Knee braces can help with knee pain by providing support and stability to the knee joint, as well as reducing inflammation and pain associated with various types of knee injuries or conditions. This article by fivalifitness explores the topic of whether knee braces help with knee pain. It provides an overview of different types of knee braces and how they work to provide support and stability, as well as reduce inflammation and pain.
Different Types of Knee Braces
There are several types of knee braces available to manage knee pain, including:
- Knee Sleeves: Provides compression and support for the knee joint and can be worn during physical activity to help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Knee supports: Similar to knee sleeves, knee supports provide compression and support to the knee joint but are often used for mild knee pain or instability. They can help improve stability during physical activity.
- Functional Knee Brace: A device for stabilizing the knee joint to help prevent further injury in people with existing knee injuries or instability.
- Hinged knee braces: Equipped with hinges that offer additional support and stability to the knee joint. They are commonly used for moderate to severe knee injuries or after knee surgery.
- Unloader/off-loading knee braces: Used to reduce pressure on a specific area of the knee joint, usually for individuals with osteoarthritis or meniscus tears.
How Knee Braces Help with Knee Pain
Knee braces help address knee pain by providing support and stability to the knee joint, reducing inflammation, and improving alignment and range of motion. Knee braces aim to address different types of knee pain and injuries, including patellofemoral instability, ligament sprains or tears, meniscal injuries, and osteoarthritis.
For example, functional knee braces aim to provide stability and prevent further injury in people with existing knee injuries or instability. These rigidly hinged knee braces, which limit potentially harmful movements such as hyperextension or twisting, can help reduce the risk of further injury.
Rehabilitative knee braces to limit knee motion during surgery or post-injury rehabilitation, and unloading/unloading knee braces to reduce pressure on a specific area of the knee, usually for people with osteoarthritis or meniscus tears. Knee sleeves provide compression and support to the knee joint and can be worn during physical activity to reduce pain and inflammation.
The results of knee braces may vary from person to person, depending on the specific type of knee pain being experienced. One important thing is to consult with a medical professional before using a knee brace to determine the underlying cause of knee pain and the appropriate treatment plan.
Effectiveness of Knee Braces for Knee Pain
The effectiveness of knee braces for knee pain depends on several factors, including the underlying cause of the knee pain, the type of knee brace used, and the individual’s activity level. While knee braces may help control knee pain, the effect may vary from person to person and depending on the specific knee condition experienced.
Studies of knee braces show that they can be effective in reducing pain and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis or meniscal tears. For example, unloading/unloading knee braces can help reduce pressure on the affected area of the knee and provide pain relief. Flexible knee braces can also help prevent further injury in people with existing knee injuries or instability.
These may not be effective for all types of knee pain and injuries. For some conditions, such as patellar instability or ligament sprains, other treatments such as physical therapy or surgery may be more effective. Some people are likely to find knee braces uncomfortable or bulky, which may limit their use.
When to Use a Knee Brace for Knee Pain
The following are some situations when a healthcare professional is likely to advise the use of a knee brace to treat knee pain:
- After a knee injury: A knee brace after a knee injury may be recommended to provide support and stability to the knee joint as it heals.
- For people with knee instability: A person who experiences knee instability may benefit from wearing a knee brace to help improve stability and reduce the risk of further injury.
- For people with osteoarthritis: Knee braces can help to reduce pain and improve function in people with mild to moderate osteoarthritis. Unloading/unloading the knee brace can help reduce pressure on specific areas of the knee affected by osteoarthritis.
- During physical activity: Knee braces, such as running knee pads and soccer knee pads, can be worn during physical activity to provide compression and support, and to reduce pain and inflammation.
- As part of a rehabilitation program: A rehabilitative knee brace as part of a rehabilitation program after surgery or injury to limit knee motion and promote healing.