Knee braces are supports to be worn when you have pain in your knee. Some people use them to prevent knee injuries during sports. Braces are made from combinations of metal, foam, plastic, or elastic material and straps.
Scientific research hasn’t given a clear answer but there are different reasons for their use.ellness
– Functional braces
These give support to knees that have been injured in the past. Clients often wear them after a major injury has healed. They stabilize the knee and control motion to prevent another injury.
– Rehabilitative braces
These are usually used for a period of weeks right after an injury or surgery. They keep the knee stable but still allow limited movement while it is healing. Some specialists haven’t seen a benefit from these braces and no longer recommend them.
– Unloader braces
These are designed to relieve pain in people who have arthritis in their knees. They shift the weight (“unload” it) from the damaged area of the knee to a stronger area.
– Prophylactic braces
These are designed to protect knees from injuries during contact sports such as football. They have become popular among athletes. Research has not proven that they work, but studies are ongoing.
– Knee sleeves
These are not technically braces, but they are the most common type of knee support. They are designed to provide compression around the knee joint. This helps support the knee, and can control pain and swelling.
Things to consider
– Companies that make knee braces claim that their products work well. Scientific studies have not completely agreed. Some physios are afraid that knee braces may actually increase the number of knee injuries in athletes. But many people who wear knee braces feel that they help.
– Knee braces are the least important part of preventing knee injuries or healing after an injury. Good strength and flexibility are much more important. You should focus on stretching the muscles around your knee, strengthening your leg, and improving your techniques.
– Make changes in activity intensity or training schedules little by little, to limit knee stress.
– Researchers are trying to learn more about how well knee braces really work and when it’s best to use them.