Nothing breaks an athlete’s heart more than a knee injury. It can keep them from performing their best and even cause pain that lingers.
Choosing the right knee brace can help them get back on their feet faster and avoid future injuries. However, there are a lot of different options.
Type of Injuries
Knee injuries can be caused by a variety of factors such as ligament tears, knee arthritis, muscle sprains and postural misalignments such as knock-knees. Depending on the cause, different types of knee braces are used to provide support and protection for the knee joint. The best place to start is by consulting an experienced healthcare professional such as a doctor or physical therapist. click here
They can prescribe and fit the correct brace for the injury or condition. They can also help ensure that the knee brace is worn correctly and provides the right level of support to avoid complications such as over-reliance, loss of stability in the knee or cutting off circulation.
There are many different types of knee supports available in the marketplace, from simple slip on braces that you can purchase online or at drug stores, to hinged and structured knee supports that are worn for a longer period of time after an injury or surgery. Many of these knee supports are designed to shift the weight (known as “unloading”) from the damaged area of the knee to a stronger area, which helps reduce pain and swelling and increase mobility in the knee.
There are also knee supports that are designed to be used for specific sports or activities such as basketball, running and skiing. These knee supports are typically designed to support the knee during these activities by keeping the knee in a more stable position. These knee supports will usually be a wrap around type of support, which is secured with Velcro or hook and loop straps. When choosing a knee support, it is important to make sure that it fits comfortably and that the straps are not too tight which can cause cuts to the skin around the knee or cut off circulation.
Level of Pain
A knee brace can help a person stabilize their knee and manage pain from an injury. It can also provide support to a knee with arthritis. Arthritis in the knee can be caused by rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis (OA).
The type of OA or RA a person has may influence the level of support they need from a knee brace. For example, if an individual has OA that is caused by normal wear and tear or mild to moderate activity, then a brace with a simple hinge may be enough. This is because the hinges shift the weight away from the painful area, reducing bone-on-bone pressure.
A person who has more severe pain or a knee injury that is causing a lot of movement, might need a knee brace with bilateral hinges and an articulating kneecap. This is because the articulating kneecap allows a person to move their leg with less pain, while still providing stability to the knee.
If a person has an ACL injury, they might need more support and stabilization from a knee brace. This is because the ACL is one of the ligaments that can be sprained or torn during sports. These types of injuries often happen during athletic activity and can lead to knee instability.
The lowest level of knee support comes from a compression sleeve that fits around the knee and limits swelling. This is usually safe for use and can be worn daily. The next level of support is from wrap around braces and knee straps. These can be used short term after an injury or longer term for conditions that require moderate knee support.
Range of Motion
Knee braces are used to provide support and stability to the knee during various movements. They alleviate pain and discomfort caused by the injury, reduce stress on the knee during weight-bearing activities and aid in the healing process. They can also improve confidence in using the knee and may allow patients to participate in a variety of physical activities. However, it is important to note that a knee brace should only be worn for as long as needed and must be used in conjunction with rehabilitation and medical treatments to address the underlying cause of the injury.
A knee brace can also limit the amount of movement in the knee joint. This can be useful if the injury is to the ligaments or to the cartilage. Some of these braces are hinged and can move only a set range of motion, which can help prevent further damage or strain. They are usually recommended for people who have a knee injury that is not yet fully healed or for those who are at risk of another knee injury.
Those who are recovering from a knee injury should follow the advice of their physical therapist and orthotist regarding when to wear a knee brace. Wearing one too often can actually cause more injury due to the weakening of the surrounding musculature. The knee is an extremely complex joint, and it takes time to heal properly.
A knee injury can be extremely painful and restricts activity, which can lead to feelings of discouragement in daily life. However, there are many things that can be done to help alleviate the pain and get back on track, such as following a proper recovery plan, consulting with a healthcare professional, staying at an ideal weight and stretching every day.
Knee braces are used to compress the knee, decreasing swelling and inflammation. They also provide stability to the knee joint during movement, which reduces stress on the ligaments of the knee and alleviates pain. They can help you return to your daily activities without pain and allow you to engage in sports or work activity at full capacity. If you have a knee injury, consult your physician to learn more about how a brace could help you.
The amount of compression a knee brace offers will depend on the type and level of support it provides. For example, a knee injury that requires stabilizing the joint may require a heavier brace than one that is designed to relieve mild discomfort from osteoarthritis. The brace should not be too tight, however, or it can cause irritation and lead to weakening of the surrounding musculature.
If the knee brace feels too tight, loosen the straps or choose a larger size. In addition, if it becomes uncomfortable to wear over the course of the day, talk with your healthcare professional about it. Your doctor or physical therapist will be able to adjust your brace for the right fit and make sure it is properly worn.
Knee unloader braces, which have been shown to offer significant pain relief and improved knee function compared to a control group, can help you reclaim your independence if you have mild knee arthritis. These braces support the ligaments on the inside and outside of the knee, increasing stability while allowing for full range of motion. They can also be used for more serious conditions, such as a patellofemoral dislocation.
When choosing a knee brace, size matters. The wrong size can worsen a knee injury and cause new problems. The goal is to have a snug fit that doesn’t rub or restrict the knee while you’re wearing it. Using a measuring tape and taking your measurements in the correct positions helps you find a perfect fit.
Universal knee braces and sleeves are designed to fit like clothes, so they can be purchased off the shelf in a wide range of sizes. To measure for these, have your leg outstretched and place the measuring tape directly over the centre of your patella (kneecap). Record this circumference.
For more specialized knee supports, your doctor may recommend you get a custom-made brace. These are made specifically for you based on your individual measurements. Having this type of support can help speed up healing and provide the best quality of rehabilitation. Having a custom-made brace means you might have to wait a little longer for it, but your doctor will check the fit and make any adjustments before you take it home.
If you’re purchasing an off-the-shelf brace, try it on and do the “two-finger test.” This involves sliding two fingers in under the straps of the knee brace. If your fingers slip in easily, the brace is likely too loose and needs tightening. If your fingers are unable to slip in, the brace is too tight and should be loosened. A healthcare professional can also advise you on where to purchase a knee brace and how much it will cost. Often, medical insurance covers these products. If you’re not insured, consider shopping online to find a lower price and save money on the cost of shipping.