Knee Brace - should you wear one?

Knee Brace - should you wear one?

Have you seen your favourite football or tennis player wearing a knee brace? If you've had knee problems, have you been advised or tempted to wear one as well?

Should you? 

People widely use knee braces to provide support and stability to the knee joint, especially after injuries or surgery.

They come in various types, including prophylactic braces, functional braces and rehabilitative braces, each serving a specific purpose.

If you've experienced an ACL tear, it's probable that your doctor has recommended wearing one. It helps to maintain proper alignment and prevent further injury during physical activity.

For those suffering from conditions such as osteoarthritis, knee braces can help reduce pain by redistributing weight away from the affected area of the knee joint, thus alleviating stress and discomfort.

While knee braces offer numerous benefits, there are also potential risks and drawbacks. 

Over-reliance on a knee brace can lead to muscle weakness over time. The brace's support may reduce the engagement of muscles that are essential for knee stabilisation, potentially leading to decreased muscle strength and joint stability.

Some types of knee braces can restrict the range of motion, which might not be suitable for certain activities or sports that require full knee mobility, not to mention that they might not fit well. 

If you do not wish to use a knee brace as a crutch, you can consider engaging in targeted exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee, such as the quadriceps and hamstrings. 

Similarly, wearing supportive footwear that provides good arch support and cushioning can reduce stress on the knees, particularly during high-impact activities.

Perhaps the most useful thing to do is to reduce your weight. Weight, especially when you are standing, is distributed through your legs. If your leg muscles are weak, the knee will take the brunt, aggravating the injury. 

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