When To Use A Knee Brace
The health professionals we spoke to all said knee braces were best used during physical activity and should be removed at rest and at night. Most people find braces to be most helpful when being active, Dr. Hogan says. Playing tennis, golf, skiing, and hiking are some activities where knee braces can be beneficial.
When I expect to do some extra walking go to the shops, visit a museum I find a soft knee sleeve very helpful, Elena K. told us on Facebook.
The knee is under its greatest loads in weight bearing, so I will commonly say when youre on your feet when youre out and about is when I want you to have it on, because thats where its going to have its greatest impact, Gillanders says. Although he doesnt put a time limit on wearing a knee brace, he encourages patients not to use the brace more than necessary, and to take it off when resting.
Gillanders doesnt often use knee braces during physical therapy. I really want patients to maximize the impact of the exercise and have an understanding of how to control the leg and how to engage the muscles, he says.
Custom Knee Arthritis Braces
Unloader braces are proven to reduce pain and improve function in individuals with knee arthritis. They help unload the knee joint to help decrease the bone-on-bone pressure and pain you feel when you walk or run. Most insurance benefits plans cover the cost of custom braces.
We offer custom braces from from Breg, Ossur and Donjoy
How To Choose The Right Knee Brace
The type of brace that will work best for you depends on where your arthritis is located in your knee, how bad your arthritis is, and what your particular issues are.
Compression sleeves, for example, might work to treat swelling unloader braces work to shift the load from one part of the knee to another. Your doctor or physical therapist can help you decide which brace best meets your needs.
It also may be a case of individual preference. I have people go to a resource like the local pharmacy where they can try on several different knee brace styles and see whats comfortable for them, Gillanders says. Theres a range available over the counter that you can work with. Thats a good starting point rather than spending big bucks on something custom.
In addition, the bigger bracing companies like Don Joy or Bauerfeind have certain pre-made sizes, so a physical therapist could measure for example the girth of the knee, look at these brand name options, and give you a recommendation on appropriate sizing, Gillanders says. Dr. Hogan says orthopedic surgeons may have braces at their office to help fit you as well.
But, not everyone finds knee braces to be comfortable, Dr. Hogan says. Many women for example, find that braces do not fit them well. Womens thighs tend to be a bit heavier than mens, and braces are not always designed to fit womens bodies well. If youre uncomfortable in your knee brace, it defeats the purpose.
You May Like: What To Know About Knee Replacement
What Are The Alternatives To Surgery For Arthritis Of The Knee
The patient can be prescribed drugs such as NSAIDs and this can help them deal with the pain, although it wont affect the condition, potentially allowing it to worsen. The patient can receive an injection of a corticosteroid, which provides temporary relief. However, there is a limit to how many injections a doctor will recommend and the relief only lasts for up to 3 months. Physiotherapy can help strengthen the muscle groups around the knee but of course will not remove the underlying arthritis.
The fundamental problems surrounding the arthritic knee is the loss of articular cartilage and the shape change of the knee that can occur with that. The leg may go into a bow-legged shape or a knock-kneed shape . In the picture to the right the knee has gone into a bow-legged shape. This has been caused by a loss of articular cartilage in the medial compartment which has allowed the joint space on the inside to decrease. This further increases the amount of load on the inside of the knee which increases the amount of pain due to the bone on bone forces.
How A Knee Brace Can Help With Arthritis Pain
All knee braces basically serve the same function. Their job is to help the tendons and ligaments in your leg stabilize your knee joint. Most braces stabilize by compression or through straps that tighten around your knee. When your joint is stabilized, it may minimize the pain you feel as you go about your day.
In a 2017 study of people with osteoarthritis, participants who wore a soft knee brace had lower pain levels while walking and took less time to complete a 10-kilometer walk. In that same study, a tight brace was found to help reduce walking time even more for study participants.
For people with rheumatoid arthritis, some rheumatologists prescribe medical-grade braces as a first-line treatment for pain in the knee.
Even if you dont have a prescription for this type of medical device, you can get one:
- over the counter at pharmacies
- at some medical supply stores
- at sporting goods stores
Don’t Miss: Is Walking Good For Bad Knees
Follow Up & Monitoring
Your new custom knee brace will most likely be prescribed as part of an integrated physiotherapy plan to get you healthy and mobile again. At your next appointment at Mimico Medical, we will follow up with you regarding your knee brace. We will monitor your success and ensure your knee brace is optimized at each stage of your path to recovery.
Custom Knee Brace For Acl And Pcl Tears
When your ACL or PCL tears, the excruciating pain makes it impossible to perform physical activities. Without proper care and treatment, more damage can occur to the affected ligament.
A custom knee brace for ligament tears stabilizes the affected knee to prevent injury progression and allow the damaged ligament to heal. If your ligament suffered a partial tear, the custom knee brace prevents a complete tear.
