Body Helix Compression Wraps Review

I received a complimentary Body Helix Compression Full Knee sleeve in exchange for writing this review.

Body Helix makes a full line of compression products for just about any part of the body that may experience inflammation from a sports injury or arthritis.

Applying compression for shoulder or piriformis pain can be a challenge. Body Helix has compression wraps for these areas plus thigh, calf, bicep, ankle and lower back.

As a runner, I frequently deal with inflammation in my knees. Often this inflammation is experienced as the pain most runners are familiar with.

Over my seventeen years of running, I’ve been in physical therapy several times. In addition to stretching and strengthening exercises, my PT always recommends R.I.C.E.

I’ve read many articles on sports injury and they usually recommend R.I.C.E also.

So what is R.I.C.E. ? It stands for: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

Body Helix explains how compression aids in recovery as part of R.I.C.E.

Rest, ice and elevation are fairly easy to do, but applying compression can be a challenge.

In the past I’ve used an ace bandage. But it’s easy to wrap them too tightly, and they are intended to immobilize a joint. If wrapped too thickly, ice may not be able to penetrate through to your joint.

A compression sleeve is a better option and I own another brand sleeve. It works pretty well but I can’t wear it under pants and I never run in it. It’s a good solution when I’m hanging around the house and don’t plan to do much. It does work well with ice.

When I had the opportunity to try a Body Helix full knee compression wrap, I checked them out on line and agreed to give it a try.

About Body Helix Compression

Body Helix was founded in 2008 by world-ranked senior tennis player Fred Robinson and physician, Thomas E. Parker, MD.

At the time, Fred observed that most compression gear was uncomfortable, ineffective and did not use the latest materials available.

Fred and Dr. Parker searched for a material that would stretch, rebound and stay in place. And most importantly, provide effective compression.

They developed a product that provides a uniform medical-grade compression in the range of 20-30 millimeters of mercury (or mmHg in the scientific community.) The higher the number, the more pressure we feel.

Twenty to 30 mmHg is the first range of medical grade compression and has scientific evidence documenting increased blood flow and the benefits of compression.

Body Helix has four main differentiating factors that set them apart from the competition:

FORM-FIT TECHNOLOGY

A Helix consists of comfortable, uniform medical-grade compression in the range of 20-30 millimeters of mercury (or mmHg in the scientific community.) As mentioned above, the higher the number, the more pressure we feel.

Twenty to 30 mmHg is the first range of medical grade compression.

Below I’ll discuss how the Body Helix wrap feels.

MOISTURE ACTIVATED ADHERENCE

You’ve seen the person at the gym or on the court stop to pull up their knee sleeve or adjust their thigh wrap. That won’t happen with a Helix.

Thanks to their fabric’s Moisture Activated Adherence, their sleeves utilize the heat/sweat from your body and allow the fabric to act like an adherent between your skin and the product. It won’t slip or move during activities.

The wrap didn’t slip during my 10K run.

CLOSED-CELL FABRIC SCIENCE

Other wraps soak up sweat and take forever to dry, which often leads to unpleasant odors from bacteria becoming trapped within the fabric.

Because a Helix features Closed-Cell Fabric Science technology, it won’t hold sweat or water and you’ll never have to worry about odors or health issues from trapped bacteria.

The wrap is easy to rinse and the smooth fabric makes it easy to wear under clothing.

INFINITE MOTION

Many other products will only stretch up to 50%, which often restricts joint movement while being active. Body Helix compression sleeves (created by professional athletes, by the way, so they literally feel your pain) is made of the highest quality compression material available and will stretch more than the human body.

What this means for you is simple: you won’t need to alter your mechanics of motion when you serve, swing, bend, or run. You can continue to play your game, your way, without limits.

The sleeve was easy to run in and allowed me to bend my knee comfortably while driving.

Body Helix Compression Review

I tested the Body Helix full knee compression sleeve under daily conditions and during a 5 mile race and 10K training run.

Body Helix full knee compression sleeve, product reviewThe Body Helix compression sleeve has a smooth surface and the material does allow for a full range of motion.

l was able to wear it comfortably under a pair of jeans, drive my car and run errands.

This isn’t the greatest photo, but you can barely tell which knee has the sleeve on.

The comfort of the sleeve makes it possible to go about your day and not be stuck laying on the couch.

