Choosing the Right Orthotic Knee Brace for Protection and Function

Choosing the Right Orthotic Knee Brace for Protection and Function

If you are experiencing knee pain or discomfort from a chronic condition, an orthotic knee brace can provide relief, support, and increased mobility.

Many varieties of supportive knee orthotics are available today to address many conditions and injuries that cause knee pain. Do not assume that knee braces are a one-size-fits-all type of device: protective knee supports are highly nuanced pieces of technology that can be used off-the-shelf or custom fit and fabricated to the specifics of your knees. It is imperative that you lean on an experienced orthotist to help you decide on an orthotic brace that best suits your knee condition.

The Most Common Types of Knee Braces

There are several types of protective knee supports which are available at medical supply stores and some types that are only available through orthotists. An orthotist can consider your specific condition and mobility goals in order to recommend simple elastic braces or more dynamic orthoses, which can be hinged or unhinged to discourage or encourage movement.

Functional Knee Braces

The majority of people who are interested in protective knee supports have already suffered a knee ligament injury. These individuals require a device that will provide support in place of a torn and repaired knee ligament. While they cannot replace the functionality of your knee’s sensitive ligaments, functional knee brace can make an enormous difference to those who utilize them after an injury over those who do not. This type of brace offers considerable knee protection and stability at low loads to support the knee and prevent subsequent injuries.

Prophylactic Knee Braces

A prophylactic knee brace is meant to be worn by more active individuals who want to prevent knee injuries while working out or participating in athletic activities. Studies throughout the past half century have shown that athletes who wear prophylactic knee braces suffer fewer injuries than those who do not wear them.

Unloading Knee Braces

Unloading braces, also known as valgus knee braces, are meant to offer relief for those who suffer from knee arthritis. They are specially designed to create an external force that reduces the pressure placed on the medial compartment of the knee where arthritis pain is most common. The general aim of this type of knee brace is to reduce knee pain.

Knee Immobilizers

Knee immobilizing braces completely limit movement of the knee following acute knee injuries. Depending upon your doctor’s recommendation, immobilization may be required to allow an injury to completely heal.

Horton’s Orthotics & Prosthetics Is Here for You

While using a knee brace is key to repairing and preventing knee injuries, alleviating pain is only half of the battle. For advanced injuries and conditions, custom fit knee orthoses may be necessary to address specific needs. Consult an orthotist at Horton’s Orthotics and Prosthetics to learn more about protective knee supports that can provide protect and function where you need it most. Call us at 501.683.8889 to make an appointment with an orthotist today.

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Image taken by Iwona Erskine-Kellie and licensed through Creative Commons