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:
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.
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.
The 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.
My 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.
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,