What is a knee brace?admin
What is a knee brace?
A knee bandage is a protective and support bandage specially adapted for the knee joint. Knee wraps are available in all shapes, colors, and sizes. The different versions of knee braces differ both in their design and construction, as well as in the degree of their supporting, stabilizing, and movement-restricting effect on the knee.
What does a knee brace do?
Knee support has three basic functional areas:
Stabilization of the knee
A knee bandage supports the knee joint and gives the knee a better hold. Lateral buckling and excessive overstretching or twisting of the knee joint, for example, when practicing sports such as soccer, handball, volleyball, and basketball, is prevented by a bandage for the knee. Stabilization and immobilization of the knee are also desirable after operations, for example, of the meniscus.
Protection of the knee
Thanks to its special padding, a bandage protects the knee from harmful external influences during sports, leisure, and work. Injuries to the knee joint and the surrounding muscles and tendons can thus be prevented.
Knee pain relief
Knee support warms the knee joint and thus helps to alleviate existing knee pain. The even pressure of the bandage also massages and stimulates blood circulation.
When is a knee brace used?
Knee supports are worn during sports, everyday life, or for the targeted treatment of pain and injuries to the knee. There are two areas of application for knee supports. In the sports sector, in particular, they can be used preventively, i.e., prophylactically, when there is a relatively high risk of injury to the knee. Bandages can be used therapeutically for existing knee problems. A distinction is made between two areas of application:
- Functional bandages are used in the treatment of existing injuries or diseases of the knee joint. This can be, for example, instabilities of the knee or knee osteoarthritis. They have a stabilizing and pain-relieving effect.
- On the other hand, rehabilitative knee supports are used to support another treatment, for example, for rehabilitation after knee operations. These bandages stabilize the joint and limit mobility while it heals. Depending on the severity of the injury or the type of operation, the joint is more or less immobilized.
What types of knee braces are there?
A knee support can only consist of a simple cuff or have a very complex construction with integrated supports – for example, in the form of built-in splints or reinforced fabric.
Depending on the area of application, different types of the drum are available:
- Compression knee supports with an even, circular pressure on the knee joint.
- Functional security bandages secure the function of the knee joint without restricting its mobility.
- Stabilizing knee supports relieve the entire knee joint or part of it.
- Knee supports can completely cover the knee joint or have an opening above the kneecap (patella opening).
Also, there are so-called patella knee supports that support and guide the patellar tendon below the kneecap when it is loaded.
What materials are a knee bandage made of?
The most common material used to make a knee brace is neoprene. This material is particularly suitable for knee bandages. It is very durable, has a strong thermal insulation effect, and, due to its elasticity and flexibility, adapts well to the contours of the knee.
Other materials that are used in the manufacture of knee supports are high-quality, solid knitted fabrics. They are composed, for example, of cotton and a proportion of elastane to maintain the elastic mobility of the ShieldMax Knee Brace.
Also, modern knee supports often have Velcro strips for individual attachment to the knee joint. Fixed plastic rails, aluminum frames, or movable joint elements can also be incorporated. So that the bandage is comfortable to wear, bandages are often padded.
How are knee supports properly worn and used?
A knee bandage can properly fulfill its stabilizing, protective, and pain-relieving function and effect; it must be used and worn professionally and correctly. It is important to note the following two points:
- Perfect fit: A knee support should fit perfectly so that it can work. On the one hand, this means that it must not sit too loosely, but rather lie close to the knee. This is the only way to achieve the necessary compression effect to stabilize the knee joint and the necessary warming effect to relieve pain. On the other hand, it must not be too tight, as this can cut off the blood supply to the knee.
- Appropriate size: A knee bandage should be the right size for the individual wearer. For this, it is advisable to measure the knee circumference, including the kneecap before buying. This is best done while sitting, stretching your leg out, but keeping your knee slightly bent.
Where are knee braces available?
Depending on the intended use, you can get simple knee braces in standard sizes in pharmacies or drugstores. However, if you have knee pain and joint discomfort, it is advisable to seek advice from a doctor as to whether a bandage is useful for you.