Knee braces can significantly reduce the discomfort among individuals who sustained knee injuries. Always bear in mind that not all knee injuries are the same, thus there are various models for these injuries that you should be familiar with.
Prophylactic knee braces
Prophylactic knee braces are intended to protect the medial collateral ligament during a valgus knee stress and for protection of the cruciate ligaments if the knee endured rotational stress.
The MCL is the ligament positioned on the interior knee which is utilized to stabilize the knee joint. Based on studies conducted on the ability of the prophylactic knee brace to prevent injuries, there have been evident differences in opinion regarding the ability of the brace to minimize MCL injuries. Despite the variances in the results, many players still insist on using the brace.
Patellofemoral knee braces
The patellofemoral knee braces are utilized to support the knee of those who suffer from anterior knee pain. These braces are widely used for its ease of comfort and affordable cost.
Despite issues with the benefits of this type of brace, many individuals still insist on using the brace due to the evident drop in the level of pain and an increase in the mobility when used.
Functional knee brace
The main objective of this type of brace is to minimize knee instability after an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) as well as prevent further injuries. Always bear in mind that a functional knee brace is utilized solely for sports injuries but now widely used after reconstructive surgery to reduce strain in the ACL graft.
Benefits of using knee braces
Individuals who utilize knee braces have reported improvements in the stability of the knee as well as an increase in energy expenditure while engaging in physical activities. Take note that there might be limited proprioceptive effects that relate to unconscious body movement when a knee brace is used.
Using a knee brace might pose as a risk for further injury due to overexertion. With or without a knee brace, an individual should be well aware that there are risks if the knee is not given time to properly heal.
Using knee braces as a preventive protective measure is still questionable. Nevertheless, knee braces are a vital part of a rehabilitation program after an injury. Along with physical therapy that involves activity modification, strength training and flexibility exercises, a knee brace provides support to the knee while the injury steadily heals. Even if the knee starts to heal, the individual should be careful in resuming normal activities and always follow the instructions given by the doctor to avoid re-injuring the knee.