Knee braces are supports that are designed to alleviate pain in an individual’s knee. They are being worn as well by people to prevent knee injuries during sports. Braces are made from materials such as metals, plastic, foam, or elastic materials and straps.

There are various reasons people wear knee support braces or sleeves:

  • It helps them relieve pain in sore knee cases
  • They are able to protect their knees during sports
  • Activities that involve direct knee-to-ground contact, with steady pressure to the knee, require the use of knee support braces
  • People with serious knee pain that affects walking can use knee support braces, pending when they see a doctor

First Step To Take

To begin with, you need to be specific to your objectives. Identify what category you fall into; do you need knee support braces to protect your knees during sports or work? Or, is it needed for the treatment of sprains, soreness, or other injuries that require less immediate medical service? Depending on your condition, you can study different treatment options ranging from self-care to orthopedics. In the case of self-care, you can select a knee brace, which is sometimes recommended by a physical therapist as part of a treatment program. It may also be recommended by orthopedic doctors as either a stop-gap measure before a surgery or post-surgery support.

Differences Between Knee Sleeves And Knee Braces

Individuals with knee pain use compression elastic knee sleeves for soreness and sport participation reasons. Knee sleeves are supports that slip on over the leg and are used for treating pain and soreness. Whereas, knee braces are usually strap-ons with self-fastening “hook and loop” materials which fastens together when they come into contact. They both protect previous knee injuries from further damage, and prevent future injury. For individuals that engage in regular exercises such as running, jumping, or weightlifting, knee support braces/sleeves are ideal. With compression elastic knee sleeves, one’s knee is being stabilized and pain is greatly reduced after an exercise. It is important to know that a knee brace is designed to protect an individual’s anterior knee and patella. Some knee sleeves come with supporting side stabilizers that provide better support for an individual’s ligaments. There are three most common knee support braces/sleeves, which are:

  • Open knee support sleeves with hook and loop self-fasteners
  • Full closed sleeves with slip-ons
  • Open patella slip-ons

Varieties Of Knee Braces

There are the most common types of braces which include self-fastening strap-on knee braces and slip-on knee sleeves for both open and closed patella. Other specialized varieties include:

  • Tourmaline strap-on
  • Magnetic knee compression sleeve
  • Copper fiber
  • Bamboo fiber
  • Wide with wraparound wraps
  • Narrow width straps
  • Padded sleeves
  • Gel sleeves
  • Heavy-duty work knee pads

Levels Of Protection For Knee Braces/Sleeves

You need to look out for levels of protection ranging from level 1 to 3+ when choosing the right knee support braces. With level 1 braces come the least amount of support. However, it is the most flexible. An example of this is a knee sleeve. It is best used to relieve pain and provide moderate support during activities.

Level 2 protection provides more support than level 1. Although they are not as flexible, they still offer a range of movement. An example of this is the wraparound braces and knee straps. Finally, level 3 protection offers you more support at the expense of limited movement. This type of brace is also heavier; an example being the hinged knee brace. It is ideal for individuals that are recovering from surgery. For those looking for maximum protection, then it is ideal to go with the 3+ level.

How To Get A Knee Brace

You need to consult a doctor, who will tell you if a knee brace is needed or not. Also, you will be informed on what kind of knee brace you should get and where you can get it. You can get simple knee sleeves and supports at various pharmacies or medical supply stores. Some individuals order knee braces directly from manufacturers online. Your doctor is the best position to guide you through and may know ideal places you can get the right knee brace. With that, you can get the right brace with the right size.

A number of these knee braces cost hundreds of dollars, with some having medical insurance. However, keep in mind that not all expensive braces are the best.

How To Use A Knee Brace

Your doctor will give you directions on how to use a knee brace. Depending on the type of treatment and the kind of knee brace, you will be guided on when to wear it. Some of these braces are worn at all times, while others are worn during exercise, sports, or other physical activities. Always check the position of the brace during activities to ensure that it is not out of place. Wrongly positioned braces can cause more harm than good.

Taking Care Of Your Knee Brace

Constant use of a knee brace will often lead to wear and tear. This implies that you should inspect your brace constantly for such an occurrence. Some doctors have the perception that knee braces may increase the number of injuries in sport athletes. However, most knee brace users believe that it helps. Although, knee braces should not be fully relied on for preventing knee injury or healing after an injury. What is more important is having good strength and flexibility. Constantly stretch the muscles around your knee, strengthen your legs, and enhance your techniques.

Gradually modify activity intensity and training schedules to limit stress. Work alongside with your doctor to come up with an exercise plan to get the best program for you. Some people greatly improve with knee braces than others. Find out the one that best helps you. However, do not be fully dependent on it without improving on yourself. Have it in mind that your doctor is the ideal person to discuss how best a knee brace would work for you.

To find out more about knee support braces/sleeves and how to get one, please visit this link: Knee Support.