The knee braces are used both to prevent pain and to promote recovery from muscle or joint injuries resulting from physical activity. The market offers a large number of models based on the usefulness of the support. The choice may fall on different types of braces, depending on the shape, structure or even the materials used (elastic fabrics, foam and even metal or plastic).
The first thing to stress is that it is not always necessary or advisable to use these products. The orthopedic doctor or the physiotherapist should always prescribe the use of knee braces, possibly also indicating the type and model. Fortunately, as you will see below, there are solutions for any type of problem and guarantee maximum comfort, reducing recovery times after injury.
6 knee braces that you need to know
In this article, we will illustrate the peculiarities and characteristics of the most commonly used knee braces in sports. There may be variations more or less faithful to those we have included in our list but, in general, these are those recommended for the various types of traumas and pathologies inherent to the muscle-joint mobility of the knees. We are sure that knowing them all will help you choose the one that best suits your case.
1. Elastic brace with splints and stabilizer
This model consists of an elastic knee brace that will block and support the joint. A special feature of this product is the incorporation of a stabilizer for the ball joint, which minimizes the impact of the movement and guarantees precision in the bending movement.
Furthermore, this model of brace can have bilateral, flexible containment rods, to accompany joint mobility. The structure is held together by some elastic bandages (maybe 2 or 3) that the patient can adjust and fix on the Velcro. With a simple procedure, therefore, it will be possible to adapt the brace and allow more or less movement. This will obviously depend on the indications of the doctor or physiotherapist.
This type of knee support is recommended in cases of recovery from dislocations or subluxations of the patella. Also during patellar tendinitis, or in the case of lateral distortions. This is probably the most conservative solution compared to the other knee braces that we will see below. The level of support is almost total, more rigid and perfect for those who have just been operated, but not only.
The different sizes of this brace allow it to be used for most sports activities. It is necessary to find the indicated size, since these products usually offer six different alternative sizes, based on the diameter of the thigh that you can get by measuring it at about 15 centimeters, upwards, from the patella.
2. Fabric brace
The first advantage of this guardian is, certainly, being absolutely easy and quick to wear for those who have any knee pain. Its main function, in addition to containing the joint, is to heat and maintain a constant temperature in this area of the leg.
Being lighter than the model seen before, it does not hinder the movement of the knee and indeed promotes blood circulation. Some models may incorporate a silicone liner that makes these knee braces non-slip and very practical.
The second point in favor of these models concerns the fact that they exercise a dynamic elastic compression, which will allow you to use the brace throughout the day. You will hardly notice it. They are the seams, the anti-slip adjustment, and its composition, which make it ideal even in preventive cases. That is when only some initial pain is felt and the tutor serves as a deterrent to prevent the situation from falling.
3. Compression knee braces
This product is recommended for cases of localized inflammation, especially in sprains and arthritis. It is also often recommended for people who have a problem with blood circulation.
In this sense, this knee support is chosen by people who, despite fatigue, have to get up every day to do hard work or carry out particularly intense training routines.
Among the advantages of this type of device we immediately tell you that it can be worn under clothing without problems. Moreover, it adheres with precision to the skin, avoiding the appearance of annoying folds.
Being designed for prolonged use, these types of stakes are made of breathable elastic materials. Although it may seem something trivial, compression and sweating could favor some skin disorders. A model like the one in the photo, on the contrary, will allow you to avoid unpleasant situations like rashes or eczema.
4. Guardian stabilizer
As the name suggests, this line offers a serious alternative to those who have very specific problems with respect to the lack of stability. To cite a unique aspect of this product, it can be seen that it leaves the kneecap uncovered, in its central part. This promotes air circulation, even under clothing.
5. Tutor for the patella
Some brands offer two types of patellar braces, specially designed for conditions such as patellar tendinitis and chondromalacia of the patella, a disorder that affects the posterior patella cartilage. In these cases a strict alignment of the patella is necessary. These are assumptions in which the pain can be intense and, inevitably, the patient will have to resort to specific treatments.
The braces for the patella have a different appearance from the others, being considerably more open. The correct closure is guaranteed by two “strips” with Velcro which also allow the kneecap to stabilize. This is a crucial aspect, given that it improves safety when the injured person begins their rehabilitation process.
6. Reinforced knee braces for clinical recovery
With a sturdier appearance and completely closed, these braces are equipped with adjustable straps and bearings in the lower part of the kneecap. The purpose of this knee brace is to guarantee maximum stability but also to prevent further bumps.
Moreover, they are equipped with adjustments that will allow you to manage the lateral stabilizers and possibly limit lateral movements of the knee. If you choose this model, you need to know the types of reinforcements needed for the lesson you will be working on.
As you have seen, the great variety of models and the specificity of each of them makes it necessary to consult the doctor and the physiotherapist to be able to choose the most suitable knee braces for your needs. In addition to the objectives of recovery therapies, the new materials and technologies in the sports field will allow you a more comfortable rehabilitation and, in some cases, you will be able to perform physical activity without any contraindication.