Basketball Reviews

6 Reasons why do basketball players wear bands under their knees

NBA fans may have noticed their favorite players wearing bands under their knees for some reason. This begs people to ask, why do basketball players wear bands under their knees?

Basketball athletes use bands under their knees for pain relief, support, and stability. Additionally, these straps decrease the chances of injuries for players who are prone to them. It addresses the lower body movement issues on the court while maintaining an agile form. Others also use them as their court fashion trademark accessory.

Is that all there is to know about wearing bands under the knees? Nope, there is more! Today, basketball is more competitive than ever, leading to many in-depth reasons why players actually wear this during games. So, strap your shoes on, and let’s unravel this hooping mystery!

6 Reasons Why Basketball Players Wear Bands Under Their Knees

There are many reasons why basketball players wear bands under their knees. We have gathered the six most common reasons regarding this topic and discussed them in detail. Below, you will find an in-depth overview to get a better idea.

1. Preventing Bad Injuries

Nowadays, fans may notice both average and professional ballers wearing knee bands after coming out of an injury. The reason behind doing this is to avoid inflicting further damage to their recovery. They also do this to prevent similar injuries all over again.

In fact, wearing one of these bad boys seems to limit the risks of hurting yourself, especially in extreme scenarios in the game. For instance, the play-off games where the stakes are high. 

So, it’s only natural for players to take this proactive measure that adds to preventing bad injuries and contributes to both their durability and long-term performance.

2. Compression For Relieving Pain

These stretchy pieces offer much-needed compression to ease pain. Particularly the one that’s related to injuries like patellar tendinitis or your usual discomfort in the knee area. 

By improving blood flow, minimizing swelling, and speeding up the healing process, the compression puts an end to the increased pain. Hence, whenever a player is suffering from such knee aches during the game, strapping a band that embraces the area with compression will tackle the problem like a charm.

3. Stability And Support

Knee bands are at the forefront of playing a crucial role in providing necessary support to the knee joint. In a sport like basketball, where dynamic movement is inherently needed, these bands come to the rescue and enhance players’ stability.

In addition, it promotes overall joint alignment for those suffering from reaching their best form. This support could prove instrumental and a deciding factor, especially in a highly intense match where you look to pounce at every advantage.

4. Stabilizing The Kneecap

In terms of basketball, misalignments are nothing out of the ordinary when landing after shooting threes or even clashing of bodies when jumping to grab a rebound. 

Fortunately, certain bands can substantially lower the chances of such misalignments. How? Primarily because some strap designs stabilize the kneecap (patella) thanks to their design, making it easier to avoid hurting yourself during heavy activities.

In case you were not following, this feature is incredibly beneficial for tall giants, especially power forwards who need to contest for the ball.

5. Psychological Confidence Boost

Beyond the physical advantages, applying knee bands will substantially improve an athlete’s confidence level and psychological strength. An experienced basketballer knows how easy it is to compromise your body. As a result, this harms their performance throughout their career because of how cautious they would have to be with their physical movements.

However, thanks to the added support of a knee band, a hooper does not have to worry about hurting their performance. Why? Purely because the additional help will allow players to invest 110% focus in the game without the thought of potential patella injuries bothering them.

6. Personal Expression And Fashion Style

Knee bands serve as more than just fitness gear – They are also a bold fashion statement. In fact, you will see many NBA pros donning these bands in their on-court attire to express their own style. 

The array of patterns, colors, and designs enables the athletes to use it as an intimidating tactic, all the while reaping the rewards of its practical benefits. This seamless blend of fashion and functionality contributes to the personal touch of an athlete’s image, adding to the visual appeal and overall sporting culture.

Knee Bands Guide – Why Do Basketball Players Wear Bands Under Their Knees? How to Wear It For Best Results?

If it is the first time you are considering buying a Knee band, such as a patellar tendon strap, you first need to know how to wear it. Here are a few essential pointers you will have to follow:

  1. Location precision: Donning a knee band comes with a crucial rule that no one should overlook: location. It is vital to get the location right because pinpointing the precise pressure point is the key to achieving support and relief.
  2. Positioning matter: Ensure that the padded cushion part of the band, usually the center region of the strap, aligns perfectly beneath your patella. This is where pressure will meet the affecting area of your knee.
  3. Adjusting pressure: Gradually adjust the band by tightening it until you sense a gentle pressure on the knee area. Also, try resisting the urge to go overboard with the tightness because its purpose is not to stop blood flow like a tourniquet. Its goal is to put some pressure to ensure the desired results, not leaving your calf and feet all tingly and numb.

Is Wearing Bands Under Knees A Long-term Solution?

No – the short answer. Look at a knee band like how you would see a Band-Aid. It’s a quick fix. While it proves beneficial for addressing short-term pain, it should not be a staple in your everyday training gear for looking after your knee joints.

