Knee braces can be
very helpful in preventing and treating sports injuries. Depending on
your specific injury, there may be a brace out there that could help to
reduce your pain, and keep you off the sidelines.
it comes to braces, they are not all created equal. There are
lots of different ones to choose from, and each one has a specific
design and purpose, based on what type of injury it is treating.
Choosing the right brace can make the difference in whether it
actually works, or whether it is just a waste of time and money.
you will find some of the most common types of knee braces, as well as
the injuries they are most suited for treating.
The patella stabilizer is a knee
sleeve type of brace. They come in many different forms, but they all
have one thing in common. They work to help stabilize the patella,
preventing excessive motion.
are usually used to treat patella femoral compression syndrome
They are made of neoprene, and have a small hole in the middle
where the patella sits. Most of these braces have a small pad
on the lateral side of the brace, which may be in the shape of a "J".
It surrounds the patella, and helps buttress it from the outside,
keeping it from moving too far lateral.
stabilizers should be snug both at the top and bottom, otherwise they
will slip during activity. Some come with straps to help adjust tension.
patella stabilizer is a good choice for to assist in treating
patella femoral syndrome, and other patella tracking problems. However,
the brace should only be part of your treatment. You should also
address biomechanical issues, as well as strength and flexibility.
stabilizers can be found at some sporting goods stores, from your
physician, or you may find some great deals on Ebay...
Hinged knee braces can be used to treat many
different types of injuries. Some of them are simply patella
stabilizers with hinges on both sides, adding a bit more strength to
the stabilizer, while others are designed specifically for preventing
or treating MCL
or LCL injuries.
hinged braces are made of neoprene, and have hinges on both
sides that help to reduce medial and lateral motion of the knee. Your
physican may recommend a hinged brace after an MCL injury, or if you
have had problems with hyperextension.
They can be
used with most sports, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and
sturdiness. These braces can also be purchased from some sporting goods
stores, from your physician, or my favorite, on Ebay.
Derotation knee braces are used to treat more serious
knee injuries, like ACL tears
, or PCL tears
. They are not for
injuries like patella femoral compression syndrome.
braces are designed to help reduce rotation forces on the knee, which
are the primary complaint of instability after an ACL or PCL tear.
These braces are made of metal, and are very sturdy, and somewhat
bulky. They usually have hinges on both sides, and straps that secure
them along the calf and thigh.
braces are either custom fit, or custom adjusted to your leg. This
means that they are significantly more expensive than traditional
neoprene hinged braces or patella stabilizers, and must be provided by
your physician or athletic trainer.
what type of injury you have is very important when choosing a knee
brace. You should be sure to get one that is going to help reduce your
symptoms. Patella stabilizers are good for patella femoral syndrome
problems, while hinged braces are most adapt at treating MCL
or LCL tears. Derotation braces may help reduce symptoms after an ACL
or PCL tear.
Make sure that you take your time to
figure out what brace will work best for you by discussing it with your
physician or athletic trainer.
there is no brace out there that will completely prevent any type of
injury, or completely treat any injury. They are an important and
valuable part of a prevention or treatment program, but not the whole
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