Are you into contact sports? If yes, maybe you should consider knee braces. The Best Compression Knee Sleeve can be used to prevent and treat injuries related to the knee and have proven their effectiveness. Researchers agree that knee braces offer some benefit in prevention of injuries. One study found that people who wore a certain type of brace had half the risk of suffering an injury to the knee than those who didn’t.
1. Prophylactic knee braces
Unlike other braces, which are made to rehabilitate or support the knee after an injury, prophylactic braces are developed to prevent injury to one of the major ligaments of the knee commonly referred to as MCL. These braces comprise of adhesive straps, bars and hinges and that are designed to increase knee stiffness.
Studies have shown that they are indeed effective in preventing injury or re-injury after a previous knee ligament injury. A past study showed that prophylactic braces could provide as much as 30% increase in knee stiffness and MCL strain relief. These braces are useful in contact sports such as football or hockey or basketball and in particular for players who take a defensive role.
2. Functional knee braces
These braces are used for rehabilitation after a knee injury. They provide support to the knee while an injury is healing. They reduce instability that could result from the injury and protect other parts of the knee from injury especially when the athlete is involved in high impact sports such as jumping, pivoting or twisting.
Functional knee braces can also be used for support for those who have had surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament commonly call ACL. So must they be custom made for you? Not really; unless your doctor insists. As long as they fit properly, over the shelf braces will work just fine.
3. Rehabilitative braces
Too much movement at the joint is not beneficial after an injury and may cause further damage. These braces limit knee movements after injury or after surgery. Because of their rehabilitative nature, they are not completely rigid and give an allowance for swelling which is common with injured tissues.
To promote healing, rehabilitative braces are used together with crutches as putting too much weight on the knee can slow down the healing process. It could worsen the situation or result in pain. These braces consist of foam liners, rigid bars, and adjustable hinges.
4. Unloader/ offloader braces
Arthritis affects the joints and causes pain and swelling. When it affects the knees, it limits movements, and standing becomes a problem. These types of braces are useful for people with arthritic knees especially those with osteoarthritis in the inner knee. Unloader braces provide relief by easing pressure from the joint and transferring it to the thigh bone. A doctor could recommend these braces as you await knee replacement surgery to reduce discomfort.
5. Knee sleeves
These are not braces but work in almost the same way. They provide support to the knee by compressing the knee joint while still allowing movement. They are made of flexible material and are ideal for non-professional athletes. You do not require a prescription for this. You could beef up your joints at any time you feel necessary.