This Thing Rules

This compression sleeve helps me skate and climb like I'm not almost 30

My body may be failing me, but Old Bones Therapy’s compression knee brace helps me squeeze every last drop.

Old Bones Therapy knee compression brace
Jackson Chen / Input
Originally Published: 

Just because my body is well past its prime, doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing what I love. After years of slamming into concrete (read: skateboarding) my body gives me constant reminders that I’m no longer an invincible teenager. Gone are the days of no stretching before or after doing something active, or skating until sundown and then doing it all over again the next day. Without my 30-minute stretching routine, my legs will absolutely scream afterwards.

As my whole body struggles to keep up with my unrealistic expectations, injuries (thankfully fairly minor) have cropped up, leading to multiple rolled ankles, tweaked fingers, and most recently, a nagging knee issue that I’ve yet to actually get diagnosed by a doctor. Instead, I’ve turned to the best quick fix I could find: Old Bones Therapy’s compression knee brace.

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Bad knee blues — My 2022, unfortunately, started with a weird knee thing. I’m not sure if it was caused by not being physically active for a week straight or being too overzealous while stretching at home, but something in my right knee gave.

Afterwards, I noticed that when I put weight on my knee in a very specific direction and manner, there would be noticeable pain preventing me from going any further. This was obviously not ideal for all the times that I have to bail a trick or do weird twisting motions when climbing. So, instead of going to the doctor, I went online to search for some bandaid solutions, as one does. (P.S. Don’t be like me and just go to the doctor).

So many options — There are pages upon pages of random cheapo knee sleeves and braces on Amazon, but I actually found Old Bones Therapy through an Instagram ad. I hate targeted ads as much as the next person, but this time, they proved useful.

The Old Bones Therapy website describes its compression knee brace as being made with medical-grade compression that “increases circulation, muscle endurance and promotes faster recovery times” and that’s all I needed to hear for me to drop $30.

A simple, stylish, and temporary solution to keep you going.Jackson Chen / Input

Snug and secure — I ordered the knee sleeve in medium because I wanted a tighter fit, but it was still stretchy enough to easily shimmy up my leg. From the first day I tried it on, it felt like a nice, tight hug for my ailing joints. For the most part, it stays firmly wrapped around my knee during the four or so hours that I usually spend at the skatepark or climbing gym. The only slippage I saw was from the top, but I’m betting that it was because I ordered the tighter fit.

From the first day I tried it on, it felt like a nice, tight hug for my kinked knee.

The squishy circular gel pad in the center of the sleeve feels like it cups my kneecap and keeps it stabilized and in place. After the first five minutes or so with it on, I barely notice it because it feels so lightweight and flexible. Even with all the weird climbing moves and sudden twists and turns from skating, this knee sleeve easily kept up.

Old Bones Therapy also has two updated versions of its knee brace, one with a removable hinge and another with springs sewn into the sides.Jackson Chen / Input

Pain or placebo? — I’m no doctor and this could’ve easily been a placebo effect, but I felt like the pain was noticeably duller for those same specific movements that triggered my knee. With the sleeve on, I felt like I could get away with putting a little more pressure or twisting onto my knee, allowing me to stay on top of my training for climbing. The one time I forgot to slip it on before going out to skate, I even felt a little tweak when I was just doing some warm-up tricks while skating. It wasn’t anything debilitating, but certainly another nagging reminder that I should’ve worn the sleeve.

Nowadays, my knee feels like it’s improved a lot, but that could just be attributable to the time that’s passed and allowed it to heal on its own. I still sleeve up my knee before climbing or skating just because I would rather be safe than sorry and accidentally flare up my knee again. Hopefully, there will be a time when I don’t need to sweat triggering my knee injury again, but maybe after I’ve actually seen a physical therapist. In the meantime, I’ll be keeping my old bones sleeved up.

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