How to Choose the Right Knee Brace for You
Did you know that 25% of American adults are affected by frequent knee pain, limiting their mobility and function, and having a negative impact on the quality of their life? This is what a report published by HHS Author Manuscripts revealed. One of the best ways to combat this immensely prevalent knee pain is by using a brace support, says an article by Mayo Clinic.
Knee braces are helpful in reducing knee pain, preventing injury that could occur during intense physical activity or to aid the rehabilitation process, such as for those recovering from an ACL injury. Knee braces can also be used by people suffering from arthritis, to reduce pain and inflammation. However, to get the best relief, choosing the right knee brace is important. Here’s a look at what you should keep in mind while making your choice.
Types of Knee Support
1. Knee Sleeves
These are braces made of neoprene and slide right over your knee. They come in a range of sizes and provide compression and support for the knee, helping reduce pain and inflammation. It can be used for mild to chronic pain, even by people suffering from arthritis. Knee sleeves are comfortable to wear and can even be worn under clothing.
2. Wraparound Braces
Braces of this style are suitable for athletes and provide relief from mild to moderate knee pain, dislocation and patellar instability. These braces are easy to put on and take off, and can also be used during athletic training. They allow you to customize the fit for maximum comfort and support. They are lighter than hinged knee braces.
3. Hinged Knee Braces
Hinged knee braces are generally recommended after a surgery, or MCL, ACL or PCL injuries, for increased protection and stabilization. This knee brace ensures that the alignment of your knee is correct, when it bends. This results in faster recovery and prevention of any further injury. Hinged braces prevent the knees from hyper extending, protecting the ACL and other ligaments. They can be soft or rigid hinged. The soft ones are suitable for mild to moderate pain, while rigid braces are recommended for moderate to severe pain.
This type of knee support is great for relief from patellar tendonitis (jumper's knee), runner's knee pain or acute knee pain. They provide effective and comfortable pressure on the knee, helping alleviate pain. They are easy to wear and can be used during sports or other daily activities.
Other Factors to Consider
1. Open and Closed Patella
You may find that some braces have a hole in the middle, while others are completely covered. The ones with a hole are called open patella braces. These help relieve knee pressure and provide additional cap support, with proper tracking and movement. Closed patella braces provide compression to the knee cap, while providing pressure on the rest of the knee.
2. MaterialGiven that you might need to wear the knee brace for prolonged periods of time, it is important to check that they are made of high-quality materials that ensure comfort. One of the best materials for knee support braces is lightweight, breathable neoprene. This is a moisture wicking material, which means the knee will remain dry and comfortable even if you wear the brace all day long.
The perfect brace depends on your specific situation, and if you are unsure it is advisable to consult a physician.