The good condition of the knee joint is important for normal movement. If there are problems, diseases or injuries of the joint, musculoskeletal system, each step is accompanied by severe and sometimes even unbearable pain in the knee. For the treatment of the knee joint, medications and the use of physiotherapy are prescribed. Precautions should be taken to protect it from external influences. For this, a knee brace was invented to fix the knee joint. These devices are made of various materials, have different degrees of protection and have a wide range of applications.
Indications for using a knee brace
Such fixation devices are used not only to protect the affected joint, but also to reduce the load on it, as well as to normalize its functioning after injury and surgery. Knee braces can be used both for therapy (for example, with arthrosis) and for the prevention of various diseases. However, you can wear the device only after the appointment of the attending physician, otherwise it will cause a violation of the blood supply to the joint and aggravate the problem.
Wearing a knee brace is indicated both for the treatment and for the prevention of various pathologies. Athletes are often recommended to wear them in order to prevent injuries. The fixing device is prescribed for the treatment:
- arthrosis and arthritis;
- dislocations and subluxations;
- pathologies of a rheumatic nature;
- injuries and the resulting joint instability.
Often the use of a fixer is prescribed during the rehabilitation period after complex injuries or surgery.
Wearing an orthosis is recommended for:
- unloading the damaged knee joint. The device is recommended for people with joint diseases, when any stage is accompanied by unbearable painful sensations, which significantly slow down recovery;
- prevention of pathologies and injuries. The use of knee pads and bandages for sports is necessarily recommended for athletes, as well as people who work in trade and construction. People who are overweight should wear a special elastic knee brace;
- fixing the injured knee joint. In this case, the use of a compression bandage is prescribed to help prevent further damage to the knee or meniscus, reduce severe pain and swelling. In this case, the fixation device is a kind of additional stabilizer for the joint;
- movement restrictions. For this, the use of a rigid bandage is prescribed, which completely excludes any movement.
Knee pads help:
- Accelerate the healing process.
- Prevent meniscus and knee injuries.
- Strengthening of the damaged joint.
- Keep the patient moving.
- Reduce pain.
- Improve lymph flow and blood circulation.
- Elimination of puffiness.
- Minimization of inflammatory processes in the joint.
- Load reduction.
- Facilitate knee movement.
Additionally, orthopedic fixators are a great alternative to impractical casts.
What materials are braces made of?
For the manufacture of orthoses use a considerable amount of materials. The most popular are:
- Dog fur. It is used for the manufacture of knee pads with a heating effect.
- Cotton. It is used to give pliers strength and elasticity.
- Lycra, elastane, polyurethane - elastic synthetic fabrics with high breathability.
- Neoprene. Elastic material that contributes to excellent fixation of the knee joint. These knee pads are easy to care for. In addition, they have a warming effect.
Devices for fixing the knee: varieties
There is a huge number of models and types of this brace. They differ in the material from which they are made. The knee brace can be open or closed, flexible or rigid. In addition, knee braces for the knee joint can be equipped with hinges, metal inserts, magnetic plates, silicone rings and even an infrared heating source.
Depending on the purpose of the product for fastening, they are presented in the following variations.
- Bandage. Elastic corset that helps fix the knee area, warming and reducing the load.
- Orthosis. It has similarities to a bandage, but is more functional.
- Yoke. It is used for preventive purposes, helps to maintain the knee joint, to prevent damage.
- Spacer. Rigid knee brace, which is used in most cases during the rehabilitation period. Assign these kneecaps for osteoarthritis.
- Tutor. A device in the form of a metal tire with a rigid attachment. Assign it after surgery or injury. For the manufacture of such knee pads, mainly soft materials are used. This device is hypoallergenic.
- Elastic knee pad. Many familiar devices, convenient and easy to use.
- Ribbon. Elastic adhesive tape. The task of taping is to help reduce the load on the muscle and ligament apparatus.
About the knee brace in detail
The bandage on the knee joint is used to easily fix the knee. The knee brace helps to minimize the load, but at the same time such devices do not hinder movement. For the manufacture of fastening means, cotton, synthetic materials and knitwear are used.
A brace looks a bit like a bandage. The main difference is the presence of additional elements in the first. These products are functional and help to repair the knee joint, depending on the reasons. They can be equipped with rigid ribs and inserts, silicone rings, side hinges. You can attach the knee pad with velcro.
The splint is a special splint whose main purpose is moderate or hard fixation. The device is much more convenient and practical than a plaster splint. Also, when using a splint instead of a cast, the time it takes to restore knee function is significantly reduced.
As for the brace, the main purpose of such a knee brace is complete immobilization of the knee. The knee brace is equipped with hinges that allow the patient to move without straining the knee, as well as neoprene-covered stiffeners, which help perform the necessary movements without injuring the meniscus. Such devices are worn to fix the joint in diseases such as arthrosis and gonarthrosis, as well as when the meniscus is torn.
Stirrups are designed for people who actively participate in sports and those who lead active lifestyles. The stirrup helps to prevent the risk of various injuries, protects and fixes not only the joint, but also the lateral muscles and ligaments, the patella and the meniscus.
The elastic bandage was held in high esteem before the advent of modern fixation devices. It has been used during sports to prevent injury as well as to minimize pain.
The tape is a unique bandage equipped with a special adhesive surface. With the correct use of the product, it does not pinch the joint and does not constrain the movements, but on the contrary, it performs a micro-massage of the skin. For the manufacture of such pliers, mainly cotton is used. This product helps to minimize pain in the affected joint, swelling and bruising.
Recommendations for choosing a knee brace
An orthosis for the knee joint is selected only by a qualified specialist and depending on the purpose of use. The knee brace should match the individual knee parameters. In no case is it worth choosing a device on your own, especially if there are complaints of pain. An incorrectly chosen knee brace can be harmful. Ideally, the knee brace should fit the knee, fix the joint, but not squeeze it. In the event that the product is bulky, it will slip and therefore will not perform its functions.
You need to buy a plaster only in a specialized store. Orthotics prices vary depending on the manufacturer, model and functionality of the device.
As for the size, you can determine yours like this: measure your leg a little above the knee (about fifteen centimeters). If the hip circumference is 44 cm, then your size is S, 44-54 cm - M, 54-60 cm - L, 60-67 cm - XL, 67 and more - XXL.
In order not to get the wrong size, be sure to measure the product before purchasing.
How to maintain your knee brace
In order for the orthopedic knee brace to serve you for a long time and not lose its therapeutic and preventive properties, you need to take care of it and follow the rules of operation prescribed in the instructions.
- Do not wash the bandage in the washing machine.
- Do not iron the latch.
- Do not hang the product to dry. Spread it out on a flat surface. This prevents deformation and stretching of the orthosis.
- Do not use additional chemicals when washing.
You can use the plaster only after a doctor's prescription. If you play sports and decide to take care of the state of the joints during exercise, it is advisable to purchase a brace in the presence of a trainer. Do not wear knee braces for more than three hours a day. Wear it only at the time of sports or exercise therapy.