A custom knee brace allows a certain level of movement during rehab workouts or other physical activities. It does this while helping to protect the injured ligament.
For athletes or individuals with an old ligament injury, custom knee braces support the affected knee and prevent stress on previously injured ligaments. This allows you to move around and perform physical activities reducing the risk of re-injury.
If you have a ligament tear, an old knee injury, or youre looking to prevent injuries to your knee, Push Pounds Sports Medicine offers high-quality custom knee braces in Toronto. We also provide a comprehensive physiotherapy treatment plan to aid in your recovery.
Also Check: How To Relieve Knee Stiffness
How We Rated Knee Braces For Arthritis
4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best knee braces for arthritis we reviewed. We recommend them without reservation.
4.5 to 4.7 stars: These knee braces for arthritis are excellentthey might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.
4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great knee braces for arthritis, but others are better.
3.5 to 3.9 stars: These knee braces for arthritis are just average.
3.4 and below: We don’t recommend knee braces for arthritis with this rating you won’t find any on our list.
What Is An Unloader Knee Brace
An unloader knee brace for arthritis is the most advanced type of brace support, and their use is typically reserved for people who experience moderate to severe pain. Knee-Pain-Explained.com notes why these are used:
Unloader knee braces are specially designed to reduce the weight going through the parts of the knee affected by arthritis by changing the angle of the knee joint. Special hinges redistribute the weight to stronger parts of the joint. There are different unloader braces suitable for all severities of arthritis, mild, moderate and severe, but work best when only one side of the knee is affected.
These are more advanced products and can be fitted to your leg, so they do carry the highest price tag. For people who suffer from severe knee pain, however, these devices can help them avoid surgery and continue doing the activities they love.
You May Like: What Kind Of Doctor To See For Knee Pain
Five Common Types Of Knee Braces And How To Pick The Right One For You
When a twinge of pain or a wobble lets you know your knees arent as sturdy as they once were, buying a quality knee brace might be your first step.
But how do you know which one to choose?
Meeting your knees needs
There are hundreds of types of knee braces, but according to J. Kristopher Ware, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with the Hartford HealthCare Bone & Joint Institute, your specific needs can help narrow down the options.
Choosing a brace depends on the patients circumstances. In most cases, brace use is temporary or limited to specific activities. The duration of use varies from all the time for post-operative bracing, to limited use during sports for functional braces, said Dr. Ware.
Common types of knee braces include:
Once the type of brace chosen, its equally important to select the correct size, Dr. Ware said.
Custom braces are typically fabricated based on a mold of the knee. Non custom fit, or off the shelf braces are selected based mostly on circumference of the knee and thigh, he explained, adding that an orthotist, or brace-fitting specialist, can help select the best size.
Still confused? Ask an expert
With the size and type of brace in hand, knee braces can be ordered online or purchased in a medical supply or sporting goods store.
Types Of Knee Braces For Arthritis Pain
There are several different types of knee braces for arthritis pain:
- Basic knee sleeves
- Advanced braces and compression sleeves
- Unloader braces for severe cases
Knee sleeves for arthritis are typically recommended for patients with mild pain that worsens with activity. These are the basic knee supports you see in most drug stores. Theyre affordable, easy to wear, and easy to clean. Patients generally only wear them during activity. These can provide some of the support that youre looking for, while also reducing pain and swelling. Their compression can also help keep your knee joint warm.
Advanced support braces are similar, in that they provide compression and support. These are typically more customizable, however, with large straps to ensure a custom fit. These are also typically used during exercise for people who experience mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis pain.
Both of these types of knee braces for arthritis can be open or closed over the patella, depending on where you experience pain.
Recommended Reading: How To Assess Knee Pain
What Are The Best Knee Braces For Arthritis
These ten braces give you lots of affordable options for mild to moderate arthritis pain. Which one you chooseand which one is best for youwill depend on:
- Where your pain is located
- How severe your arthritis is
Based on most of these factors, though, these ten are the best knee braces for arthritis, for their support and price. However, if you suffer from severe arthritis, youll likely benefit more from a custom-fitted brace. Talk to your doctor about these options. They are more expensive, but if you experience severe arthritis that stops you from enjoying the activities you love, they can be life-changing.
As always, talk to your doctor before trying any new brace, as some may worsen your symptoms. Even the best knee braces for arthritis pain wont work for you if theyre not best-suited to treat your specific type of pain. Once youve been approved to try a knee brace, the following video discusses how to find the one thats the right size for you.
Vive Hinged Knee Brace
What we liked: If youre recovering from an injury and have arthritis pain, too, an orthopedist or physical therapist may recommend a brace with hinges. The hinges limit medial and lateral movement of the knee, providing a more stable environment for the knee to heal in.
This hinged brace allows you to remove the hinges when you need less stabilization, and add them back on days when you need heavy-duty support. The open patella design leaves space for your patella, or kneecap, to breathe. The brace also has adjustable Velcro straps and comes in three different colors.
