Finding the right knee brace after an accident or injury is important in speeding up your recovery. There are many different types of knee brace, each best for different types of injury. Knee braces are ideal to use when you are starting to get back into exercise after having an injury too, as they can help prevent the same thing from happening again. Some braces with more support are ideal for after surgery, as they can prevent the knee from moving if this is necessary for recovery.
What are the Different Types of Knee Brace?
Knee Sleeves offer only a little support and are ideal for when you are experiencing only mild pain in the knee. They are lightweight and comfortable to wear – you’ll hardly notice a knee sleeve after a while. They also fit well under clothing as they are thin and not at all bulky. They also fit a wide range of sizes, meaning getting the right fit is very easy.
Hinged knee braces, on the other hand, are extremely supportive and are intended to help the knee stay well aligned when bending and moving.
Knee straps offer a good level of support to those who are suffering from conditions such as runner’s knee, or patellar tendonitis. They use compression to help prevent patella injuries and reduce the level of pain.
How Much Support do I Need?
The level of support you should be getting from the brace really depends on what has caused the knee pain. If you are recovering from surgery, you will need a high level of support. You might need a brace which limits movement in the knee area, if this is recommended by your doctor. Hinged knee braces are often used for this, then you can progress to something with less support as you move forward in the recovery process. These braces are adjustable to fit different sizes, so you can get just the right fit.
For mild knee pain and discomfort, a sleeve should be sufficient. If you need a little more support than a sleeve can offer, it’s recommended to try a wraparound brace. These are quite lightweight, yet offer more support than a sleeve. They can be adjusted to fit your size, so getting the right fit and level of support is easy. This type of support is ideal for when you need to keep active, as they still allow a lot of movement in the knee and aren’t restrictive.
If you suffer from knee pain during sports and exercise due to an underlying condition, it is a good idea to try a patella brace. These allow a good range of movement but provide support around the knee cap area. They come in two forms – open or closed patella – so you should think about where you need the most support. Open braces allow the pressure on the knee cap to be released, whereas closed offer slightly more support.
Why Use a Knee Brace
Recovery – A knee brace is an important part of the recovery process after having surgery or being injured. It will help you be able to get active again slowly, whilst minimizing the risk of re-injury.
Support – If you exercise heavily, it’s vital to support your joints if you feel they are weak or are getting sore. There are knee braces which are perfect even if you work out a lot and need something which offers a lot of movement.
Mobilization – After a serious knee injury, it can be difficult to get moving again. With the help of the right brace, you will be able to start getting back to your usual level of activity, safely. If you have a chronic condition, a brace can help you live with the pain, and continue your daily life and activity.
If you do a lot of heavy exercise, it might be a good idea to keep a knee brace handy just in case you do ever injure yourself during activity. A simple support can help a lot in the time immediately after injury, and can help prevent your knee from seizing up due to injury and then the inactivity which usually follows.
Considerations for Buying a Knee Brace
When choosing the right knee brace for your needs, there are a few things worth thinking about. Some things to keep in mind are:
Level of support – Check what the brace is designed for, to ensure it offers the level of support you need based on your diagnosis. A light support is not ideal after having surgery, but a full hinged knee brace is probably too much for a minor sprain or injury. Consult your doctor or medical professional and they will advise what level of support you should be looking at.
Durability – If you will be using the brace for a long period of time, it is important to ensure it is durable. A damaged brace won’t offer the correct level of support, and could cause more harm than good.
Materials – Different types of braces are made using different materials. Check they suit your needs and requirements. You might also like to choose materials which are easy to wash, particularly if the support will be used during exercise. The materials will ideally be breathable and comfortable, especially if you will be using the brace over a long period of time.
Size – Some styles of knee brace fit all sizes. You should take care however, as those who are much below or above average size might find the product won’t fit correctly and hence won’t offer the right level of support and comfort.
Shock Doctor Ultra Knee Support
This brace offers the maximum level of support, making it ideal for helping heal all kinds of injury. It’s great because it comes in a range of sizes from Small to Extra Large, meaning finding the perfect fit isn’t a problem. There is a dual hinge, which helps offer more support and also helps the brace stay in place.
