The Ultimate Buyers Guide to Knee Braces

Are you suffering from a knee injury? Or you are just getting started with your fitness journey? Well, regardless of whether you are taking part in any game or sport, if you are exposed to any sort of knee injury, you need to get a Knee brace. Most people wouldn’t take much concern about a knee injury until they get one. Well, injuring your knee makes engaging or running any physical activity practically impossible. One of the best methods you can prevent yourself from getting a knee injury is by using a knee brace. Just like any other appliance in your home, getting the right knee brace will give you peace of mind when engaging in your favorite activities.

Its often a misconception that knee braces are only limited to athletes and adventurous people. But, the elderly; young and patients with bone problems can also use knee braces as well. These structures supporting instruments can also be used for rehabilitation purposes and a good example is following an ACL injury. 

A knee brace’s function is quite simple, it provides slow, limited movement allowing patients to successively gain in their range of motion. Patients suffering from arthritis can get a great benefit from braces since it helps reduce pain and inflammation.

You have probably tried searching for the perfect knee brace for your needs on the internet; the result is often getting lost in hundreds and hundreds of choices, leaving you at a crossroads. Fortunately for you, in this article, we will help you learn how to pick out the best knee brace for your needs.

Best 5 Knee Brace Support

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What’s your Injury?

Before getting on the road to your perfect brace, it’s important to get to know what kind of injury you have. If you are not sure of your injury, it’s important to seek advice from your physical therapist. Going on the market for a knee brace that is not designed to deal with your injury can be potentially dangerous and expose you to a host of other complications.

Once you have gone through a thorough diagnosis with your physical therapist, you can narrow your search to knee braces that are ideal for your specific type of injury or cause. There are several different types of knee braces designed for a different cause like:

  • Arthritis braces
  • ACL Braces
  • Post-Surgery Braces

All these knee braces come with certain features and fitting that relieve pressure or add support to or from particular areas around your knee.

Planned activity and Level of Support for your knee

The amount of support your knee requires is crucial during rehabilitation. Often times some injuries will require a lot more support compared to others. For instance, a post-surgery knee brace will require a lot more support to stabilize the knee compared to mild aching knee or a less serious injury like Patella tendonitis, which will overall require a low-level support brace that will still support flexibility of your knee without restriction.

When getting a knee brace, your planned level of activity needs to be in consideration, for instance, an athlete with a mild knee injury will want to get a knee brace that offers them low-level support which allows them to continue with the sport without physically restricting but still offering pressure and pain relief. Equally, if a patient will require a period of rest with minimal knee interference, they may need a higher supporting brace to ensure that their injury is immobilized. 

During recovery, patients may also need to change from one brace to another, for instance, depending on the type of injury, you might be required to begin with an ultimate support brace when the injury is still fresh and then go down the level of support as you continue with your rehabilitation back to your normal routine.

Knee brace Sizing

Most of the knee braces on the market come in different sizes, and for a good reason. It’s always important to ensure that you measure your leg and knee or any other area the brace is likely to sit rather than guessing to ensure you get the right fit. Getting the wrong fitting will normally cause more damage than good, while a tight-fitting brace will put too much pressure on the injury and put extra pressure on the affected area causing discomfort. On the other hand, getting a large knee brace won’t offer the much-needed support and will normally lead to further complications during activity. For a perfect fitting knee brace get in touch with your physician.

How will a knee brace help relieve my Pain?

Whether it is a knee sprain, runner’s knee, arthritis, torn ACL, knee discomfort or instability, knee braces will help manage pain. The type of injury you get will determine the type of brace best suited for you. However, the main function of a knee brace is to support the knee and help it stay aligned.

There are a wide variety of knee braces out in the market that are specifically designed to provide relief and support for specific conditions. They also come with a variety of benefits and features depending on the patient’s condition. For instance, you may find a buttress for patella support or tracking of a metal hinge for the stability of the ligament or even compression sleeves used for swelling. With these design features, you’ll get relief and support for your specific condition.

When Should I Wear a Knee Brace?

Generally, a knee brace needs to be worn when you are experiencing knee pain or looking to prevent knee injury during high contact sports, where there is a likelihood of knee injury. You could also get a knee brace for rehabilitative purposes for instance, after an ACL injury. A knee brace is designed to support, protect or offer slow / limit movement in the knee joint, oftentimes allowing you to gradually regain your normal range of motion. Knee braces are also quite handy when it comes to arthritis patients, and helpful in relieving pain and inflammation from trauma. All in all, your physical therapist, Chriorpractor or physician will help you decide if a knee brace is necessary for your condition.

Types of Knee Braces

There is a huge range of knee braces available offering support and choosing the right fit for your condition might be a bit confusing, especially if it is the first time getting a knee injury. Getting the wrong brace for your knee injury will not only complicate your injury but also affect your recovery time. Therefore, your choice of a knee brace needs to be more than just getting one that offers instant pain relief but one that will help you recover in good time.

