Knee braces are assistive devices that help alleviate knee pain from arthritis, injury or another cause.
Knee braces come in a variety of designs and so there is sure to be one to help with your situation.
Our health experts compiled the following list of the most important benefits of knee braces.
6 Benefits Of Knee Braces
Knee braces provide a wealth of primary and secondary benefits that our health experts have listed below.
1: Knee braces can help people with arthritic knees.
However, knee braces can also help people who have arthritis in their knee (one of the most common locations for osteoarthritis). Knee braces help either offload forces from the knee entirely or shift its distribution away from areas where your cartilage is damaged.
2: Obese individuals may also benefit, but should talk to their doctor.
Studies have found that knee bracing is effective at increasing space inside your knee joint, but the increase in joint space was less effective in people who were obese (1).
This makes sense from a mechanical perspective: heavier people have a lot more force pushing their femur “down” into the knee joint, so offloading this force to increase joint space likely takes more rigidity than a knee brace can supply. So, these results indicate that losing weight might be necessary if you want to get the maximum benefit from a knee brace.
3: Knee braces can provide relief from everyday knee pain.
People who have mild or moderate chronic knee stiffness, swelling, or pain also find knee braces quite useful; often, they don’t need as much support and structure in their knee brace as people trying to offload their knee to allow an injury to heal or to alleviate the pain associated with arthritis. The specific kind of knee pain that you are trying to treat affects the type of knee brace that’s best-suited for you.
4: Knee braces come is a variety of styles to suit your needs.
Generally, the more severe or long-standing knee pain you are dealing with, the more structure you want in your knee brace. A person with degenerative osteoarthritis in their knee that’s lasted for several years may want a very rigid and supportive knee brace; if you just have some occasional knee swelling from old sports injuries, something softer and less restrictive might be the way to go.
5: If one knee brace is working for you, try another.
The efficacy of any given knee brace varies substantially from person to person (2). This has important implication: different knee brace designs are likely to have different effects on your intra-joint bone spacing, and therefore, differ in their ability to reduce knee pain. It’s definitely a good idea to try a knee brace for a few days or a week. It might take a few tries to get right, but it’s well worth trying out many different options to find the knee brace that is most effective at reducing your pain.
6: Even a soft knee knee braces can improve stability and posture.
In contrast to the strong, heavy-duty knee braces that are designed to offload force from your knee joint, you may have noticed a number of other knee braces on the market that seem to be nothing more than a fabric sleeve to cover your knee, possibly with a hole for the kneecap. Nonetheless, these can still be useful in promoting good posture (3).
Soft knee braces or knee sleeves can also be useful for people with mild knee pain, or who want to do activities that a traditional knee brace is too restrictive for, but who still want a little bit of protection at their knee.
Knee braces are simple, easy to use assistive devices that enable people with knee pain to obtain relief. Whether that pain is the result of years of wear and tear, an injury, arthritis or any other source, you are likely to find that a knee brace can help you deal with it.