What is a knee support?
There are a variety of knee support products on the market with the one you choose being dictated by the type of injury incurred, from a sprain to patella tendonitis to ligament damage.
Injuries in sport can occur as a result of overuse or following a bad fall or crash (depending on your sport). Overuse occurs where the body has done too much and is telling you that you need a rest. Failing to listen to the body can result in further damage being caused and leading to a lengthier spell out of action.
How does a knee support work?
The main purpose is the management of inflammation, the result of an injury where there is trauma to a muscle or joint which can be painful and limit your range of movement and stability. Compression works to manage inflammation of the joint following an injury, one of the main causes of reduced mobility. Some braces also offer the patient the ability to limit the range of motion of their knee joint, thereby protecting them against over extension and potentially further injury.
In general braces and supports can be segmented by preventative and post injury types. In the world of extreme sports including snowboarding and wakeboarding a rigid knee brace is often worn to protect the knee joint against injury, with 40% of all ACL injuries occurring from high impact sports. The ACL is responsible for stabilisation of the knee joint and therefore damage can affect a person’s ability to walk, run and jump.
A serious ACL injury can result in surgery and up to a year on the sidelines enduring intensive rehabilitation in order to rebuild strength in the joint, therefore wearing a rigid knee brace can minimise the risk of serious injury in the event of a fall or crash.
Post injury bracing is designed to offer additional protection for the wearer, where a weakness in a muscle or joint exists. In general, post injury braces are manufactured using compressive material with neoprene one of the most popular choices due to its ability to conform to a patients muscle or joint and offers a superior fit.
What are the benefits of wearing a knee support?
A sports brace should be worn in conjunction with other forms of treatment to expedite your recovery, either with strengthening exercises or physiotherapy. A knee support offers the patient the confidence to continue being active and the stability they require, minimising the risk of further injury during rehabilitation.
The support also works to minimise the risk of further injury during a time when your muscle or joint is weaker and there is an increased risk of further damage being caused during an activity. They are designed to offer you support without impeding mobility, conforming to your body and typically made from breathable material for a more natural feel.
Which knee support should I buy?
Diagnosis is the key in being able to select the correct knee support to ensure that it offers the best possible support, therefore you should speak with a clinician in the first instance. If you are suffering from an ACL injury then a knee support designed to manage patella tendonitis will not offer you the support you require.
If you know the condition you are currently suffering from or wish to protect against then finding the right brace can be very simple, just make sure that your condition is listed in the product information before making a purchase and if it isn’t you should either ask or look for something else. Prices range massively depending on the brand and the technology behind it, from a few pounds to over a hundred and whilst it may be tempting to pick the cheaper option it may offer little support and be a waste of money.
To get a discount on Ossur Products use our unique code CLINIC1001