Are Knee Wraps Bad For You?

Create: 12/01/2005 - 09:06
Knee wraps are used by most competitive powerlifters on heavy squat attempts. Most raw federations allow there use during competition. Like a belt they're considered more a safety device. The starter of a thread at Power and Bulk wonders how safe they are:

wraps actually contribute to knee pain and deterioration by pushing the kneecap inward. Also, I've experienced more tracking problems when wrapping for long periods than when not. There's a term for roughening of the underside of the kneecap - I think it's chondromalacia - and while I have no scientific study to point to, I believe that wraps potentially contribute to this problem.

Some of the other posters agree that use of knee wraps should be minimized:

The only time I wrap the knees is on the platform or when taking a weight to see where I am. They might help from blowing a knee out on a really heavy attempt, but I just don't see using them that often in training. I think some knees sleeves for warmth are fine, but can't see wrapping for sets being much help if you are having knee problems.

One poster suggests there may be a wrapping issue rather than a wrap one:

I don't see how wraps can pull your kneecap to the side if you put them on with your leg completely locked. The only time my kneecap can float is when my leg is straight and relaxed. I've seen some top level lifters, Larry Pacifico for example, wrap with a bent and relaxed leg. Perhaps that's the cause of the problem.