What Are Knee Braces?
Knee braces can give you the best protection against excessive strain during exercising. These support braces offer controlled compression while also improving the knee’s ability to maintain movement stability when physically active. Besides this, knee braces can also massage the muscles, ligaments, tendons and connective tissue which can have a positive impact on the sensorimotor system. All in all, these braces can certainly reduce the risk of stress and injury and the pain associated with excessive strain subsides.
When to Wear Knee Support?
You can wear support braces for prevention anytime you exercise and lift heavy. However, knee support can also be worn when you’re feeling pain in the knee. The best thing about these compression braces is that they can be used for rehabilitative purposes as well, like for example recovery after an ACL injury. The compression brace will provide a slow and limited movement, allowing the person to slowly regain their full range of movement.
Types of Knee Braces
Wraparound or Dual-Wrap Braces
These braces are ideal to be used by athletes who are experiencing mild to moderate knee pain. They are easy to put on and take off, and can also be used while exercising as they are not bulky nor heavy.
These braces are among the most commonly used type. Coming in different sizes, knee braces are designed to be put on like a sleeve, providing knee compression for reducing any knee pain and swelling. The most important thing to know about knee sleeves is that they can work well for mild knee pain and are great for minimizing arthritis. Unlike the wrap on braces that is usually thicker, knee sleeves are more comfortable since they are thinner. This allows them to be worn under clothing.
Hinged Knee Braces
These braces are mainly used for patients and athletes who have undergone a certain surgery. The higher knee braces need a higher level of protection and support and offer a proper alignment when the leg bends. They are available in two types, soft and rigid, out of which the softer ones provide less support.
Knee straps are ideal for those of you who suffer from knee pain because of a runner’s knee or jumper’s knee. These straps can also be used when experiencing knee pain due to patella tracking. By wearing this strap, you can prevent patella injuries, while also minimizing any knee pain since they can provide compression on your patella area.
An important thing you need to know about these straps is that they can come as open and closed patella braces. The ones with an open patella can relieve knee pressure while also providing knee cup support. The closed models can provide you with the needed cap compression while also providing you with additional support. In case you are not sure which one to choose, consulting with a professional is the best thing you can do in order to make the right choice.
Consider Their Level of Protection
When choosing knee support, make sure to consider its level of protection. Generally speaking, there are three levels of protection. Braces with the first level of protection offer the least amount of support and they are perfect for pain relief. Such braces are the knee sleeves, and they can offer mild to moderate support even when fully active.
A brace with a second level of protection offers more protection than the first one, and unlike the previous one, the second type is not that flexible. However, it still allows for a range of movement and a good example of such braces are the knee straps and wraparound braces. An important thing to know is that they offer a mild to moderate knee support for pain relief.
Braces with the third level of protection can provide you with the greatest support. Unfortunately, they offer the least range of movement since they are heavier. These braces are recommended when recovering from a surgery when knee movement is limited.