How Do OA Knee Braces Work?
Have you ever thought about getting a knee brace to help with osteoarthritis pain? Perhaps your physiotherapist or doctor recommended this, but you're not sure whether or not it will be an effective solution.
If you’re curious about how — and if — osteoarthritis (OA) knee braces work, read on for more information.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis typically affects areas like the knees and gets worse as patients get older. As the tissue wears away, the knee tends to move towards the inside or the outside of the leg, which further damages the bone. The misalignment and damage reinforce each other, leading to a painful and challenging downward spiral and a loss of mobility.
How Do OA braces Work?
As with most other types of braces, knee braces for osteoarthritis work by shifting the bones, muscles, and ligaments back into the original position, keeping the body in better alignment. As they shift the bones into a different position, this has the effect of releasing pressure on the joints and ligaments, improving circulation in the area and relieving pressure. The result, at least ideally, is less pain, less chance of re-injury, prevention of further damage, and greater mobility.
The purpose of an OA brace is to make sure that a joint stays in the right place, and the brace may be tighter depending on the severity of the strain or injury. It can be removed easily for exercise and other activities.
What Do OA Knee Braces Look like?
Knee braces come in different materials and designs, the most common ones being a combination of plastic, composite, and something soft and flexible such as spandex. They typically have a section that is made up of softer padding to ensure that they are comfortably resting on the skin.
Fitting the Knee Brace
Because this is a relatively light-fitting garment meant to re-position your knees, it's essential that you get a proper fitting; otherwise, you risk rubbing and chafing. The fit is also essential to ensure that you get the maximum benefits.
While you can get a custom knee brace made, this is not only expensive but will take more time. If you want a brace immediately, there usually are a variety available at pharmacies and department stores. Braces come in various sizes, some of which are adjustable depending on what types of activities you do during the day.
We recommend getting a professional fitting first from a certified orthotist who will examine your knee and recommend the best type of brace depending on your lifestyle and activities.
Do Knee Braces Work for OA?
Knee braces work well to relieve the strain and damage caused by OA simply because this is one of the areas of your body that support a lot of weight. Also, they help you to change the direction of your movements and face a lot of impact throughout the day quickly.
Braces are a natural way to help reduce pain and prevent further damage and injury. If you suffer from knee pain and you'd like more information on whether or not a knee brace could help, contact a trusted physician or chiropractor today.
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