Knee braces are helpful when you experience knee pain; they also support and enhance knee movement. There are several reasons to wear a knee brace, for example, if you are an athlete and want to protect your knee from any harm, have recently suffered an injury, or have a chronic condition. A knee brace supports recovery from injury and provides support after recovery, and it helps you regain strength and reduce the risk of additional damage. A knee brace also reduces and prevents swelling and assists patients who have arthritis.
You should consult with your doctor, physician, or any expert about the best brace for a particular injury, and they may be able to guide you towards the proper support you need. When purchasing a knee brace, the additional factors you may consider are materials, cost and insurance, type, size, left or right knee, warranties, and shipping. Many options are available in the market, and it might confuse you. Check out the top knee braces so that you can know what to pick while shopping for them.
Different categories of knee braces:
The knee braces are mainly of four main categories. The purpose of every knee brace is different, and one can use it as per the requirement. Let’s see which one you will need and under what circumstances.
Prophylactic Knee Braces
Prophylactic knee braces help prevent knee injuries. Athletes engaging in some sports of high risk wear them to minimize the risk of straining their knee. The concept of knee braces became popular in the late 70s when researchers tested it in NFL players. Prophylactic knee braces shield the medial collateral ligament (MCL) against knee stresses while protecting knee joints, so they don’t get injured again. The effect of a knee brace depends on factors including sports played, player position, player conditioning, and player size.
Functional Knee Braces
Functional knee braces support an already torn knee ligament, either from playing sport or falling. They expedite recovery from acute injuries, including sports inflicted injuries. The functional knee braces are not as effective as regular knee braces but may help patients with an ACL tear. They help reduce pain after surgery and provide protection when force is applied to the knee supported with a functional knee brace, and it is more stable. However, they may not help when subjected to a very high force that occurs very quickly.
Rehabilitative Knee Braces
Rehabilitative knee braces are for patients with an injured or surgically repaired knee joint. They have a carry-over rehabilitative effect due to repeated braces, which improve patients’ functional abilities and reduce knee pain. Rehabilitative knee braces limit the knee movements that might be harmful while a person is recovering from an injury or surgery. They protect and repair ligaments and allow early motion of joints, and they are also great tools to prevent future or recurring knee injuries.
Unloader Knee Braces
An unloader knee brace provides support, stability, and relief from pain caused by osteoarthritis that primarily affects one side of the knee joint. It transfers or unloads the pressure from the affected side to the healthier side of the joint. The unloader knee brace with the three-point pressure may provide you comfort to improve mobility and diminish the pain. They are also helpful for those waiting to have knee replacement surgery and want to take off stress on their knees beforehand.
There are many causes of a knee injury, such as bursitis, tendonitis, ligament tears, worn-out cartilages, muscle sprains, and others. Knee pain can hurt your back and affect you in many other ways. A knee brace can help you stay active and help improve your posture; It can be a therapeutic tool to aid pain management.
A warm-up or straightforward exercise will be easier to perform if you wear a knee brace. A person or a doctor might consider knee braces in the issues such as harm to the knee, damage to the knee, surgery, or support for osteoarthritis. The standard knee braces provide an accessible, affordable, and effective solution for many problems.