Our physical bodies are our best friends for life as they are our main instrument for communication, performing different activities, feeling good and in basic terms, doing anything related to being alive! As such, their good health condition is of extreme importance to our wellbeing. However, pain in different types of the body among most people is curiously common and has almost been set as a standard nowadays, with individuals complaining from a variety of discomforts in the body.
One of the most commonly recorded pain complaints is that of the feet and legs as the lower part of our body is constantly carrying the majority of our body weight. Furthermore, certain lifestyles which involve long hours of sitting in uncomfortable chairs, active participation in sports or even uncomfortable shoes can all lead to pain in the foot and knee area. While foot pain can be an early symptom of a number of chronic conditions or small discomforts that can be easily omitted, knee pain is a bit more serious as it could be a sign of a whole new territory.
Knee Pain – What Could it Mean?
Every day millions of people suffer from knee pain. Some of them will visit a doctor immediately to figure out the cause of their agony, while others will turn a blind eye to the pain and wait until it goes away. Unfortunately, the wait may be a long one as knee pain can easily turn chronic if you fail to respond to the problem on time. To avoid pain from developing and consuming other parts of the body it’s necessary to immediately start the search for a resolution of the issue or take steps to prevent knee pain.
Let’s look at some of the reasons for knee pain and the possible conditions associated with it.
While knee pain can derive from injury, it can also be a result of disease or basic discomfort from shoes or tight clothes. What is common, however, is that knee pain puts a barrier to normal knee movements, restricting the area and influencing muscle control, the level of strength that we can use, and overall put a stop to mobility to some extent.
An extremely common issue among young and old, knee pain holds the second position in the list of most commonly seen causes of chronic pain in Americans. Research shows that 100 million Americans have reported chronic knee pain and there are surely others, who haven’t shared their condition with a doctor or an institution.
Some of the most commonly seen causes of knee pain include:
- Stressing the knees too much in exercise or sports, leading to an overuse
- Strains and sprains in the ligaments
- Fractures in the areas around the knee, influencing its stability
- Anterior knee pain
- Swollen knee joints
Osteoarthritis and Knee Pain
Osteoarthritis is among the top diseases seen in individuals complaining from knee pain. Statistics show that nearly 27 million Americans have been reported to suffer from osteoarthritis – a chronic condition of the joints.
The condition can also be described as a degenerative joint disease and it can lead to the infection of any joint in the body but is mostly seen in the knees, hips, lower back, neck area, and smaller joints in the fingers or toes. For a joint to work properly without leading to any pain, the bones require a smooth, sliding surface to allow movement and serve as a cotton base or cushion between the bones. This substance is known as cartilage and is essential for the normal work of joints.
However, people who suffer from osteoarthritis have damaged cartilage, which can break and fail to serve the joints. In such cases, the horrific result is swelling, pain, and barriers to joint movements. Osteoarthritis has the tendency to develop, causing even worse scenarios for the victim. If the condition is not cured or stopped from evolving, there is a likelihood of bone breakage and spurs occurring. The broken bone or cartilage parts remain in the joint, swimming around freely, leading to inflammation.
What’s worse is that once this process starts, proteins and enzymes form in the area, stimulating additional damage of the cartilage. In other terms, the picture created b osteoarthritis is certainly not a positive one and once the symptoms occur, it is advisable to take immediate action.
Can YOU be Affected?
Although osteoarthritis is mostly seen among people of older age (65 and beyond), it can consume anyone, regardless of the age. Some of the factors leading to the development of the conditions include being overweight or the overuse of the joint. While these two factors can easily be regulated by the individual, there are additional factors, which we have no control over. Such include increasing age, a joint injury that has already taken place, weak thigh muscles, and even genes.
The statistics are harsh, showing that one in two adults will experience signals of knee osteoarthritis during their lifetime.
In other words, yes, you could also be affected, depending on your lifestyle, previous body damage, or even type of food that you eat. Research gives us insight into the territory of food and osteoarthritis, sharing that there are certain foods, which stimulate inflammation in the body, negatively influencing the condition. Such foods include sugar, salt, fried food, white flour, Omega-6 fatty acids, and dairy.