The Shock Doctor brace is made from great materials which wick moisture away from the skin, meaning you won’t be left feeling too hot and uncomfortable. There is also antimicrobial technology, which means the brace won’t trap any odors.
The X-straps are patent pending, and ensure the brace can be adjusted to fit perfectly, and will stay securely in place all day.
Winzone Neoprene Knee Support
This lightweight knee support has an open patella design, which is ideal for offering support and compression around the kneecap. They can be used to prevent injury as well as worn during the healing period after an accident or injury.
The Neoprene knee brace is ideal for wearing during sports and exercise to offer some extra support if you are experiencing knee pain. The brace is a universal size, and is suitable for both men and women. There are two very strong straps, ensuring the brace stays in place well.
The brace is comfortable to wear, and fits well underneath clothing. It’s made from breathable neoprene, which allows blood circulation to the area. The brace can be worn on either the right or left knee, and it can be washed on a gentle cycle or by hand, to ensure it stays clean and free from bacteria.
Lifehapps Gel Knee Support
This gel knee support is great for a range of uses. It comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from Small right up to 3XL. This means it can be used by both men and women, as well as teens. It also comes in two colors, either gray or black, so you can find something to match your sports kit.
The gel support is made from breathable materials, and it is durable enough to keep its shape after repeated use. The fabric helps to keep moisture away from the skin, and it’s designed to be sweat and odor free.
The brace is designed to support the knee and keep it warm, whilst still offering a full range of motion. It gives the optimum level of compression, which helps with blood flow to the area. It’s ideal for use during training or recovery, and can help you get back the full range of movement in your knee joint.
McDavid Knee Brace – Maximum Support
This strong knee brace offers Level 3 protection – the highest available. The neoprene material ensures the joint remains warm, to help with the healing process. The cross straps and hinges provide lots of support, and ensure the brace remains securely in place. The hinges mean the brace gives lateral support too.
The brace is flexible enough to be worn during sports and exercise, making it a great for those who have suffered from sport-related injuries. It comes in different sizes, so by measuring your knee you can find the size which is right for you.
The open patellar brace is ideal for releasing some pressure on the knee cap. The cross-straps are optional, although there is considerably more support with them included. The brace pulls on, so it can be a bit difficult to use if you have had a serious injury or are in the very early stages of recovery.
Sable Knee Compression Sleeve
This knee compression sleeve is ideal for offering a light level of support to those who experience mild pain in the knee joints. It comes in a choice of sizes, and they are worn by pulling on over the feet and up to around the knee.
The anti-slip design means the sleeve stays firmly in place even during physical activity. The sleeves give an even pressure distribution above and below the knee, meaning you will be well supported at all times. The compression helps reduce inflammation, to help you get back to your full range of movement, sooner.
The unisex design of these sleeves mean they are equally suitable for men and women. The smaller sizes means the sleeves can also be worn by youths who take part in sports which put a lot of strain on the knee joints.
Witkeen Knee Support Brace
This supportive knee brace is great for everyday use, and is comfortable enough to be worn all day. It is adjustable to fit a wide range of sizes, thanks to the tri-strap design. The brace continues to be effective even after long-term use, so it is a very worthwhile investment.
The brace offers a wide range of movement, meaning it is perfect for wearing during any activity. It helps distribute pressure evenly across the knee joint, meaning you can continue with your sports and activities free from pain.
The knee support is ideal for wearing under clothes, but it can also be worn over leggings if necessary. The open patella design is ideal for a range of uses – it has been designed for professional athletes, but it is perfect for everyone. The brace helps speed up the recovery process whilst reducing the risk of further injury.
Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves
These sleeves are great for use by those who do heavy gym workouts and weight lifting. Nordic Lifting is a great brand for weightlifting equipment, so you can be sure to trust these supports.
The weightlifting knee sleeves are suitable for both men and women, as they come in a range of sizes. The compression sleeves are ideal for preventing injury when lifting, and help promote muscle recovery.
The sleeves keep the joint warm during use, so you can feel they are working. There is a size chart on the company’s website, so you can measure your knee and find the right size. You can choose to size up or down if you prefer a tighter or looser fit, although the guide is quite accurate.