We’ve all been there: going about our business, doing our favorite sport or activity, or maybe just trying to get to and from work—when suddenly we feel a shooting pain or notice inflammation around our knee area. Don’t let this knee pain stop you from living your life and participating in the things you love. Adding a knee support brace to your daily activities may give you the relief you need.
What Is Knee Support?
Knee support offers a range of benefits to those who need structural support or pain relief due to a sports injury, a chronic illness such as arthritis, or to those who may spend hours at a time on their feet, causing discomfort to the knee joints. The proper knee support can also help reduce inflammation while improving circulation, making daily activities more comfortable.
Why Use Knee Support?
A knee brace is widely used as a form of treatment for many of the common problems surrounding knee pain. They are affordable, comfortable to wear, and easy to find at most drug stores or pharmacies.
What Is the Best Knee Support?
When choosing the best knee brace, it is important first to know what you are treating and why you are using knee support in the first place. Are you planning to play sports? Are you treating arthritis? Have you done physical therapy, or are you planning to? Speaking with your doctor will put you on the right track to the correct type of support based on your particular needs. Most knee braces are made from lightweight materials like neoprene, which provide structure, while others are made to help absorb moisture to ensure comfort and ease of use. Some may also incorporate plastic or metal bars to provide extra stability and support. Below is a list of some the most common types of braces and their functions:
This style is easy to pull on and off and allows you a customizable fit without any extra bulk. Simply adjust the straps at the top and the bottom of the brace, and you are good to go. A wraparound is ideal for athletes who suffer from mild to moderate knee pain, or a patellar instability or dislocation. It can also be worn during activity.
A compression sleeve works best to alleviate the pain associated with moderate chronic knee pain and arthritis. This type of support brace works by redistributing weight, causing less stress on the knee. Perfect for use while playing sports, Compression sleeves form comfortably to the body and aren’t bulky, which is a massive plus for wearing underneath clothing.
Bands and Straps
Designed to apply pressure equally across the knee to help reduce tendon soreness, this very easy-to-use strap is suggested for those who experience pain from patellar tendonitis, also known as jumper’s knee. This device is tiny and can be worn during activity as well as under clothing.
Knit Knee Sleeve
A knitted knee sleeve is a perfect treatment option for those who are not necessarily seeking out support during intense physical activity but are looking for a little extra ease for achy knees or pain caused by arthritis. Made from a lightweight knit material, this type of brace slides easily on and off and can be worn all day if need be. There is little bulk, so the sleeve will not be seen underneath clothing.
Are Knee Supports Any Good?
Many people have found relief from pain while using a knee brace. They are not considered a cure and should be used in combination with stretching and practicing proper technique when exercising. Pain management can also include an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen, or cold therapy; which can be done by applying a cold compress or ice pack wrap to areas that are tender, stiff, or experiencing general knee pain.
Is it Okay to Wear a Knee Brace All Day?
Depending on what the brace is being used to treat, it is not often required that a brace be worn all-day and may cause more damage than good if worn too long. However, in some cases, this may be recommended. People who are looking for added support while participating in physical activity, such as running or basketball, should only wear the brace while active. Others who are looking to manage pain while going about their daily duties (climbing stairs, walking for long periods, running errands, etc.), may be advised to wear a lightweight knitted brace throughout the day as a stabilizer. Compression knee sleeves should not be worn at night while you are sleeping. The compression level is too high and can lead to loss of circulation.
How Tight Should Knee Support Be?
The tightness of the brace will vary by user. For a knee support to work effectively, it needs to be reasonably tight but not so tight that it is cutting off circulation, which could lead to more significant problems. A good rule to follow once you tighten the straps is that you should be able to fit two fingers snuggly between your skin and the brace. When using a compression sleeve, it should fit snug and take a little muscle to work it into place, ensuring it stays put and doesn’t slide around while you are moving.
What Is the Best Knee Support for Arthritis?
When it comes to selecting the right kind of support for knee osteoarthritis, you should look for something that will decrease pain while improving mobility. Depending on how bad your arthritis is and where the pain is, your knee will indicate what type of support you benefit from the most. In many cases, a hinged knee brace is suggested for knee pain associated with arthritis, although these tend to be more expensive and are often not coved by insurance.
Do Knee Supports Help Knee Pain?
Many studies show that those leading an active lifestyle or who are suffering from an injury related to sports or arthritis benefit from the use of a knee brace. When combined with regular exercise and healthy habits, adding knee support can be beneficial to managing pain and preventing injury as an alternative to surgery.
Speak with your doctor today to learn more about knee supports, their different uses, and whether or not they are right for you.