A knee brace, technically known as knee orthotic, is a brace worn around the external area of the knee exactly above until below the knee joint. It is generally worn to provide support or align the knee. It helps stabilize the knee by limiting its range of motion or shifting the weight to stronger areas of the legs. It is a part of a treatment such as physical therapy, surgery, and medicines. Can knee brace help arthritis?
Since knee braces are worn around the knees, many people ask if it can help relieve pain caused by arthritis. Many people, especially middle-aged citizens, suffer from arthritis. It is a common musculoskeletal problem caused by excessive pressure on the upper limb orthoses.
Also, it is characterized by progressing damage to the joint cartilage, the cushion between the ends of the long bones. This damage potentially leads to pain, swelling, and muscle weakening. It can be very painful, but there are ways on how to improve the quality of life despite having arthritis.
Other than pain relievers and physical therapy, can knee brace help relieve arthritis?
Can knee brace help arthritis?
Yes, a knee brace helps relieve arthritis. The unloader brace is the specific kind of knee brace used to help relieve pain caused by arthritis. Its design is customized and made from molded steel struts, foam, or plastic that helps limit side movements of the knee.
It shifts that weight from the painful area to a stronger area to help prevent pain. Specifically, it places the three points of pressure on the thigh bone to make the knee bend away from the affected part.
People with arthritis who wore a knee brace for a particular period of over 6 weeks say that the pain has decreased by 40%. Some people had a better condition by doing appropriate physical movements and having a healthy lifestyle.
How to improve quality of life with arthritis?
Anyone from the middle aged group can suffer from arthritis. However, do not let it stop you from being active. While it sounds ironic to keep moving while you feel pain, it is a healthy and inexpensive way to improve the quality of life.
One study proves that physical activities can improve the overall quality of life. Dr. Kai Sun, a researcher at Northwestern University Chicago, conducted a study about it. She studied three groups: the inactive people, people who did a little exercise, and those who exercised for 150 minutes per week.
She found out that as the level of physical activity increases, the overall quality of life gets better. The group who exercised more had increased energy levels, better social life, and general health.
Dr. Milton Helfenstein of the Federal University of San Paulo, Brazil finds the study true. Therefore, he advises his patients strength training and aerobic exercise tailored to their level of fitness and weight. He also recommends a knee brace appropriate for the type of knee arthritis to reduce the friction between the joints and keep the knee stable.
Can a knee brace help knee pain caused by an injury?
There are other kinds of knee braces that help relieve pain caused by injury that happened recently or in the past. Some knee braces also help ease the pain caused by surgery, while others are used to prevent injuries while doing physical activities.
The rehabilitative brace is worn for few weeks after an injury or surgery. It limits the movement of the knee while it is still healing. It keeps the knee stable to allow faster healing of the damaged area. The functional brace is worn by people who have suffered a knee injury in the past. It provides support to prevent another injury to happen. Many athletes use this kind of knee brace.
The prophylactic brace is also worn to protect the knees from injury during football, basketball, and other contact sports. It is also popular among athletes, although there is not any research yet to prove that it works. The knee sleeves compress the area around the knee joint. Although it is not a kind of knee brace, it is popular because it supports the knee and controls the pain and redness.
Along with the exercises tailored to your health condition, a healthy diet, and appropriate kind of knee brace, your knee pain will be eased and make your overall quality of life better.