Road Race Testing

At the Super Sunday 5 mile race I tested the Body Helix compression sleeve. I’ve never worn anything on my knees before and wondered what it would be like.

Body Helix Compression Sleeve, Super Sunday 2020My knees are not bothering me, but I knew this would be a great test.

It was February 2nd, so I had to wear tights. I think this is a real world situation that most runners can relate to.

The sleeve easily slipped over the tights material and was firmly in place.

As you can see, it blends in well with the tights and no one even noticed.

I ran the five-mile race in 41 minutes which is about my regular pace.

During the race I forgot I even had it on. It didn’t bind or pinch and I never felt like it was slipping off. This allowed me to focus on the race and enjoy my self. What more could you ask for?

When I got home I rinsed it in the sink and it looked and smelled like brand new the next day.

Comparison Run

For my next outside run I wore the Body Helix compression sleeve and a sleeve I already own.

I’ve never worn anything on my knees while running except for the Super Sunday race. This time I didn’t wear tights.

As I headed out I wondered if both sleeves would end up causing problems. The last thing I wanted to do was mess up a nice run by stopping to pull up a compression sleeve.

On bare skin, both sleeves were more noticeable. The other brand sleeve was rougher on my skin and covered more of my leg. The Body Helix sleeve was smooth and clung to my skin like a bandage.

About three miles into my run the other sleeve felt like it was slipping off of my thigh. When I reached down I found that it had barely moved, so I left it alone and never broke stride.

Neither sleeve felt like it was hindering my run. They both felt pretty comfortable and for most of my run I didn’t really notice them.

When I finished my run I took this photo. I’m not a professional, but this is what they looked like shortly after finishing my 10K run.

The top of the other sleeve had slipped a bit as you can see.

If I was running a half or full marathon, the other sleeve could have become an issue.

I’m not sure that I’d run a marathon if I felt that I needed to use a compression sleeve.

In my opinion, compression sleeves should be used as part of the R.I.C.E. recovery protocol. And if you are dealing with knee pain you should stick to shorter runs anyway.

A look at other Body Helix compression sleeves

I have shoulder pain currently and have experienced piriformis issues in the past. One of these items would have been great to have.

The web site does say that the shoulder sleeve may not work for everyone and they suggest using it after surgery and not for general pain relief and recovery. I’d give it a try any way.

The compression on my knee felt good and it’s near impossible to apply compression to a shoulder.

I’m not sure that there is a good way to apply pressure to the piriformis or a groin pull.

Check out the Body Helix web site for all of their products. You will probably find a compression sleeve to meet your recovery needs.

You can use promo code BH10RUN to get 10% off any item.

If you try one of their products let me know how it worked for you.

Run well my Friends,

Andy

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First Run

First run in twenty-four days!

My physical therapist gave me the green light to start running again at my appointment on Tuesday. I could have gone out Tuesday night but on the way home I noticed lots of patches of ice. I’ve waited this long, why risk slipping on the ice and aggravating my knee?

The Test Run

This first run was a test run, so I decided to use the treadmill so that I could control my speed accurately. If I felt anything I could stop right away and not have to walk back on a sore knee.

The run wasn’t anything impressive, but I managed to run for 15 minutes at 6.5mph without any pain! I was a little nervous the entire run. I felt a twinge while using the elliptical Monday. I was concerned that I would get another one while running.

When I got to 15 minutes I had a great sense of relief. I had passed the first test. Tomorrow I’ll run for 20 minutes at the same speed and see how that feels. Over the weekend I’ll take it easy and next week I’ll start doing 30 minute runs. By the end of next week I’ll try a 4 mile run.

Half at the Hamptons

The Half at The Hamptons is ten days away. That race will be my distance first run test. Can I run for two hours or more and not feel any pain? What if I do feel pain? Race conditions are very different from 30 minutes on a treadmill.

I plan to start this race slow, and stay that way. There is no pride involved in this race this year. This race is another test and another step in my recovery. The race isn’t to test my speed or fitness. It’s to test my body’s ability to just run. Simple as that.

loco running, Half marathon, Hampton Beach, first run
Half at the Hamptons -2014

Run well my friends!