Knee Braces Helping Cure Knee Osteoarthritis
Although there are a number of methods to curing or decreasing knee osteoarthritis and its symptoms, knee braces are among the most popular ones. The use of knee braces will certainly contribute to improving the mobility of the knee when experiencing pain but can also lead to the overall elimination of the cause, if caught in its early stages.
Knee braces in the case of knee osteoarthritis are mainly used with the purpose of shifting weight off the most affected part of the knee, reducing pain and increasing movement ability. As arthritis continues to damage over time after the disease, it is likely that a certain side of the knee will be mostly influenced and worn out. This will further affect a malalignment, causing a defect in the walking and pain when moving.
Using a knee brace, in this case, will help spread out the pressure evenly and relieve the affected area of carrying more weight. Not only does a knee brace substantially reduce the pain felt from moving or walking, but it also has the tendency to improve the posture of walking and help keep a straight body even if you have had osteoarthritis for years. Knee braces can also successfully be used by individuals who have had knee surgery to cure osteoarthritis and are recovering or decide to take part in sports again after the treatment.
What to Consider When Selecting Your Knee Braces
You can do research on your own or contact a professional to help you in selecting the best knee brace for you. Regardless, there are a set of factors to keep in mind when choosing your knee brace in order to get the most out of the product and provide maximum relief to your pain. Failing to take these into consideration may lead to the irritation of skin areas or swelling, apart from the normal discomfort that you are likely to feel
Putting it on and off
To start with, make sure the knee brace fits well and is easy to put on and take off. Elastic fabric will certainly make the process easier. The fabric is also important to examine for hygiene purposes or feelings of discomfort while wearing, such as pinching or bunching.
Keeping it stable
It is advisable that the knee brace has anti-skid silicone to help it maintain a stable position and avoid moving up and down while walking or other leg movements. Slipping of the knee braces can be quite irritating and painful in some cases. There are knee brace options with anti-allergic silicone, which will help keep the brace in one place.
Especially if you are using knee braces for sports activities, it is essential to check how the product copes with temperature changes. Make sure the fabric does not keep heat but also does not allow for the skin to cool down. It is essential that the knee brace maintains a stable temperature regardless of the activity you are involved in while wearing it.
Selecting a knee brace that will assure ventilation will eliminate the risk of unpleasant odor, sweating, and other discomforts. Such knee braces can easily be used by professional athletes or other sports fans, involved in soccer, tennis, running, volleyball or other highly dynamic sports, which certainly involve a lot of knee movement.
Knee brace is among the most widely used ways of treating or dealing with knee osteoarthritis as they do not involve surgery, medication, and are available at a reasonable cost. However, there are a number of other methods used to coping with knee pain as a result of osteoarthritides such as medical injections, professional surgery, or special dieting. Of course, knee braces can be combined with these methods to get the most of the treatment after a professional consultation with a doctor.
In cases where knee osteoarthritis is more developed and the pain is severe, individuals who have selected knee braces as a cure can go through a doctor consultation to receive special knee examinations and receive additional information on the way knee braces work, advisable ways to make the most of them and how to combine their use with other methods to limit pain.
For example, a special diet for weight loss can be combined with knee braces to give maximum results of putting less pressure on the diseased area. Specific exercise can also be provided by specialists in order to help strengthen the thigh muscles, an important area to start with when dealing with osteoarthritis.
Although knee osteoarthritis is widely spread across the world’s population, its commonality has made it easily curable and a range of alternatives to complex surgery is now available to most for consumption or use. The disease leads to a limited quality of life as a result of immobility and pain during movement, putting a barrier to normal daily activities. Thankfully, there is no reason to worry as knee braces have been created with special attention to the condition and their range and diversity allows individuals to select the best option for them and reduce the pain felt in the knee area.
Improve the quality of your life and remember what comfort and a pain-free movement feel like by choosing the best knee brace for you! We hope that the advice provided above will help you better understand the condition, prevent the evolution of pain and find an alternative to curing knee osteoarthritis without the need for complex and expensive surgical treatments.