Knee braces are used by many people to help prevent knee injuries and to support already injured and painful knees. People who have suffered knee injuries often use knee braces for rehabilitation purposes and they may also wear them to help the injury from reoccurring. Many workers wear knee braces as articles of knee support and protective equipment if they are working at physical jobs with damaged knees. Many athletes in weight lifting, basketball, soccer, hockey, skating and skiing often make use of knee braces to help prevent injury.
There are various types of knee braces available including the following types:
- Prophylactic: To protect knees from injuries in contact sports like football.
- Functional: Offers support to injured knees.
- Rehabilitative: Limits excessive and harmful knee movement for injured knees or after surgery.
- Patellofemoral: Help smooth kneecap movement on the knee joint.
There are many different types of knee injuries that you can suffer such as ligament tears, ligament sprains, arthritis, cartilage tears, knee cap fractures, and tendon damage, etc. In the case of ligament tears, there are also many different ligaments that you can damage. Because of this, there are many types of knee braces such as hinged knee braces and stabilized knee braces. These have padded metal reinforcements at the sides and a gear mechanism to allow for smooth movement of the leg and extend support for side ligaments and muscles. Such braces come in different shapes, colors and sizes. These devices should be used only after consultation with medical practitioners as you will need a brace that is made specifically for your injury.
You can buy knee braces over the counter at many types of stores however you may want to have your braces custom made to fit the form and shape of your knees. You need to take care of knee braces, and hinged models should be lubricated. Knee braces don’t guarantee that you will not injure your knee while wearing them, so you need to be cautious.
Over-dependence on knee braces should be avoided because over time, muscles become weak due to lack of proper use. However, consult your doctor as each case is different.