Andy

© 2014 anagelin

Recovery and Pontifications

My journey as an injured runner continues

Except for the BAA 10K last Sunday I have not run at all this week. Every time I drive somewhere and see runners, the urge to jump out of the car and run with them is overwhelming. I feel like my entire routine is out of whack and off-balance.

roller, recoveryI’ve been using my new Thera-Roll foam roller every night and sometimes in the morning. Now my other hamstring is a little sore from the rolling! The muscles are not used to getting this type of pressure so it is uncomfortable while rolling and is then uncomfortable afterwards. I think it is working, but this is going to be a long-term recovery.

I went to the running club on Tuesday night but did not run. It was the final night for our Walk to Run program and I wanted to be there as everyone finished their first 3 mile run. It was fun to see them finish. Just about everyone I spoke with intends to keep running with the club. Afterwards Marathon Sports had some food and gift bags for all of the Walk to Run participants.

While I was there I talked to some of our veteran runners about my injury. Everyone agreed that it can take a long time to recover and you can’t rush it. I was also cautioned not to hit it hard when I come back as I can risk a re-injury. Rest, ice, ibuprofen and the roller were all recommended and getting some PT was suggested.  It was also apparent that almost every runner gets an injury at some point in their career. It just comes with the territory.

Being patient is the most difficult part of recovery. I had plans to run a lot of 5K and 10K races this summer as part of my training for my fall marathon. I’m glad I didn’t sign up and pay for those races now. Registration fees are normally nor-refundable. With each passing week the marathon gets closer and just thinking of the date makes me nervous. I’m going to start doing some short easy runs in the next week. If I feel any pain I’ll stop and take some more time off. If everything feels okay I’ll continue with short easy runs, just to be doing something.

This week’s pontification:

There is an adage that goes something like this:

“You’re never more likely to make a mistake than when you are absolutely sure that you are right.“

The logic is that when you are 100% confident in your choice, conclusion or way of thinking you stop looking for alternatives and disregard any facts or ideas that contradict your choice, conclusion, or idea.

In spite of better information you hold firmly to your beliefs even if the alternative is indisputably the better choice and disaster is imminent.

My running equivalent is this:

“You’re never more likely to injure yourself than when you are feeling strong, healthy and confident.”

When you have all of this going for you it is easy to feel that you can tackle any run at any pace. It makes it easy to disregard fatigue and disregard the fact that you are pushing yourself beyond your normal limits.

You can injure yourself in an instant and sometimes not even realize it.You may not feel an injury until the next day or your next run. While as humans and runners we need to push ourselves in order to make progress, we should not disregard common sense and safety. When we are at our peak or maximum we also need to realize that we cannot push much harder without risk of injury.

We all have limits. Go out and find those limits, but be careful about pushing too far beyond those limits.

Recovery can take a long time and is frustrating. Some injuries never go away completely, so it is best to try and avoid injury when you can.

Run well my friends.

©2012 anagelin

Pain and Recovery

Yesterday was a bad day for me. I got in a 10K run before work but ended up exacerbating the problems with my right hamstring. All day I had to get up and walk around to stretch it and felt like an old man each time. On the drive home my leg and hip were killing me and I couldn’t wait to get out of the car.

Pain and recovery

pain and recoveryLast night I went and did something I’ve been thinking about for a long time: I bought a foam roller. People have been telling me how wonderful they are. I have finally gotten to the point where I have to try something different. The Coleman freezer pack under my leg while watching TV at night just isn’t getting it done.

I went over to Marathon Sports in Melrose and looked at the rollers they have. They are not cheap! I kept thinking these are extruded in some third-world country and cost a dollar to make. The guy at the store had me try a few out and answered my questions, all the reasons we go to running stores!  The one I ended up buying cost $64.95!

After trying a few different rollers and asking lots of questions, I decided to go with the firmest one with the ridges, the Thera-Roll. I need to dig deep into that hamstring!

To save a few bucks, well a lot of bucks, I went with the 18 inch 6lb Thera-Roll. As I walked out of the store and then drove home, my hamstring seemed to feel better all ready. “Is that possible” I thought? I only rolled for a few minutes and have no idea how I’m supposed to do this.

I used it some more when I got home. As a multi-tasker I was psyched that I could roll and watch Charlie Rose at the same time! Fantastic! Those ridges dug in good and deep and I could feel something going on.I only rolled for about 5 minutes and I have no idea if that was too long or to brief. I need to do some research today.

I’ll let you know what I find from my research and if this thing actually works.

  • Have you used one of rollers before?
  • Did it work for you?
  • How long did it take to feel results?

Run well my friends!

©2012 anagelin