Different Types of Knee Braces – Choose The Best One
Knee braces help relieve joint pain from injuries and common ailments like arthritis and tendonitis. 10% of the male population over the age of 60 and 13% of the female population over the age of 60 suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee.
Knee injuries requiring braces are common in the young and the old. According to recent studies, 27.2% or 162,000,000 people between the ages of 25 and 44 will sustain a knee injury this year. Almost every knee injury will require some type of brace to support the ligaments, tendons, and joints until the injury sustained heals.
An even larger number of people wear braces as preventive measures against knee injury, pain, and swelling of the knee and surrounding tissue. In order for these individuals to get the maximum benefits from their knee braces, they have to choose the right type of brace.
Different Types Of Knee Brace Styles and their Intended Uses
These braces are generally recommended for individuals who have had surgery on their knees. They are also recommended for people who have suffered serious ligament strains, sprains and tears.
The hinged braces may have rigid hinges or soft hinges. The rigid hinges are meant for people who need maximum support due to surgeries or serious injury. The soft hinges provide mild to moderate support and are better for people who suffered a minor knee injury that did not require surgical intervention.
The knee sleeves are a compression garment that is worn over the knee. The distribute the pressure put on the knee joint and surrounding tissue so people can do physically challenging activities like playing basketball, soccer, hiking, climbing stairs, and walking.
These braces are recommended for people who have arthritis, bursitis, or tendonitis because they provide support, the compression reduces swelling in the joint, and they provide warmth that is beneficial to the joint.
Athletes often wear these compression braces so they can reduce the possibility of injuring their knee. Knees can be injured when a player jumps and lands wrong, or when they extend their leg too far, or when they turn an ankle, fall, or get hit.
The wraparound brace is not as aggressive as a hinged brace, but they are more supportive than a knee sleeve. These braces have adjustable straps so you can fit them perfectly onto your leg.
The wraparound style of brace is recommended for anyone who has patellar instabilities of the knee. If you have ever dislocated your knee cap you will be twice as likely to repeat the injury in the future so this brace style will prevent you from doing that again.
These braces can be worn while you are playing sports because they do not limit the range of motion you have in the knee.
The knee band braces are small straps designed to be worn just below your kneecap so they support the patella. The bands are small and you can wear them under clothing or on bare legs.
They apply enough pressure to the knee to alleviate a lot of knee pain and discomfort when you are running, cycling, or doing a lot of walking.
Open Popliteal Braces
The open popliteal braces have a small opening at the back of the knee that helps keep the knee cool while you are wearing the brace. If you have a lot of knee pain chooses a brace with a closed popliteal for increased warmth of the knee joint.
Open Patella Braces
The open patella braces allow your kneecap to have an increased amount of support. These braces often come with gel pads that surround the kneecap and protect the kneecap from serious injury. If you experience a lot of swelling of the knee joint you will want to wear a closed patella brace because they provide a greater amount of compression.
Knee braces can be thought of as preventive medical support devices. The brace is designed to add support to your knee and ligaments so you do not injure them while you are active. Protecting your knees while you are young will greatly reduce the pain and suffering in your knees when you are older.
Choose a brace according to your specific needs, and ask your health care professional for recommendations of which brace to wear.