Any skier that pushes it hard for any length of time knows that chronic knee pain is part of the game. There are loads of options of how to manage/deal with the aches and pains that become part of your daily life. Hitting the gym, hitting the Tylenol bottle, ice, massage, yoga….ect…. One option for reducing pain that has been mentioned to me by several physical therapist friends is the Cho-Pat. After a reasonable amount of testing I have one word to describe the Cho-Pat: Junk. That is right Junk, as in Garbage.
The simple design of the Cho-Pat make one hopeful that relief might be just a quick velcro strap away. The constant pressure on the patella does help reduce the constant pain that so many of us are blessed with in the area just below the kneecap. Unfortunately, the relief is short lived due to the Chop-Pat’s inability to stay in place. It is hard to describe the frustration of having to pull the strap back into place multiple times per minute while hiking, climbing or just sitting at your computer writing extremely interesting blog posts for skiers worldwide. It is almost like they somehow figured out a way to design the Cho-Pat in a way that there is a zero percent chance of it staying in place for more than 15 seconds at a time. I have had much more success with a similar product from a company called ACE. They work on the same basic principal, but they actually stay put on the patella saving you dozens of tugs per hour.
The one possible solution to the slipping issues would be to buy the Cho-Pat double knee strap pictured above. Unfortunately, did not know that this item existed until looking up images for this article. I think Cho-Pat would get a better reputation if they spent more time promoting this product and phasing out the single strap that does not stay in the place you need it. Or maybe they should consider checking out what ACE is doing and making some adjustments.
Have you used a Cho-Pat? What is your experience with them? Any other good ideas to dodge knee pain this Summer?