Do Knee Braces Really Work? Why Would I Need One?
Short answer: Yes, knee braces are very effective for stabilizing knees and preventing further injury.
Anyone who has used a knee brace will tell you that knee braces help reduce pain and assist in recovery by helping support the knee and preventing it from hyper extending. The world's doctors have been bracing the general public for a while, and many studies on how braces work have been done. Even some famous athletes use knee braces - Robert Griffin III (football player) used a knee brace to help him with his knee issues. Andrew Bynum (basketball player) used a knee brace to support his knee as well. So they're at least good enough for famous athletes.
However, tons of non-famous athletes trust braces as well. You might have seen someone using a knee brace to help them walk, or recover from a surgery or injury. Maybe you have seen someone at the local skatepark using a knee brace to help with knee problems. The bottom line is that knee braces do, in fact, work. Whether you're a famous athlete or not, they're a proven method to stabilize knees and joints.
Now this isn't to say that a knee brace will work on everyone - some people might be better off not wearing a knee brace. It's important to talk to a doctor about using a knee brace and have them help you make the decision. It's the general consensus however that knee braces do their intended job - which is to stabilize the knee and prevent odd movements that result in injuries to bones, ligaments, and muscles. This won't necessarily prevent injury, but it could help.
So we know that braces definitely do something to stabilize the knee - but how exactly do they work? That depends on the type of knee brace you get. A simple neoprene sleeve might serve to stabilize the patella, and fit over the thigh and upper leg to provide compression therapy. A more complex knee brace might serve to completely stabilize the whole knee assembly, preventing certain ligaments from moving, and preventing the whole joint from hyper extending.
The Ossur off the shelf CTi knee brace, for example is designed to stabilize a wobbly knee due to various ligament issues or other problems. There is even a specialized model for the PCL ligament. The brace attaches above and below the knee, and takes some of the weight off the joint and ligaments surrounding the knee joint. The brace has specially designed joints ("accutrac" joints) that track the movement of the knee, and prevent translation/side to side movement. It even comes with an optional patella cap, which can protect the knee from flying rocks or debris (important if you go offroading or dirtbiking)
An offloading brace works to "offload" the pressure points in the joint by gently applying pressure to the unaffected side of the knee. Often they include an adjustable hinge so that you can find the most comfortable point That style works like this:
The basic method of action for every rigid knee brace is to give support. A knee brace provides support to weak knees, knees with muscle imbalances, injured knees, and more. If you feel like you might need support for your knee to help prevent pain or to assist in recovery of an injury, talk to a doctor first, then come back to shop-orthopedics and buy a knee brace.
Most people won't need a knee brace unless instructed to wear one by a physician. Often times, physicians will prescribe a knee brace for someone that has weak knees from something like osteoarthritis or ligament damage, or might need to prevent their knee from overextending after a surgery or minor injury. A knee brace can also serve as a physical reminder to athletes to ease back into a sport, as the knee is still healing. This can be a great way to prevent injury by forcing the athlete to work slowly back to their old levels rather than just jumping in and re-injuring themselves. Often times knee braces are administered for recovery, pain, injury, and stabilization.
You can get knee braces right here, at shop-orthopedics. Many other retailers online carry knee braces, but we are one of the most trusted websites in the industry. On top of that, most of our products ship the same day. Often times for free on higher quality knee braces. If you would rather talk to a doctor first, often times they will prescribe you a knee brace, in which case you can come right back here and order one that's suitable for your needs.
Knee braces have been trusted by mankind for many years now. The technology in the knee bracing industry is expanding every year, bringing us higher and higher quality braces with more cool technologies like Accutrac or range-of-motion restricting. Knee braces are more and more prevalent in society - and this is because they work. These high tech exoskeletons are the best way to stabilize a knee and assist in recovery.