Knees are a very common area of injury given the muscles, tendons and ligaments are constantly in use and are often strained in athletic endeavours. The knees are also your bodies natural lever where every extra pound or kilogram of weight gain above the knee puts four times that weight gain in pressure to the knee.
Injury, weight gain and age can often cause damage to the knees and a knee brace is needed to shift weight from the injured or damaged area of knee. The knee brace also adds stability which can reduce both pain and swelling. Knee braces are commonly used after knee surgery, for ACL tears, for arthritis, for ligament tears and for general muscle soreness and inflammation.
For more minor injuries and discomfort, knee support can also come in the form of compression sleeves and wraps, which offer some relieve but not the same support as a knee brace.
Types of Knee Braces
- Prophylactic Knee Braces - Designed to help prevent and lessen the severity of ligamentous knee injuries
- Functional Knee Braces - Support knees that have already been injured
- Rehabilitative Knee Braces - Limiting potentially dangerous knee movements when healing after recent knee surgery or injury
- Unloader/Offloader Knee Braces - People with arthritis in their knees, particularly those with medial compartment knee osteoarthritis, will benefit if they wear a knee brace.
Does wearing a knee brace help with knee pain relief?
One tool for managing the pain of knee osteoarthritis is a knee brace. By shifting your weight away from the most damaged part of your knee, a brace may help you feel better.
Do Knee Braces Work
Your knee is the largest joint in your body, which means it's susceptible to a lot of wear and tear. From athletics to the chronic pain that can linger after an injury, there are many reasons you might need to use a knee brace. Knee braces come in all shapes and sizes, offering solutions for activities or medical conditions ranging from basic stability to running. Some are even designed to treat arthritis.
Hinged Knee Brace
Well-designed knees braces will provide your knee with all types of protection, including impact protection, compression, warmth, and stability. The brace is made to be worn over the patella and secured with a velcro strap. Hinged knee braces offer less support than other bracing options but still provide protection for your knees while playing sport. The type of brace you might need will depend on what you are doing with your knees. Knee braces come in a variety of styles, with each design for different needs. The brace itself will tell you what it can do, so it's important to purchase the correct brace for the sport you are playing.
Offloaders relieve pressure on the kneecap and patella by distributing load-bearing forces across the entire joint and reduce wear and tear on the cartilage. These braces are typically made with neoprene padding on the inside for comfort and compression elastic on the outside for protection against impact. Offloaders are worn around the knee to ease muscle tension in the quadriceps, hamstrings, or iliotibial band.
Patella Stabilizer Knee Brace
The patella stabilizer is an orthopedic device that functions to stabilize the patella. The patella stabilizing brace typically consists of a central sleeve and two straps. The strap is fastened around the lower leg to hold the limb in place during contractions, and the central sleeve fits over the top of the knee joint with a velcro closure
The patella is located in the lower part of the leg, and can often move about freely because of its lack of stability. This can lead to injuries such as chondromalacia and patellofemoral pain syndrome. The patella stabilizer knee brace works to fix this problem by providing the necessary support to prevent movements that cause injury.
Patellar pain can be caused by many factors, but in most cases, it's caused by patellar maltracking that results when the groove in which the tendon of the quadriceps muscle rests becomes narrowed or enlarged.
Prophylactic Knee Braces
The purpose of the prophylactic knee brace is to protect people who are at risk for knee injury or who have had previous knee surgery. The brace can be used during high-risk activities like contact sports, skiing, and snowboarding. However, people with mild arthritis may also wear this brace daily to reduce pain and swelling in the joint.
The use of prophylactic knee braces can help reduce the severity and frequency of knee injuries. The design is to provide support and reduce the force on the ligaments that surround and connect your knees.
Prophylactic Knee Brace Benefits
The development of a prophylactic knee brace decreases the frequency and severity of MCL injuries following valgus stresses to the knee - An MCL injury can be caused by many different mechanisms, including pivoting, turning, and stopping too quickly. A prophylactic knee brace is designed to reduce the force of the quadriceps muscle on the patella, thus decreasing MCL injuries. Prophylactic knee brace was designed to protect against MCL injuries by redistributing the stresses across several points on the knee joint. It can also provide protection against other violent twisting movements of the knee.
The cruciate ligaments are supported during rotational loads - Different types of ligaments in the bodywork together to provide stability and support. Cruciate ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect from the bottom of a bone to a notch on the top of a bone on either side. Located in the knee joint, these ligaments help keep the joint properly aligned and stable. They also stabilize against rotational stress, which can occur when a person pivots or twists while standing, walking or running. A lot of people injure their cruciate ligaments when they participate in sports. While the injury is not often fatal, it can be debilitating and painful to live with.
Enhanced knee proprioception - The use of prophylactic knee braces has been shown to increase the proprioception of the knee joint, which is significant for people with knee instability.
Functional Knee Braces
If you spend a lot of time on your feet or have already been injured, a functional knee brace may be the best option for you. In recent years, bracing technology has become more sophisticated and less bulky. A functional knee brace supports your knees from the inside so they can feel more stable when running, jumping, or weightlifting. There are even braces that provide extra cushioning if you spend a lot of time kneeling or sitting.
Functional Knee Brace Benefits
The functional knee braces are helping eliminate the rotational forces that cause anterior knee translation - The functional knee braces are designed with hinges that create resistance against the medial and lateral sides of the thigh to reduce tibial rotation in the frontal plane, which in turn reduces anterior knee translation. Functional knee braces have been shown to be successful at reducing tension in the menisci and ligaments, indicating a reduction in pain.
Reduce pain, improve performance, and boost confidence while competing - The user of a functional knee brace no longer has to worry about pain, a fear of disappointing themselves or a lack of confidence when participating in athletics. These devices are worn on the knee and they provide an artificial structure that is meant to mimic the natural structure of the knee.
Functional knee braces are useful in preventing hyperextension of the knees - They may be used in active patients who have or are at risk for developing patellofemoral pain syndrome, ligament injury, or other conditions. They may also be used in active patients with patellofemoral pain.
Augmented knee proprioception - Proprioception is the sense of knowing your body position in relation to other objects or surfaces
Rehabilitative Knee Braces
Bracing for knee rehabilitation is a common practice amongst those who have suffered from injury or injury that is consistent with the need for rehabilitation. A typical brace may provide support and stability to encourage healing and prevent further injury and can be used as necessary, such as after surgery or following a severe sprain.
Many people are not aware of the benefits of knee braces. For example, if you wear a knee brace, there is less stress placed on the kneecap and patella tendon. This causes less swelling and pain. You may also experience fewer chances for developing or worsening any current knee problems that you already have. Knee braces are beneficial for anyone looking to prevent injury to their knees, whether by preventing falls or by minimizing the risk of injury during physical activities.
Halo Healthcare offers a wide range of knee braces in Canada and US so you can decide which one is best for you.