One-third of all Americans have reported that they’ve felt knee pain, making it the second most common cause of chronic pain. It’s remarkable how many people face this issue, but luckily there are plenty of innovative knee braces that are readily available to help relieve the aches and pains associated with this problem.
If you are the unlucky one of three, it doesn’t have to be a life sentence! There are quite a few benefits you can receive from wearing a knee brace that help manage discomfort and even help your body recover from injuries, such as:
1. Pain reduction
Undoubtedly the most valuable part of wearing a knee brace! Typically, knee pain comes from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, excessive swelling, or patellar tracking disorder as each makes the knee weaker and more brittle. Since arthritis normally affects joints such as your knees, we’ll discuss this disease further. When this occurs, your knees are weakened and stiff because the knee’s cartilage breaks—wearing a knee brace acts to replace the role of this flexible connective tissue by enhancing the overall impact it can withstand.
2. Enhanced proprioception
Another benefit of knee braces is proprioception improvement. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from severe knee injuries in sports usually cause it themselves by making awkward movements that the body is not prepared for.
Wearing a knee brace securely on your knee can help make proper movements without damaging your joints or ligaments. It’s such a common occurrence that top-tier and professional athletes are commonly seen using knee braces or compression sleeves to prevent this from happening!
3. Improved blood flow
Knee braces generally provide some degree of compression that can improve blood flow and reduce pain. An increase in blood flow ensures your synovial membrane within the knee receives a steady supply of nutrients, oxygen, and synovial fluid, providing additional lubrication to your joints during movement.
These tremendous benefits suggest that you can receive a better range of motion, stability, proprioception, and much more, which all contribute to speeding up recovery or reducing the overall pain received by the knee!
4. Shifts weight
The last benefit of a knee brace we’d like to mention is that it dramatically shifts weight off the joint, which supports the knee tremendously. If somebody has arthritis (or anything closely related), it’s unlikely the knee can support the entire body by itself. By wearing a knee brace, not only does it send subconscious signals to your brain to keep your weight off that leg, but you receive extra support and stabilization to help absorb impact and pressure from your joint.
What are the different types of knee braces?
As you can imagine, you can endure various knee injuries, and no injury is the same! Because of this, different knee braces have been crafted to support the array of knee problems that can occur. Each of them has its unique benefits, but they’re usually categorized into four different types:
- Prophylactic – helps the wearer from preventing an injury during a sport
- Functional – are worn by individuals that already have a pre-existing injury to support damaged tissues and ligaments
- Rehabilitative – can be used if you need to limit movement within the knee after suffering an injury, surgery, or anything similar
- Unloader or off-loader – is worn to help relieve pain and inflammation from those that manage a condition like arthritis in the knees
BODYPROX Braces & Benefits
Now that you have a brief understanding of the types of knee braces and their uses, here’s a breakdown of some of the braces we offer here at BODYPROX that may help you decide which type is best suited for your needs.
Hinged Knee Brace
The most popular design of knee brace is the hinged-type. In our design, aluminum hinges take the load off damaged knees by providing moderate to strong support to rehabilitate weakened joints and muscles. The use of hinges also prevents knee hyperextension as they have a limit to how much they open and bend with your leg. Unlike compression sleeves that slide up and wrap tightly around your muscle, this brace is strapped to your knees, delivering your ideal degree of compression and support. This is an excellent option for a rehabilitative support brace post-injury or surgery!
Knee Brace with Gel Padding
This handy number is a knee brace that delivers compression and the therapeutic healing of temperature therapy (check it out here). The liquid gel pack can be heated or cooled to provide immediate and natural healing properties to soothe the affected area while providing compression and allowing the user to remain mobile! Those who use this knee brace type usually have arthritis as the hot or cold temperatures help reduce inflammation.
Patella Tendon Knee Strap
The braces listed above are alike as they feature a wrap-around design that covers the entire knee. However, this Patella Tendon Knee Strap targets a specific problem rather than the whole knee. It’s a minimalistic-style compression brace that helps reduce various conditions such as bursitis, runner’s knee, patellofemoral syndrome, and much more in a non-bulky and discrete way.
Because of its visual appearance, weight, and design, users can wear this during or after sports without it being visible. For those who suffer from knee injuries, wearing braces at work or in public areas can seem off-putting, but this design isn’t a problem.
Dual Patellar Tendon Support Strap
Similarly, this Dual Patellar Tendon Support Strap is another type of knee brace. Although it supports the same issues as the above, it provides additional relief and support from an extra strap that targets your quad muscle. You will receive more support for a broader range of muscles than the singular belt style above. The dual straps surround the knee cap for greater stability, and the upper support tube prevents the misalignment and overall leg pain attributed to overworked/weakened quads. This sleek style is also easy to wear under clothing as an added benefit!
After reading the above, you should have a broader idea of the different types of knee braces, along with the benefits they offer. It is important to remember you should always consult a doctor to know exactly why you are experiencing knee pain! Finding the right brace can help get you back on your feet or at least manage your day-to-day symptoms.