An estimated 25% of adults experience frequent knee pain.
The knee joint has tendons, bone, and cartilage, all of which are susceptible to tear or injury. When the knee is injured, it makes moving around all the more difficult and lowers the quality of life. How do we manage the pain?
Keep reading to learn all about knee braces, their effectiveness for knee pain, and other benefits they provide.
Choosing a Knee Brace
The benefits or pain treatment you'll receive from wearing a knee brace depend on the kind of brace. The four main categories of braces include functional, rehabilitative, prophylactic, and unloading. It may be helpful to consult with a doctor or physiotherapy clinic familiar with bracing to determine which brace is right for you.
Functional braces offer support and stability to the knee. They work simultaneously to allow a comfortable range of motion while also protecting against unnatural movement or excessive strain.
These types of braces are most effective for those who have already injured their knees.
A rehabilitative brace is exactly as it sounds, worn after injury or surgery to help with healing. A rehabilitative brace limits the movement of the leg to prevent further damage to the impacted area.
This type of brace may be worn for several weeks or months and can be accompanied by crutches to reduce weight on an injury when walking.
Prophylactic braces are a protective measure worn by athletes that participate in high contact sports. For example, football players often wear them to prevent ACL and MCL tears and other common sports injuries. As well as being uncomfortable, these tears can result in players having to take time off or undergoing extensive surgery.
An unloading knee brace is often recommended for those suffering from osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative form of arthritis that causes the cartilage around joints to worsen over time. When cartilage is worn down in the knee, the bones will rub together and cause painful spurs.
An unloading brace is designed to redistribute weight off of the affected portion of the joint and onto the stronger part.
These braces are also recommended for knee pain as a result of obesity. Excess weight increases swelling and inflammation around the joint and puts greater stress on the joints. Both circumstances result in knee pain.
If you suffer from osteoarthritis or struggle with weight, these braces alleviate pain and will help prevent further unbalanced wearing of the affected knee and allow you to maintain a more active lifestyle.
Improving posture is another benefit of wearing a knee brace. When we suffer knee injuries or knee pain, we tend to adjust our posture to make walking easier. Poor posture can lead to further pain in the back, shoulders, and neck.
Seeking a Solution
As you can see, with proper analysis and fitting of knee braces, they can offer an effective solution to pain caused by arthritis, injury, as well as other medical issues. The right knee brace will make walking more comfortable and help preserve your joints. Most importantly, they benefit the wearer through pain relief, injury prevention, and recovery aid.
If you're searching for more advice on injury treatment or prevention, check out the rest of our blog or contact our clinic!