Which are the styles of knee braces for arthritis pain?
There are three styles of knee braces for arthritis; general arthritis knee supports, advanced support braces, and unloader arthritis knee braces. These products work to alleviate the swelling and pain characteristic of arthritis by relieving the pressure that goes through the arthritic areas of the knee and offering support and warmth.
· Advanced support braces support the ligaments and decrease the weight going through the knee joint to relieve pain. They are suitable for mild and moderate arthritis that affects only a part or the entire joint, as well as for knees that are starting to feel weak or unstable as a result of sporting activities or daily activities. The additional support makes users feel more confident. An example of an advanced support brace is the Mueller Hg80. The hinges and springs in that brace offer optimal protection without restricting motion. Made with durable Hydracinn fabric that ensures heat management and prevents too much sweating. The contoured interior sleeve and top adjustable strap allow for a perfect fit, while the antimicrobial layer keeps bacteria and other microorganisms out.
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· General arthritis knee supports are the most basic available. They support, compress and warm the knee to decrease pain and swelling. Ideal for mild, early-stage arthritis that affects only a part or the whole joint. Wraparound braces, for example, are lightweight, adjustable, firm, and comfortable, and they do not restrict movement.
· Unloader arthritis knee braces are intended to change the angle of the knee joint and decrease the weight going through the arthritic parts of the knee by redistributing the weight to healthier parts of the knee by way of special hinges. People with arthritis in only one side of the knee joint benefit more from these braces. These products are more complex but also tend to be more expensive than other styles.
Both the American College of Rheumatology (“The use of lightweight knee braces may correct misaligned bones of the knee joint and reduce pressure on the soft tissues,”) and the American of Orthopedic Surgeons (“Some [braces] may provide significant reduction in pain ... in selected patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.”) recommend knee braces for arthritis. Keep in mind however that
· Bracing helps relieve pain and may avoid or delay the need for surgical intervention, but does not cure the condition.
· Braces may be uncomfortable at first and it may take a while to grow accustomed to them.
· Knee braces are not for everybody but many users report they partially or entirely relieve pain.
· Bracing is not a replacement for therapy.
· Talk with your doctor before acquiring a brace.