7 tips on choosing the right brace
The top tips on choosing the right brace involve a little more than knowing which part of the body needs support. Whether it is the back, knee or ankle, these pieces of advice will help you find the right orthopedic product for you and make the most of it for as long as possible.
- See a doctor. A brace is a piece of medical equipment, and while you may not need a prescription to buy one, you are still better off if you have a professional healthcare professional’s opinion to rely on. Braces are often used as part of sports injury rehab, which means that you would be working closely with a physical therapist, so following their recommendations is a step in the right direction.
- Know your condition. Obviously the part of the body determines the brace (ankle injury=ankle brace), but it isn’t by any means the only deciding factor. The type of injury or medical condition for which the brace is required also plays a major role. For example, someone who has lumbar orthosis and needs support for scoliosis could really benefit from a LSO Back Brace, which can be used on lumbar disc displacement, disc degeneration, disc herniation and compression factures as well. Depending on the condition/injury you may or may not need your brace to come with special features. Which brings us to…
- Special features. It can be safely said that a back brace is different from an ankle or a knee brace, but that is not the same as to say that all knee braces are all alike. An open patella, for instance, is not there just for ventilation; in fact it can be the difference between allowing your kneecap movement while walking or running, as opposed to a closed patella. The same applies to whether or not an ankle brace includes side stabilizers .Now whether you need an open or closed patella or side stabilizers is what tips on choosing the right brace #1 and #2 are for.
- Check the brace as closely as possible. Shopping for braces is not entirely unlike shopping for underwear; that is, chances are you won’t be allowed to try it on before you buy it, you know, due to hygienic concerns. It doesn’t hurt to ask, though, and the vendor at the very least may allow you to open the product so you can get a feel of it and ascertained if it would be both durable and comfortable to wear. That is of course unless you’re shopping online; in that case make sure to review the website’s return and refund policies.
No half measures. Regardless of whether you buy online or in person, remember to measure your back/knee/ankle with a measuring tape in order to ensure that you get the proper size, according to the sizes listed on the description of the product. Should your measurement be too close to the maximum measurement for a given size, it might be a good idea to choose the next largest size instead; i.e. if the maximum measurement for a small knee brace is 8 ½’’ and your measurement is 8 ¼’’, them a medium brace is more likely to provide a better fit.
Related Read: On Bended Knee: A Knee Brace for Every Occasion