In fairness to the straps, they may alleviate pain that requires attention during certain activities, like when competing in the middle of a basketball match. However, consulting with a physiotherapist or doctor is advised to figure out the root causes. Some potential causes may be:

  1. Leg muscles are excessively tight
  2. A bad posture
  3. An imbalanced walking or running style
  4. Poor shoe fit

It’s safe to note that a stretchy band is not the magic cure for knee injuries that you may think they are. So, the next time you find yourself in pain every time you engage in a training session, a brace or sleeve will not solve your problem. In the long run, seeking professional medical help is the ultimate answer to persisting knee pain.

Who Needs To Wear A Knee Band?

Any active individual experiencing some pain in their knee may significantly benefit from one of these stretchy fellas. In particular, anyone playing a sport that frequently calls for jumping, like volleyball and basketball, is on the frontlines for buying one of these.

Aside from jumping activities, the advantages also extend to those who play heated and grounded sports like football, running, rugby, or even dancing! 

Furthermore, if you are not playing any sport and suffering from conditions like joint instability, you can use it for relief. The same applies to people recovering from patella tracking issues such as meniscus tears and ligament sprains.

How Much Do Knee Bands Cost And Where To Buy Them?

These bands are readily available from online shopping sites to sports and fitness stores. If you are unsure what brand you want to get, worry not! We got you. 

You can check out Amazon and find your preferred sleeves and braces with the help of reviews and ratings.

As for prices, the range starts from $15 to almost as much as $50. However, it depends on the brands along with the pros and cons. Stop panicking because we have you covered. Check out this list of the best Knee braces of 2023 and get your desired knee band today.

Does Knee Bands Help Get Rid Of Your Knee Pain?

Absolutely! Knee bands are not just your average accessory – they help to relieve pain. These nifty bands bring compression, stability, and support to your joints. From tackling uncomfortable conditions such as mild strains to those as severe as patellar tendinitis! 

Picture them as your sidekick – aligning joints, fighting off swelling, leading to you becoming an absolute machine both on and off the court.

What Kind Of Knee Injuries Need A Brace Or A Sleeve? Why Do Basketball Players Wear Bands Under Their Knees?

In case injuries are nothing new to you, you might need to befriend a brace or sleeve. Here are some of the common knee injuries that require them –

  1. Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear (ACL):  In Basketball, especially in the NBA, ACL tears are nothing new to the fans. This usually occurs from abrupt stops, direct impact with an opponent, or awkward direction changes. Employing a knee brace becomes crucial in providing support and stabilizing the joint during a recovery phase. Moreover, it’s also a help for those who opt for non-surgical recovery.
  1. Patellar Tendinitis (also called Jumper’s Knee): If you have been playing competitive basketball, you are no stranger to the term “Jumper’s knee”. It’s an inflammation of your knee tendon and is often suffered by those who actively jump in a short period of time. Either a knee brace or strap will fight the stress on the area, limiting the discomfort.
  2. Meniscus Tears: Sudden rotational or twisting motions of the joints may cause the meniscus in the knee to tear. The cartilage structure in your knee is sensitive to tricky and abrupt movements, explaining its common occurrence in basketball. Using a knee brace will result in pain decline, joint healing, and stifling further damage to the cartilage.
  3. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (also called Runner’s Knee): The pain around the knee often defines this injury. In addition, the level of pain usually increases if you continue jumping and running, ignoring the initial discomfort. To address this, a knee sleeve, in particular, may bring positive results.
  4. Medial Collateral Ligament sprain (MCL): Sideways force on the joints can lead to MCL sprains. However, using a knee brace will prove effective in restricting awkward side-to-side maneuvers during plays.
  5. Arthritis: Both professionals and average people with arthritis will enjoy wearing a knee sleeve. The warmth, comfort, and valuable support will not only decrease the pain but also promote excellent joint function by reducing stiffness.

Keep in mind that you can use a sleeve or brace as a preventive measure as well. If you have a history of knee problems, consult a healthcare professional before gearing one of these up for additional support.

How To Select The Correct Band, Brace, Or Sleeve For Basketball?

If you wish to play ball while rocking a band, sleeve, or brace, you should consider these three factors to choose the right one:

  • Size and fit: Measure your knee and look for the size accordingly. Avoid going for smaller fits because they will limit your movement. In short, if it’s too tight, it’s not right. However, do not choose too large ones as they can slip down.
  • Compression level: Select the one depending on the match vibe. For instance, if it’s a light work game and you want to take it easy-breezy without sacrificing support, your best choice is moderate compression. But, if it’s a super intense match with risks of injuries, a high compression will provide optimal support.
  • Material and comfort: The goal is to keep your knee cool and cozy during games. Therefore, opt for a sweat-absorbing material to keep yourself fresh and comfortable. Your best bet is to choose a fabric like neoprene.

Is It Okay For Athletes To Wear A Knee Band All Day?

