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Knee Brace - Pain Relief and Protection all in One!

Knee is the most supportive part of the body and is known to take up to 80% of the body weight. Since it supports maximum of the body weight, it is at a high risk of getting injured due to sports and other vigorous activities. Bursitis, muscle sprain, ligament tear, muscle strain, worn-out cartilages, tendonitis, postural misalignment and osteoarthritis are some common causes of knee injury.

Causes of Knee Injuries

Some of the most common causes of knee injuries are given below:

  • Inadequate amount of physical activity
  • Natural wear and tear of joints with age
  • Disorders that restrict the supply of blood near a joint resulting in avascular necrosis
  • Bleeding disorders that may lead to bleeding in joints, such as hemophilia
  • Different types of arthritis like pseudo-gout, chronic gout or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Repeated occurrence of a joint injury
  • Overweight


If the knee conditions are not treated or managed properly, they can result in muscle spasms, immobility, stiffness, bone enlargement, fluid accumulation in the joints, contractions in affected tendons, crackling sound in the joints and node formation around the joints. Thus, correct and timely treatment of knee injuries is very important.

Knee braces are especially designed to support painful or injured knees. Knee brace helps in taking the pressure off the joints and relieves pain and swelling. It allows the users to stand and move independently. Knee brace support also helps in faster healing of ligaments after a surgery or injury. Some people wear them to minimize the risks of getting knee injury during sports while others wear them for post-surgery recovery. Knee support braces help in reducing pain, minimizing swelling and rehabilitating of knee joints. These knee supports are constructed with a combination of synthetic rubber and rigid material to provide optimum comfort and support. The synthetic rubber or moldable foam provides padding and positioning. The rigid material like metal, plastic, etc. offers basic support and structure. Knee brace supports come in different sizes, designs and colors to meet the specific user requirements.

Types of Knee Braces

There are basically four types of knee braces which are described below along with their benefits:

  • Prophylactic: Prophylactic knee braces are designed to reduce as well as prevent the seriousness of ligamentous injuries. They help in protecting the knee joint from repeated injury and Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) from valgus knee stress. These knee supports are widely used by athletes who participate in contact sports like basketball, football and hockey, where lies a high risk of MCL injury.
 Prophylactic Knee Brace

 

  • Functional: Functional knee braces are designed for situations where a knee injury already exists and is in the healing process. They help in treating Posterior Collateral Ligament (PCL), Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) and combination injuries. Specific braces apply the adequate force to provide support to the affected ligament. They provide stability to the knee after an injury and minimize the risk of damaging the other knee parts. Functional knee braces are used by people who participate in pivoting, twisting, jumping or cutting activities. When used properly, they can help people recover from knee surgeries and injuries.
 Functional Knee Brace

 

  • Rehabilitative: Rehabilitative knee braces are designed especially for people recovering from a knee injury or surgery in the recent past. They protect the reconstructed ligaments by limiting the potentially harmful knee movements yet allowing early motion of knee joints. Rehabilitative knee braces are mostly used during the first 2 to 8 weeks after an injury or surgery. They provide space for swelling, allow users to move the knees in a controlled range of motion and let them examine the knees by removing the brace.
 Rehabilitative Knee Brace
  • Unloader/Offloader:, Unloader or Offloader knee supports are designed for people with medial compartment knee osteoarthritis. They put pressure on the thigh bone to unload the stress from the affected knee joint. As a result, the knee is forced to bend away from the painful area. These knee braces are a great help to people waiting for knee replacement surgery.
Unloader Knee Brace

 

There are many factors which contribute towards the increase in the likelihood of injuries. They include vigorous sports activities, past instances of repeated joint injuries and other health conditions. The physical therapist or healthcare provider is the best person to assess the condition of a patient and suggest the most suitable knee support accordingly.

 

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