS (or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), too, has been shown to be an effective treatment for a variety of pain.
How’s that for a win, win, win?
While you don’t slip this knee sleeve on the way you would a typical neoprene sleeve, it’s incredibly easy to use. First, you open the velcro and spray a hydrogel or moisturizer (which is included in the purchase) over the conductive service. Then you pull the wrap around your knee so it’s centered on the patella, and velcro it shut. Once it’s secure on your knee, you apply the control unit to the wrap.
“Control unit” may sound serious, and even heavy, but it’s actually about the size of an Apple watch and super lightweight, so you can absolutely wear it during a workout. And just like an Apple watch, there are little buttons that allow you to control it — except, instead of allowing you to adjust volume, take calls, and read texts, this controller allows you to control the heat and intensity. We’ll let you decide which is more high-tech.
Wondering how this controller attaches to the knee sleeve? It’s simple: magnets. The gold magnets match the gold magnets and the silver magnets match the silver magnets. We promise you can’t mess this up.
Finally, you’ll refer to the user manual to figure out which of the eight programs or modes to use, based on your intended use. (And if later, you lose the manual, you can check the chart out in the product description on The WOD Life).
How do you know if the Compex Electronic Heated Knee Wrap is for you? This product is intended for you if you have knee pain, feel like your knees are interfering with your training goals, or have knee arthritis. But it’s not for you if you have a cardiac pacemaker, implanted defibrillator, or other implanted metallic or electronic device, because the TENS/heat technology may cause electric shocks, burn, or interference.
The wrap is available in two different sizes at The WOD Life. To figure out your size, take the measurement around your knee, directly over the middle of your patella. 30 to 38 centimeters, you’re a SM/MED. 38 to 48 centimeters, you’re a LG/XL. (No measuring tape? Don’t make it difficult. We bet you can look down at your knee and guess whether you’re the bigger or smaller side.)
If you’re still feeling wary, consider the following reviews:
“I feel that knee pain is improving and it is a great to throw on before the gym.”
“I must say for the very reasonable price this thing is great. The muscle stimulation from a small, compact unit is superb. […] The added heat and tens factor has made this a great tool for me to use in the morning during the winter to prep for heavy upper body workouts. […] No wires means I carry it easily with me, and I can use my phone charger to keep the battery ready to go.
“I have had knee surgery, and the wrap works well to reduce inflammation and aches after a workout.”
“The product arrived today and I have already used it for the last hour. The device was easy to turn on and its portable with no cables. I have been walking around my house enjoying the pain relief. Great work Compex.”
Now are you convinced? Check the product out for yourself here.
We’ve got everything you need to recover throughout the Open. Shop with The WOD Life today!