The following are different types of knee braces available in the market.

Knee Braces

These are normally wrapped around and tightened through the Velcro straps and are normally useful in cases of swollen knee joints since the size can be adjusted for a comfortable fit. They also come in an open patella design.

Knee Sleeves

These offer simple support general compression and warmth and are ideal for minor injuries.

Hinged Knee Brace

Hinged knee braces allow for more lateral support of the knee that is suitable for a ligament injury, it’s also available with open patella support.

Knee Strap

Also known as the knee band, jumper straps or patella straps, they are best for adding pressure to the patella tendon which ultimately improves the kneecap movement.

Magnetic Knee Brace

The science behind a magnetic knee brace is hard to understand, however, anecdotal evidence suggests that they can help increase blood flow to the affected areas relieving some of the symptoms of arthritic joints.

Factors to Consider when getting a Knee Brace

Different individuals will get different knee braces depending on their overall activity or physical complications they are experiencing. The following are considerations to make before investing in a Knee brace.

Flexibility

A knee brace’s flexibility is a key indicator of how well it can enhance your performance and improve your condition. For instance; if you are an athlete and your daily activities involve heavy lifting or hard performance, you will want to get a tight-fitting brace with less flexibility and more support. In case your rehabilitation involves running or cycling; you’ll want to get a moderately flexibility and support brace since too much flexibility will restrict your movement.

Durability

Despite having more or less the same type of material construct, the key variable will depend on the production quality and the standards of how the knee brace has been put together. Simply looking at the stitching or the shape of the sleeve can go a long way. Please note that any product that is used for physical activity will at the end of the day have a limited lifespan, but, like any other shopper, you’ll be looking out for a product that lasts longer.

Ideally, a knee brace will last for a year or two on heavy usage, a product that lasts less than that is pretty disappointing and a total waste of your buck. Wear and tear of your knee brace need to also be gradual and only show signs after a year of use and not within the first few months after purchase. In the event, you encounter unexpected damage from your knee brace, it’s probably a factory defect. Reputable knee brace companies will offer replacement and return services, that are clearly indicated on their websites, contacting them should be easy. Therefore, before you purchase a knee brace find out if they have a return policy in case of a factory defect or unexpected wear and tear.

Warmth

A primary benefit of wearing compression gear and knee braces is for better blood circulation which in the long run improves performance and recovery. Different patients have different recovery priorities and situations. Some will prefer extra warmth, while some won’t. Warmth, however, is often based on personal preference and heat sensitivity. Thicker braces will be warmer than thin braces, that are often cooler.

Comfort

This is a very personal factor when shopping for a knee brace. Depending on an individual, there will always be varied sentiments towards comfort from one person to the next. The ergonomics of the knee brace is a crucial factor in whether you are happy wearing your brace or not. Often ignored; being happy about wearing your knee brace is a key factor when it comes to quick recovery and performance. Your comfort plays a big role in the following scenarios:

  • When your knee brace looks good and makes you feel great; it will allow you to breeze through your workouts effortlessly.
  • Greatly designed braces will always work well once you wear them.
  • Braces are designed differently some are too long others are too short; try a bunch of braces to find out which one works best for you before purchase.

Compression and Support

The best way to determine the level of support and compression needed depends on your condition and the activity required to use them. Higher amounts of compression and support will require high-quality material and production. It is due to this fact that you will notice cheaper braces are often used for light workouts and recovery; while premium quality sleeves are normally used for athletic purposes like weight lifting and cross fitting.

Getting the right size

Different manufacturers give different size guides. In case you don’t know which size is best for your condition, it’s always a wise idea to contact your physical therapist. Getting an extremely tight brace or a loosely fitting brace will ultimately affect your recovery time and worse complicate your condition further.

How Tight Should my Knee brace be?

It’s important that you have compression; this is the feeling of tightness in your knee when you are using a knee brace. It needs to feel comfortable providing an extra level of support for your individual needs. However, in case your brace of choice is uncomfortable or tight, then you will be losing circulation, and it would be an ideal time to loosen the straps or get a larger fitting brace. Rigid braces provide more support and feel rigid; while on the other hand, compression sleeves will allow for more movement with less support. With the help of your physician, you should be able to determine which knee brace or sleeve to choose based on your condition and goal.

Which Knee Brace is Ideal for my Condition?

Well, the right knee brace for a patient wholly depends on the level of support that is required and more specifically what is recommended by your physician. This decision has normally based on the type of injury, whether or not you are recovering from an injury; and how much movement your knee should be getting.

Open-Patella Brace Bracoo Knee Support

Open-Patella-Brace-Bracoo-Knee-SupportThe Bracco Knee Support brace is a fully customizable Knee brace that comes with three straps to help tailor fit your needs. These straps can be attached at any point around the support for a better fit. It helps to prevent slippage even during the most intense workout and is perhaps the best knee brace to use for jogging. The design of the open patella knee support not only helps relieve the stress in the knee area, but its padded stabilizer also works to prevent patella displacement – helping guide your knee cap in its proper motion.