What to know: A common complaint among reviewers is that this brace is a bit bulky, and some people report itching after a full day of wear. As with many products that use Velcro straps, you may need to replace the Velcro on your own at some point if you want the brace to last.
Don’t Miss: What Causes Arthritis In The Knee
What Is Cti Braces
CTi braces provide the ultimate combination of stabilization and protection of the knee joint. CTi uses Accutrac ® hinges with extension stops to glide with the knee. In addition, breathable liners coated with Sensil ® silicone ensure the CTi remains properly positioned on the leg for optimal functional benefit.
How Do Knee Braces Help
Knee braces balance the weight in your knee so the area with the most arthritis pain wont have as much pressure on it. Most knee braces are made from metal, plastic, rubber and foam padding. The padding is meant to alleviate any soreness from wearing the knee brace. Even with some foam padding it is possible you may experience some discomfort. That small discomfort, however, may be far less difficult to endure than exercising/moving without a knee brace, so the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
We construct custom knee braces for patients suffering from arthritis or knee injuries at Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centres of Ontario. If you have chronic pain and want to improve your mobility, please call us at 579-9938.
Don’t Miss: How To Strengthen Knee Muscles
Not Sure If You Require A Custom Knee Brace
If you have a knee injury or pain, but youre not sure if a custom knee brace could benefit, get a referral to one of our orthopedic surgeons. Theyll examine your knee and review your scans to help you make a well-informed decision based on your knees condition.
Get in touch with us to learn more about our custom knee braces and how they can benefit your knee joint and general health.
How Do I Get A Good Knee Brace
First, your doctor will write a prescription for a knee brace for you based on your level of pain and where the discomfort is located in your knee. S/he will then refer you to an orthotist who professionally designs custom knee braces for those with knee discomfort. Custom knee braces can cost up to $1500.00, so it is advisable to check how much your health insurance may or may not cover if for a knee brace.
During the first fitting with an orthotist they will make sure your knee brace fits properly. They will explain how to put it on and take it off. They may ask you to walk around with the knee brace, and make appropriate adjustments. This is the time to share with the orthotist any discomfort you may feel, or if you want more adjustments made..
You May Like: What Causes Your Knee To Give Out
Custom Knee Braces For Arthritis
Osteoarthritis , commonly referred to as arthritis, is a common ailment that can affect 1 out of every 2 people by the age of 85. One of the most common areas to get arthritis is the knee joint. This can be an incredibly painful and lifestyle-altering malady. Arthritis poses a Catch-22 for those afflicted with it: Arthritis makes it painful to move the knee joint, but movement is helpful in reducing pain and loss of mobility. As the saying goes: motion is lotion.
Best Overall: Ezyfit Knee Brace Support Dual Stabilizers & Open Patella
Open spot for the patella
Velcro may be slightly uncomfortable to some
Not machine washable
What do buyers say? 80% of 3,000+ Amazon reviewers rated it 4 stars or above.
The EzyFit knee brace has anti-slip straps that are bi-directional and can keep the brace in place for long periods of time, making it the best overall option. It has an open spot at the patella, which is great for relieving any symptoms of tendonitis or patellofemoral-related pressure or pain. Its also ideal for those who are working past injuries or need support on their journey to recovery after surgery.
Made of neoprene, nylon, and polyester, the brace is super easy to wash and wear. What’s more, it comes in three different sizes.
Material: Neoprene, nylon, and polyester | Fit: Adjustable, comes in three different sizes | Feel: Soft and secure enough to exercise and workout in
Also Check: Can You Get Gout In The Back Of Your Knee
Other Injuries And Conditions
Anterior Cruciate Ligament /Posterior Cruciate Ligament tears
Medial Collateral Ligament /Lateral Collateral Ligament tears
General Knee Instability
Some types of knee injuries, diseases and conditions may respond to focused shockwave therapy. At Mimico Medical Physiotherapy we specialize in this type of treatment so be sure to inquire with one of our therapists during your knee brace consultation.
Best For Plus Sizes: Nvorliy Plus Size Knee Brace
Adjustable straps to ensure perfect fit
Designed with six flexible springs for support
Velcro placement may be uncomfortable
It can be unnecessarily difficult to find the correct sizing, but this brace eliminates all of those worries. It comes in an XL through 6XL and relieves pressure enough to provide immediate pain relief. It contains six built-in steel springs, which are intended to provide extra stability. This brace is designed with activities in mindso dont you worry about putting too much pressure on it.
While there is an extensive sizing guide available, there are also adjustable straps that will help you personally tailor the amount of pressure thats put on your knee and patella. The brace is made of neoprene, nylon, and spandex, and is specifically formulated with materials that are intended to reduce smell and bacteria buildup.
Material: Neoprene, nylon, and spandex | Fit: Adjustable | Feel: Cushioned support
Read Also: How Long Does Knee Bursitis Last