While rocking a knee band all day is usually A-OK, let your skin catch some fresh air every now and then. Give the knees a break when relaxing because wearing it too much could irritate the skin.

Not to mention, wearing it for prolonged periods may result in muscle weakening due to excessive dependency.

What Purpose Do The Bands On Basketball Players’ Legs Serve?

NBA athletes rock these leg bands for a bunch of reasons! Whether it’s the cool and stylish sleeves keeping those knee joints in check or the calf bands hugging the muscles to increase blood flow, these bands definitely come in clutch. 

It varies from player to player why they are using it. But one thing is for sure – it’s a slam dunk in both the performance and fashion game.

What Do NBA Players Put On Their Knees?

What you see jazzing up the knee game of NBA rookies and pros are mainly knee sleeves and braces. As mentioned above, not only do these bad boys address the joints with compression but also improve stability. Viewers also notice some players adding patellar stabilizers in the form of braces.

Moreover, if the ballers feel flashy, they pop on a few kinesiology tapes for a sprinkle of support and pain relief.

What Are The Types Of Bands, Braces, And Sleeves For Basketball?

There are many kinds of bands all over the world. We have gathered the most popular ones used in this sport. Here are several types of bands, sleeves, and braces in basketball:

Knee Strap

With these straps, you can say goodbye to dealing with a jumper’s knee, or even a little sudden pain. In fact, it’s not just for basketball! Whether you are breaking ankles on the court or living your daily routine, these straps have your knee’s back.

Knee Brace (Hinged)

Are you bouncing back from a ligament surgery or looking to avoid devastating injuries? If so, you must get a pair of these. Hinged braces are like a bodyguard for your knees, protecting them when recovering from injuries like MCL and ACL.

Knee Sleeve

Knee sleeves tackle both light to average chronic pain. They do so by compressing and spreading the weight load, taking away the pressure from the aching area. 

The best part about these wonders is that they work like a charm off the court! You can hide them under your daily attire when in recovery mode.

Knee Brace (Wraparound)

Whether athletes are dealing with patellar dislocation or even some unusual knee discomfort, these wraps will address those issues. They may appear bulky compared to the other options, but don’t let it fool you – they work like magic on the court without weighing you down.


Do Rubber Bands Hurt When You Wear It?

The answer is a resounding no. As long as you are using a knee band that fits you perfectly, you will not face any discomfort like restricted blood flow. However, if you continue to feel aching of an unusual kind, talk with your physio before continuing to use it.

Can Rubber Bands Help With Your Anxiety?

The honest answer is no. There is no scientific proof to the idea that slapping on those knee rubber bands has a direct connection with mental health. Sure, you can say physical discomfort can cause anxiousness in players, and these bands help in alleviating them, but they are not anxiety-fighting medicines.

Do Rubber Bands On The Knees Prevent Injuries In Basketball Players?

While rubber bands are not the sole guardians and make you immune to knee issues, they can definitely boost your game in the injury prevention league. 

Significantly reducing the likelihood of ligament tears and other irritating discomfort is something you can expect. Additionally, addressing the possibilities of swelling is in the cards.

Will Wearing Rubber Bands On The Knees Improve A Basketball Player’s Performance?

Yes! These stretchy bad boys possess the powers to improve a player’s game performance by offering compression, support, and stability. All these are vital factors in achieving the optimal body form. Picture this: less muscle fatigue and top-notch joint health.

However, keep in mind that rubber bands vary, depending on playing styles and personal choices, just like any other sports accessory! So, a good rule of thumb is to try one on and see how it suits you instead of strapping one on mid-game.

What Precautions And Safety Measures Are Needed When Using Rubber Bands?

When ballers use rubber bands, like knee sleeves or braces, it’s necessary to follow some safety measures and precautions:

  • Proper fitting: Make sure your knee bands are just the perfect size for a cozy hug around your knees. Avoid wearing too tight because we do not want it to mess with our blood circulation.
  • Ventilation: Select the fabrics that allow your skin to chill instead of turning into a hot sauna. Not to mention, a little airtime break for your skin will go a long way.
  • Check regularly: Give those bands a routine check for any signs of damage. If they have seen better days, swap them out because they will not bring the same results as they once did.
  • Combine and condition: Maintain your fitness game and ensure it is on point. Because knee bands are not the main heroes when it comes to injury prevention, they are the sidekicks.
  • Consult with an expert: Last but not least, reach out to a physio or healthcare expert. Since everyone’s physique is unique, consult a professional to determine which band works best for you.


It goes without saying that knee bands are a slam dunk for basketball lovers. The benefits range from amped-up performance and speeding up recovery to minimizing chances of injuries and providing optimal stability during games. Not to forget, the boosted blood flow and better movement that comes with it also make any hooper deliver match-winning performances.

It is no wonder why basketball players wear bands under their knees! If you feel like you need one to become a beast at hooping, get a pair today!


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