Most of you have probably heard the popular saying “our body is our temple”. There are so much depth and beauty in the fabric of this belief. Acknowledging and accepting this fact can stimulate us to take proper care of our bodies throughout life and offer all that we can to support it in its daily activities and functions. And they are not small in number and importance!
As the body ages, it is natural for a wide array of discomforts to arise. We gradually become aware of weak points and for everyone they are different based on the lifestyle that we have had or continue having. Some people will recognize limited flexibility, others will notice slower motions, while there are those who will experience pain in different parts of the body.
One of the most commonly seen discomforts and potentially serious conditions is knee osteoarthritis. Today we will look into this condition in more detail, examine its symptoms and offer a few tips on choosing the best knee brace for you!
What is Knee Osteoarthritis?
For starters, let’s look at what the condition actually is. Arthritis, in general, is defined as the inflammation of the joins. It can occur across different areas in the body and is certainly not limited to the knees alone. In fact, there are more than 100 arthritis types that can be seen in the human body. It can cause harm to a single joint or influence multiple joints, depending on its phase.
Osteoarthritis, along with rheumatoid arthritis, are the two most popularly seen types of arthritis. The symptoms and treatments will widely vary depending on the specific type and stage of the condition. Some of the most common symptoms include joint pain, stiffness, swelling, limited range of motion, skin irritation or redness, tiredness, loss of appetite, and more.
When it comes to the knees, symptoms are only slight in the beginning but as the condition develops, the pain increases drastically. Knee osteoarthritis negatively influences the bones, cartilage, and the synovium located in the knee joint. The cartilage, which provides a cushion and absorbs some of the stress put on the knee, is damaged and its functions are no longer active with knee osteoarthritis. In addition, the synovium, which has the role of lining the joints and providing nutrients and oxygen for the cartilage, is also harmed.
As a result, the patient suffers from severe pain and stiffness, or even the inability to move as normal in developed stages.
The Pressure On the Knees
But enough about the condition itself. Let’s see what happens to the knees when it comes to taking on pressure.
There are three major knee zones that are put under pressure when moving the points. We will refer to these as compartments. The three knee joint compartments are the patellofemoral compartment, inside tibiofemoral compartment, and outside tibiofemoral compartment
Why do you need to know this?
Well, understanding which compartments have been influenced will help you establish what type of knee brace you are actually looking for. Which brings us to our next point – knee braces.
What are Knee Braces and How Do They Help?
The main function of knee braces, in short, is to offer protection for your knees and take away some of the pressure from them. They are sometimes used as a preventative method against injuries while participating in sports. In other cases, they are prescribed by doctors and medical experts in order to help with a certain condition, such as knee arthritis.
Not all knee braces are created equal and there are different types. You can find them made from metal, plastic, foam, elastic material, straps, and more. The sizes, colors, and brace designs are incredibly large and it may be difficult for you to make the right choice, especially if this is your first time.
Knee braces offer a wide range of benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the major positive effects of wearing them:
- Pain and inflammation relief
- Extra support and comfort
- Ability to exercise and be physically active
- Return to normal daily activities
- Stay away from medication
- Avoid surgery (where possible)
Wearing a knee brace is not only for those who are injured or in severe pain. The solution is a great preventative tactic to stay healthy and active.
How to Choose the Best Knee Brace For You?
Starting the search for the right knee brace can be a difficult endeavor, especially if you are not well prepared. Try to gather as much information from specialists, do your own research from trusted sources, and where possible – try different models to see how you feel. There are a few crucial factors to consider when choosing the best knee brace for your needs. Let’s take a quick look at them!
Knee brace support
When you start thinking about the best knee brace for you the first thing to consider is the level of support you are looking for. This can either be an individual opinion or a professional suggestion from an experienced doctor.
Knee brace’s purpose
Depending on whether you are going through a post-surgery recovery, you are suffering from an injury, or you just want to offer your knees extra support – the choice of knee brace will vary. There are models, which have been designed to offer strong protection, others provide flexibility and range, while some have been developed with specific medical purposes.
The main objective of the knee brace is to offer compression, but when does it become too much? At first, it may be difficult to establish whether the knee brace is too tight or not as the symptoms may sometimes come in at a later stage. What you’re looking for is a slight feeling of tightness but to a level where it remains comfortable and offers the necessary level of support for your specific requirements.
If you feel that the brace is uncomfortable or circulation is not as normal, adjust the straps to get the desired effect or choose a larger size knee brace. There are useful size charts that you can use to make the right choice.
Knee braces have their own unique set of characteristics and it is not before you give them a try that you will start to realize their true nature and purpose. If you are struggling to make the right decision, ask for a consultation with an expert who will be able to guide you with your choice.
Knee Braces to Try
Let’s look at two examples of knee braces that are certainly worth the try as they offer a wide range of benefits for the knees.
The painless knee support brace is ideal for those suffering from minor arthritis pain but in need of stable support and protection during physical activity. This model is easy to customize and is quite flexible, able to respond to the needs of different patients.
If you are looking for a way to restore knee functions and have the freedom to be as active as you want, this knee brace model is ideal for you. The knee brace is also a good fit for those who are looking for a way to bring back stability in the knee zone after surgery, although the brace is suitable as a preventative method as well.
The painless knee support brace allows your skin to breathe thanks to its breathable material and offers ultimate comfort during your daily activities. This model is actively used by professional athletes around the world who are extremely active and put a lot of pressure on the knees.
This model is a representation of a unique and innovative knee brace, created with six features that will blow your mind. If quick pain relief is what you are after – this knee brace can come to the rescue. The product is also suitable for all sport types and will be there to offer full support during any physical activity. The design has cleverly combined shape and function to offer full support and comfort.
The anatomically and biomechanically contoured knit and special cushion offer flexibility and immediate relief. This highly effective solution for knee arthritis is breathable, goes easy on the skin, and quickly adapts to your movements to offer flexibility and free motion.
There are a lot of different knee brace designs and types to choose from but we have introduced you to two of the most popular and useful ones. We have gone through a lot on this journey and have looked at the basics of arthritis to uncover its different types. We reviewed some of the most common symptoms putting more focus on knee arthritis in particular. We then moved on to looking into knee braces, how they work, and why they can help us. Finally, we shared with you a few important factors to acknowledge before purchasing a knee brace and made a few suggestions on types to try.
We hope that this article will help you make the right choice when it comes to knee braces and welcome back the strength in your knees!