While they’re primarily used by athletes, knee braces can help people from all walks of life to cope with knee pain. They are designed to support your knee, to reduce pain and to prevent injuries. With knees supporting a lot of weight when you are walking, running or exercising, they are quite prone to injuries. Because of this, knee braces and supports have become quite a standard treatment often recommended by physicians, for people suffering from a knee injury, as well as for people with knee osteoarthritis.
Why Should You Use a Knee Support Brace?
Knee pain is a real problem, and quite a common one at that, both for athletes and non-athletes. Walking, let alone running or exercising, with knee pain is excruciating, and sometimes even impossible. This is why this invention, which is designed to give extra support to your injured area by relieving pressure on the joints, is so popular.
Knee braces come in many designs and sizes, meaning that you can easily find one that will be comfortable to wear. There are several types of knee braces designed for different reasons. However, from all the different efficient pain reliving knee support braces, finding the right one can be somewhat difficult if you don’t know what to look for. This is why it’s recommended to consult with your doctor so they can determine which type would best help for your specific situation. Generally, knee braces can be divided according to the problems they can aid in.
For Support After Injury or Surgery
Athletes often wear functional braces after their knee has been healed from a major injury in order to stabilize the knee, as well as prevent another injury by controlling the motion.
While they keep the knee stable, rehabilitative braces allow limited movements while it’s healing. Generally, they are used for several weeks after knee surgery or injury.
For Injury Prevention
Unlike other knee braces, prophylactic braces are used to prevent injuries during contact sports. For this reason, they are most popular among athletes.
For Pain Relief
Used primarily for knee pain relief in people who have arthritis, as the name suggests, unloader braces unload, or rather shift the weight to a stronger area, reducing the pressure to the damaged area of the knee.
Compression Knee Sleeves
While they aren’t braces per se, compression knee sleeves are the most commonly used type of support for knees. By compressing the around the knee joint, they support the knee, provide pain relief and they control swelling.
Material Quality Matters
Different knee braces are generally made from different materials or combinations of materials, such as metal, plastic, foam, strong elastic fabrics and straps, and of course, different manufacturers use different materials. And there are many companies that manufacture knee braces. So, after you’ve learned about the type you need, the next step is to carefully consider the company that produced the knee brace as well. Of course, as with all else, quality comes at higher prices, but strong materials ensure durability and reliability.
However, to prolong the life of your knee brace, you should also make sure that you take proper care of it. To do so, you should follow the instructions of the manufacturers. However, generally, knee supports can get damaged even during normal use, so you should inspect them regularly for any wear and tear, and if there is exposed metal, you should cover it to prevent injury. Also, the fabric can get dirty and it should be regularly cleaned with water and soap.
How to Use Your Knee Brace Properly?
Since they are often recommended or approved as a treatment or a pain relief measure by a physician, it’s most likely that you would get instructions as to how to use your knee brace. Generally, this is decided on the kind of knee support you are using, as well as what it is you are treating. Some knee support braces are supposed to be worn during physical activities, workouts, sports…, whilst others should be worn all the time.
For the brace to be really helpful, it should be properly fitted, and you should always make sure that it’s well-positioned, especially during physical activities, since otherwise, it may be harmful.
Possible Downsides to Wearing Knee Brace
There are some claims that knee braces aren’t really helping. However, there are many people around the globe, especially athletes, who have been using them for support and pain relief and have found them to be a lifesaver. While this isn’t technically a downside, it may be something you want to consider and talk to your doctor about.
Knee braces are supposed to go directly onto your skin, so they can sometimes cause skin irritation and redness. If this happens to you, you should talk to your doctor and try to find a solution together.