One of the most common parts afflicted with arthritis are the knee joints, and using arthritis knee braces is an age-old method for reducing the debilitating pain that occurs alongside arthritis. Arthritis knee braces can lessen the stress on the leg and knee, gradually aligning the leg in the appropriate position to relieve arthritis pain.
Arthritis knee braces come in two generic categories – custom-made and off-the-shelf. “Off the shelf” involves choosing suitable braces from an off-the-rack set, while “custom-made” pertains to pre-ordering braces based on explicit condition and considering the patient’s unique knee requirements. Clearly, custom-made braces are more costly than the off the shelf braces. On the other hand, a custom-made brace is signigficantly better, as it is custom-designed to address your own condition. Along with knee braces, shoe type is also vital to determine your body pressure on your knees. The kind of shoes you wear can either reduce or increase your pain.
Besides the two broad classes, arthritis knee braces can also be grouped into 4 types.
An off-loader arthritis knee brace, also known as an unloader, is normally worn to correct knee alignment. Off-loader braces support the knee by reducing the valgus or varus stress from the knees, or the abnormal mechanical alignment on one side of the knee.
Prophylactic braces, meanwhile, are worn typically by patients with knee injuries, usually sports injuries.
Conversely, rehabilitative braces are recommended to restore lateral and/or medial mobility. Rehabilitative braces likewise repair the extension & flexion of the joints of the knee in the wake of injuries or a related surgery.
OA knee braces, as their name indicates, are worn especially by those suffering from Osteoarthritis (OA). These braces manage pain by enabling proper knee alignment.
In general, these braces are an inexpensive and reliable way of reducing knee joint pain. Knee braces have been known to work in most cases. Nonetheless, there are some concerns about their efficiency.
Some experts insist that braces are only a fleeting treatment to a long-lasting condition, and often delay the requirement for knee replacement surgery. The support of these knee braces can incapacitate the muscles of the legs and knees, which will ultimately cause permanent weakness and all the more allow the condition to deteriorate.
However, numerous users swear that regular use of these braces are effective in fixing knee alignment, manage your body weight on the knee, and significantly relieving pain.
Of course, the end results of knee brace use are dependent on the unique conditions of each case and should not be oversimplified. The patient’s body constitution, overall health, as well as the degree of arthritis, and other factors, may affect the results of knee braces.
In picking out the right arthritis knee braces for you, always keep your own requirements in mind. The particular type of knee brace you need will depend on the gravity of your pain or the stage of your arthritis. The more serious the injury, the larger the braces required. Off the shelf braces are equally as reliable as custom-made types, except if you have a unique pain/area to treat or a rather unusual knee shape.
As always, it is imperative that you discuss this with a physician first to determine the appropriate knee brace type applicable to your condition. Always consult a qualified physician prior to going for any method of treatment, whether medications or alternate remedies or braces.