knee braces for osteoarthritis sufferers
Osteoarthritis of the knee can significantly reduce the sufferer’s quality of life and cause much pain and discomfort, especially during daily activities. Luckily there are many varieties of knee braces that fit any lifestyle and help reduce knee pain and improve mobility. Find out which one suits you best!
Knee braces for osteoarthritis - who are they for?
Knee braces used for treating osteoarthritis are intended for people who suffer from arthritis pain or have abnormalities in their knee joints, which can lead to arthrosis instability, ligament dysfunction and extreme pain.
Additionally, they may be used to help treat degenerative diseases affecting the joints, however, it is most often recommended for knee OA (osteoarthritis) sufferers. It’s important to remember that this disease can be caused by a number of factors, some of which develop at various stages of life, or simply do to trauma.
Knee supports, such as the unloader brace, are recommended to reduce pain, whereas others are used for therapeutic treatment after surgeries such as arthroscopy, knee arthroplasty or ligament reconstruction. Knee bracing is regularly recommended for patients who suffer from lopsided or deformed knees. In some cases, the knee sleeve can also be worn prophylactically during intense physical activity.
How do knee braces work?
Depending on the model and the severity of the injury, the brace may limit joint mobility and reduce the load on the leg, or immobilize it in a given position. Models used for minor injuries however, are more flexible and guarantee stabilization of the knee joint, but at the same time ensure a full range of motion.
Each model is meant to reduce contralateral overload of the knee, relieve ligaments and tendons of tension as well as dynamically or passively stabilize individual elements of the joint, guaranteeing its proper functioning and improved movement.
If you’re involved in sports or lead an active lifestyle, a well-chosen brace will help you protect yourself from injuries caused by osteoarthritis, as well as reduce knee pain while moving and stimulate muscles to restore the knee's natural stability.
What are the types of knee braces?
When deciding on knee braces, the state of degeneration must be taken into account. Consult your doctor or physiotherapist for medical advice before choosing a brace. In some cases, a brace may only provide preventive or supportive effects. In this situation, flexible knee sleeves resembling kinesio tape or an unloader brace may be a good choices.
Other knee braces may include additional lateral rails or are profiled according to the anatomical structure of the leg and can either be pulled up over the foot or are open braces, put directly onto the knee. The latter knee brace is fastened by a set of straps with velcro or buckles.
All orthoses are composed of materials that are completely safe and help to improve comfort for knee arthritis sufferers. Lightweight materials used to create the housing are combined with a soft lining and silicone pelottes which keep the skin protected from irritation and reduce the tension on the joint when the knee brace is worn.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Can I wear the knee brace to sleep?
Some knee braces are intended to be worn to sleep, however, this is determined by your doctor or physiotherapist involved in your knee rehabilitation. Each case of knee arthritis is different, which is why you should stick to your specialist's recommendations.
Can I drive while wearing a knee sleeve?
Some models of the hinged knee brace or knee sleeve can be worn while driving and even help stabilize the knee joint while doing so. However, you should consult with a specialist, as both the condition of your health and the model of your brace can impact your driving.
How long should I wear my knee brace for?
The time knee braces should be worn for is based on the individual’s needs and the severity of the osteoarthritis. It is recommended that you speak to your physician or physiotherapist in charge of your rehabilitative process.