Osteoarthritis leads to chronic pain and the loss of function. Choosing the right knee brace gives you lasting relief while preventing future injuries and pain symptoms.
But finding the best knee brace for osteoarthritis can be a challenge if you don’t know what to look for.
The following will give you the resources you need to choose the right knee brace to help you achieve improved function and health.
How Knee Braces Can Help
Knee braces can reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis by minimizing the stress placed on the compromised knee.
Osteoarthritis can lead to damage of the joint tissues. By creating unequal distributions in weight, it can lead to further misalignment that impacts movement and can further damage the joint tissues.
By shifting your weight off of the affected part of the joint, you ease the symptoms you may be experiencing. This is especially important for patients who have problems with knees that buckle when they stand.
The right knee brace minimizes these and other issues while helping patients walk and perform other daily activities. This is critical to achieving long-term function and wellness.
The right knee brace can improve your mobility and allow you to walk longer distances without any pain. They’re constructed using a combination of materials that includes metal, synthetic rubber, padding, and plastic.
There are different designs to choose from, and you’ll need to consult with your physiotherapist to determine which one is right for you.
Single-piece knee braces create compression and support for the knee. They can be used in mild to moderate cases of osteoarthritis.
Unloader braces reduce the contact made between bones of the knee joint. For more significant cases of osteoarthritis, unloader braces may be the best option for stabilizing the knee and improving mobility.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis that affects the joints of the body. Older adults typically experience osteoarthritis of the knees, requiring them to use knee braces in order to maintain function and find relief from pain.
Osteoarthritis can become worse over time, leading to alignment issues that further contribute to the stress being placed on the joints.
It may also cause people to alter their movement patterns to avoid pain. This can lead to compensations that contribute to other movement dysfunctions.
Choosing the Best Knee Brace for Osteoarthritis
Finding the right knee brace prevents common issues that can arise. These include discomfort, swelling or irritation, and the inability to get the results you want from your knee brace.
Your doctor can determine the right knee brace for your osteoarthritis in order to design and fit your brace so that it’s customized to your body’s unique design.
The cost of your knee brace is something that patients need to consider. Some health insurance providers may offer assistance in covering the cost of these and other beneficial tools.
You should check with your health care plan to determine how much you’ll need to invest in order to get the right knee brace that leads to lasting relief.
In addition to pain relief, a knee brace allows the ligaments of the joints to heal properly. Injuries related to the medial collateral ligament (MCL) or the anterior collateral ligament (ACL) lead to a significant loss of function. Limiting knee movement through the use of a brace allows the knee to bend within a safe range of motion during recovery.
Pain related to the patella (kneecap) occurs due to weakness or wear of the underlying cartilage develops. Some braces are designed to keep the patella in place and reduce pain symptoms. This lets you perform the exercises needed to achieve a full recovery.
Fitting Your Knee Brace
A knee brace can only provide results if it’s customized to your body’s design. A proper fitting is the first step in achieving this goal, and your physiotherapist will make sure that your knee brace reduces joint stress while improving function.
Your physiotherapist conducts a comprehensive physical examination and determines what activities you plan to participate in after receiving your knee brace.
A gait analysis can determine the quality of your existing movement, which allows you to monitor the results you obtain through using your knee brace over time.
Measurements are taken to identify the right size, and you can discuss various options that are available on the market. Understanding how knee braces can differ from each other ensures that you get the right one that works.
In order to determine the right fit for your knee brace, you’ll need to provide information related to your physical activity and health history. This results in a fit that gives you the many benefits that knee braces offer.
You should use the knee brace according to the instructions and recommendations made by your doctor. Proper use of a knee brace is critical to getting the most out of its use.
Contact Focus Physiotherapy to learn more about finding the right knee brace to help you overcome osteoarthritis.