This particular knee brace is made out of an extra-thick neoprene material that offers additional support and protection as well as improved blood circulation to your muscles and tendons. Its internal perforations help in drawing away excess sweat from the skin to give a more comfortable experience. This knee brace is ideal for either of the knees for sprains; minor tears in the ligaments sprain as well as joint instability. It works to keep the localized ligaments and tendons warm and limber while on your workouts; improving oxygenation and increase in proprioception. This brace is hand washable with cold water.

Benefits

  • Latex-free
  • Fully customizable brace
  • Comes with an open patella design
  • Has a reinforced stabilizer ring
  • Made from breathable neoprene

Shock Doctor Hinged Knee Brace

Shock-Doctor-Hinged-Knee-BraceThis knee brace is ideal for preventing and healing medical as well as lateral instability, meniscus injuries, minor patella instability, arthritis, minor ligament sprains, and other knee problems. It is one of the most recommended hinged knee braces since it’s an antimicrobial brace; that is equipped with advanced airflow venting technology that helps in the reduction of moisture, bacteria, and odor which makes a comfortable experience during strenuous activities or workouts.

The sturdy bilateral dual hinges offer support and a four-way stretch spandex mesh that lends its elasticity for a comfortable movement. This particular knee brace is made out of latex-free premium material. Its construction combines easy grip tabs and flexible side stabilizers for accurate fitting. It offers compression for your soft tissues and also assists when it comes to joint relief and alignment. The knee brace works to boost therapeutic heat for improved blood flow, that aids in healing tendons and muscles. This particular product is suitable for close-fitting so that it is able to fit small.

Benefits

  • Prevents odor due to material construct
  • It is Antimicrobial
  • It is latex-free
  • Offers therapeutic heat for improved blood flow
  • It comes in a pre-curved anatomical design
  • It comes with flexible side stabilizers and easy-grip tabs for accurate fittings.

Exodus Knee Brace Supporter

Exodus-Knee-Brace-SupporterThis knee brace comes with a four-way compression system that is designed for all knee pain and support needs. It is made with high quality 3.4mm breathable neoprene with an open patella design dedicated patella band and a fully adjustable 4-point system. It offers a truly unique all-round support and compression. The Exodus brace functions quite well since it comes with a four-strap-design; which comes with side stabilizers and a built-in comfort gap. All features combined offer a stabilized non-slip support. This particular brace is ideal for sports and exercise and offers all-day pain relief and comfort. The comfort gaps offer a full range of motion and support full knee bends as well. It has an intelligent design that allows heat to escape creating less bunching at the back of the knee for all-day comfort.

Benefits

  • Best for sports and exercise
  • Comes with a four-way compression system
  • Holds in place
  • Offers less bunching at the back of the knee
  • Has 360-degree support

CompressionGear (Patella stabilizing) Knee Brace

CompressionGearThis particular brace is made out of a durable and extra-thick neoprene type fabric that works to offer extra protection as well as enhanced circulation of blood to the muscles and tendons. It’s a flexible, breathable lightweight, and provides all-out comfort as well as easy movement.

Its construct fabric absorbs extra sweat coming from the skin offering additional support while you are working out; while at the same time preventing irritation of the skin. This patella stabilizing brace is ideal for unisex and ideal for both women and men. And can also be used as part of (RICE) rest, ice, compress and elevate recovery method.

Its adjustable Velcro straps work by quickly wrapping around and fastening to any position on the knee for a comfortable and superior fit. Its secure anti-slip silicone prevents the knee brace from sliding and slipping down from the leg, even during intense activity. This brace is very easy to wear and take off.

Benefits

  • It is made from breathable, lightweight, and flexible material
  • Easy to wear and take off
  • Comes with adjustable straps
  • Perfect for high-intensity workouts
  • Highly recommended for surgery recovery and knee injury

McDavid brand Knee Brace

McDavid-brand-Knee-BraceThis is a dual disk hinged knee brace that features two wider, more stable hinges that the standard knee brace. It’s latex-free and provides a much more superior stretch, lighter and long-lasting support, and maximum heat insulation.

Its open 360 degrees padded buttress works by isolating and supporting the patella; offering moderate medial and lateral support for improved stability. This Knee brace is ideal for proactive injury, moderate to major instabilities, as well as post-surgery joint protection. Its bound edges are ideal since they help prevent irritation of the skin; while its perforated back panel offers moisture and heat management for total comfort. Its exterior layer of nylon fabric enhances its durability.

Benefits

  • Constructed from high-performance neoprene
  • Comes with a perforated back panel
  • Supports the patella
  • Comes with bound edges to help prevent skin irritation
  • It is latex-free
  • It comes with a lightweight hinge with wider arms to aid in maintaining its strength.
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