If you have an injured or painful knee, wearing a knee brace is highly recommended. Most athletes use different knee supports to prevent potential injuries, especially when engaging in contact sports. In general, knee braces are created from various materials such as foam, metal, plastic, straps, and other elastic materials. Also, knee supports are designed in different colors, sizes, and materials.
Basic types of knee braces
Knee braces have four basic types:
1. Prophylactic braces. These knee braces safeguard the knees from any injury when competing in contact sports such as football or basketball.
2. Functional braces. When an injury or an accident occurred, these braces are used to provide knee support.
3. Rehabilitative braces. These braces are used to minimize knee movements, especially when the knee is recuperating after an injury or surgery.
4. Patellofemoral braces. These braces assist in the smooth movement of the kneecap over the knee joint.
Other classification of knee brace
Knee braces can be classified as sleeves, supports, stabilizers, and hinges. Knee sleeves have various sizes, which you can slip on over the knee. Knee supports can be adjusted and usually wrapped around the knee. Both are used with a basic support, providing warmth and compression. Knee stabilizers have steel springs found on both knee sides necessary for advanced support. The hinged knee braces have hinges, enabling the knee to shift in such a way that is near to the knee’s natural movement for the most advanced support.
How knee braces are worn
Wearing knee braces can be done in two ways such as slip on and wraparound. Braces that you slip on are those that you can slide onto the knee by putting your foot inside the opening of the brace then pulling up the brace. This brace type comes in different sizes, where an ideal size is needed for the right support. The wraparound knee braces can be used by placing in front or at the back of the knee. They have different types and adjustable based on the brace’s Velcro straps.
Closed vs. open patella knee brace
Knee braces having a closed patella are designed for individuals seeking their kneecap to get the similar compression and support around the knee. The open patella knee braces help in providing relief for any pressure on the kneecap. Depending on the kind of knee brace, this provides additional support, proper tracking, and support for the kneecap movement.
Required size for knee brace
The knee brace’s size depends on your selected brace. Every brace has a corresponding size to get the right fit. Some need a good size around the knee. Others are three inches above or below the knee. Some have a calf and thigh sizes. Whenever your size is in between, better select the larger size.
Do knee braces work
Generally, the most effective are the functional and rehabilitative knee braces. Some people fear that knee braces can raise potential knee injuries among athletes. Basically, most individuals wearing these braces believe that they can help. Specialists are analyzing how knee braces can function well and the right time they should be used. When to use a knee brace can be set by your doctor.
Time to use knee braces
Different knee problems have corresponding knee braces. If you have a knee surgery, your doctor may ask you to use a particular knee brace. For a torn ligament, a surgery may not be necessary. Instead, a special knee brace may be required for support. To reduce pain by supporting the knee, a specific knee brace in front of the knee is necessary when strengthening and flexibility exercises are insufficient. Braces are not intended to stop an injury from occurring. Seek your doctor’s help what best knee brace is suitable for you.
Purchasing a knee brace
Getting a knee brace can be done in different ways. Drug stores or medical supply stores are selling the basic knee sleeves or supports. You may opt to order knee braces from the manufacturers directly or online. Ask your doctor about the companies selling different knee braces. He is the best resource to assist you in selecting the right brace and size. Depending on your problem area, some knee braces can be very expensive. In some cases, medical insurance firms are covering them. Always remember that the most expensive brace is not the best all the time. So choose based on what you need.
Proper way to use a knee brace
Use your knee braces based on your doctor’s advice, especially when engaging in sports. Carefully put on the brace to ensure that the hinges suitably fit where the knee is bent. Using straps, tapes or Velcro hook and loop tapes must be fastened properly around your leg. Check the brace placement ensuring it does not move when doing any activity. A wrongly positioned knee brace can cause pain instead of assisting your knee.
Don’t forget to wear a knee brace in whatever activity that can potentially lead to an injury for your knee. A warm-up is necessary prior to start any athletic activity.
Caring for a knee brace
Knee braces can easily get damaged when used regularly. Always check your brace often for possible wear-and-tear. Make it a habit to always sanitize the brace fabric with soap and clean water. Any exposed metal must be covered as protection from any injury. Change a worn-out brace right away for maximum benefit. The durable materials are more expensive but the brace might stay longer.
Doing leg exercises even with a knee brace
Even with knee braces, these do not prevent you from having knee injuries or be healed right away after an injury. With your knee brace on, this could still injure your knee when doing strenuous activities. It helps to be aware of some stretching and strengthening techniques while wearing knee braces.
Change gradually the intensity level or training slots to reduce knee stress. Achieving good strength and flexibility are essential for managing knee pain and injuries. Consult your doctor regarding an exercise plan to attain the best program best for you. Don’t consider a knee brace as your temporary ‘crutch.’
How a knee brace can help you live healthier
1. If you have arthritis or other knee issues, consider the benefits of wearing an unloader or offloader knee brace that can help you to stay active.
2. To avoid any injury, you need a knee brace prior to undertaking warm-up exercises and performing low-impact exercises. Basic movements such as standing up where you need to step up and down as part of warming up your heart and leg muscles would be easier to carry out with a knee brace.
3. By simply walking, this serves as one of the best exercises to reduce knee pain. Ask your doctor what the best knee brace is fit for your body type which can help you in walking or doing other low-impact tasks.
4. A good knee brace is vital in maintaining the good condition of your leg muscles and ligaments. However, by not using the right shoes, this can cause you further damage. Visit your favorite sporting store to buy a good set of sneakers that will suit your daily regimen.
5. Using a knee brace can assist in enhancing your posture. Initially, this may not be seen. But in the long-term, experiencing a knee pain can affect your posture in many ways by hurting your back. Ideally, your head should be at the center over your shoulders while your shoulders are in the middle of your abdomen and pelvis.
Good health is only focused on eating a balanced diet. Your body needs support by having health aids such as a knee brace to prevent an injury. In some instances, the cost for a knee brace is shouldered by Medicare and other private insurance, so you may inquire if this is covered.
Phiten’s Knee Supporter (soft type)
If you are experiencing too much pressure on your knees or any discomfort in that area, you may opt to use Phiten’s soft type knee supporters. Unlike other knee supports that have a harder shell, this soft type support is suitable for those who feel pain and pressure on their knees.
Designed with stretchable and soft fabric, this pair of knee supporter strikes a balance between support and comfortable movement. Infused with AQUA-TITANIUM, this alleviates any discomfort and improves muscle flexibility and strength without preventing you from doing your daily tasks or carrying your chores. Phiten’s Knee Supporter enables you to move freely and keeps you to be productive and comfortable throughout the day.