Whether you have a knee injury, knee pain or arthritis, knee braces can offer the support required to improve mobility and relieve pain. There are many types of knee orthotics available, from one-size-fits all options to completely customized orthotics designed to fit your knee and condition perfectly. Knee braces are ideal for postoperative recovery, ligament strains or ruptures, knee instability and osteoarthritis. Custom knee braces can provide speedier recovery from injury as well as faster postoperative rehabilitation. Here’s an overview of custom knee braces and why they make the best choice if you want to see results.
The most important step in finding the right knee brace is the proper diagnosis and recommended treatment plan. As registered physiotherapists, we will:
- Determine the type of knee injury or cause of your pain, such as ligament strains, osteoarthritis, meniscal damage, and general knee pain.
- Recommend the right type of knee brace based on your injury or cause of your pain.
- Determine the time period you are required to wear your knee brace based on the type of injury or severity of your pain.
Common Types of Knee Braces
Our team of registered physiotherapists is fully trained in dispensing custom knee braces. We are experienced in handling all types of injuries and providing the most effective treatment to assist you through the recovery process. This includes choosing the right type of custom knee brace for your needs.
There are three basic types of knee braces available, whether you are considering buying something off the shelf or are having a custom knee brace made through our office. As orthotics specialists, we can recommend the type that is best for you whether you need to increase mobility or need to keep your knee straight to allow it to heal.
The three categories of knee braces are:
1.Patellofemoral Knee Brace: Sometimes called Knee Immobilizers, this brace is designed to limit movement following a serious knee injury. The kneecap is held firmly in place with a strap and the patella is offered support while still allowing the knee to move safely.
2. Functional Knee Braces: The functional brace is specifically used to treat sports injuries and ligament damage, including medial collateral ligament, lateral collateral ligament and anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments. It is designed to provide support in the case of a torn and repaired knee ligament, providing protection and stability for your knee so it is properly supported to avoid and prevent further injury
3. Unloader Knee Braces: Unloader braces are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and knee joint pain and provide stability. They have hinges to reduce friction and support joints, while offering relief from symptoms caused by issues such as arthritis. Unloaders reduce the pressure placed on the medial compartment of the knee to reduce knee pain.
There are also Prophylactic Knee Braces which are designed to prevent knee injuries for active individuals and athletes while helping to improve performance.
Off the Shelf Knee Braces
You might be tempted to grab a knee brace off the shelf as they are readily available at home health care stores and tend to be an affordable option. They come in one size fits all varieties. as well as sizes ranging from small to extra large. They can even sometimes be available in left and right options. These options can work if you are in pain and want a cost-effective quick fix, but they are not ideal for severe injuries. In some cases, they can even cause more harm if you choose the wrong type for your condition. It’s always best to speak to a medical professional or our team before you try to self-prescribe for any type of pain!
Custom Knee Braces
A well-fitted, custom-made knee brace will provide you with the best possible results as they are designed with both the perfect fit and your required treatment in mind. The benefits of a custom knee brace include:
- Exact custom fit
- The ability to customize if needed based on the length, alignment, etc.
- Ideal for more severe injuries
- Ideal for longer term use
Custom Knee Braces for Pain Treatment
A registered physiotherapist can provide you with the best advice on the proper knee brace, as we understand how knees function. We have the training required to identify the different conditions that can lead to pain and mobility issues. We will use your specific problem to come up with the best way to solve your issue based on your lifestyle. It’s very important to consider not only recovery but your level of activity to ensure your knee brace allows you to heal while also performing your everyday activities.
Custom Knee Braces for Postoperative Treatment
Following knee surgery, it is not uncommon to believe you will have complete loss of mobility and that your life will drastically change. However, bracing has helped patients return to a level of function and activity they thought would be permanently lost. Custom knee braces are recommended following surgery as they can stabilize and protect the knee joint from injury. This is necessary to assist in the healing process while helping you have the support you need during daily activities.
Modern Knee Brace Design
Although wearing a knee brace isn’t going to get you on a best dressed list any time soon, the good news is that technology has improved custom knee braces, providing lighter materials that can often be worn under your pants. We also offer a wider variety of colours to choose from when having a custom knee brace crafted for you. The new designs are stronger and more durable, offering effective offloading and protection for your knee.
Custom knee braces are crafted using your precise measurements to ensure a perfect fit. Innovative technology is used to create extra comfort and fit, such as air mesh vents and frame pads for better airflow. The vents keep your skin dry and reduce pinching while pads help alleviate pressure points.