Best Knee Brace for Basketball
Basketball is a high risk sport for knee injuries. It involves a good deal of running, jumping and quickly switching of directions. These types of movements can all put a lot of strain on your knee joint and over time ligaments and muscles can become worn down or an injury can occur. A good knee brace is an awesome way to help prevent overuse injuries and acute injuries as well as aid you in your recovery following an injury.
When should a basketball player wear a knee brace?
Many players wear a brace for preventative measures and some people need them to support an injured aspect of the knee. A simple knee sleeve is common for someone looking to prevent an injury but a more specific brace is required if you have damaged certain ligaments or other soft tissue. If you are someone who is suffering from osteoarthritis but still love to play the game of basketball. An unloader brace will provide the support to take away some of the pain and help prolong the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Types of Knee Braces
When looking for a knee brace there are different levels of support based on whether you have a specific injury or you are looking to prevent future injuries
The most basic form of support is a knee sleeve. These sleeves are often made out of a neoprene material that fits snuggly around the knee joint. It will offer mild to moderate support through compression and heat retention. Heat retention is helpful to you knee because it increases blood circulation in the joint, the more blood that is circulating through will aid in the healing process and help reduce swelling.
The next level of support can be found in a knee brace that contain straps. These stabilized knee braces provide additional compression and support to the knee and can be adjusted to comfort. Someone suffering from tendon damage or mild to moderate meniscus tears will benefit from a brace like this.
Hinged braces are the highest level of support for a basketball player. These braces are often worn by people who have previously injured a ligament in their knee (may or may not have had surgery) and are returning back to the game of basketball. When suffering from a more severe ligament injury or recovering from surgery a more high stability brace is required. These braces will contain a flexion/extension hinge that provides resistance from the knee moving into at-risk positions. These braces provide maximum support to put your mind at ease while returning to sport.
Unloader braces take the pressure off of the knee joint when playing basketball and transfer that pressure to the thighs. These braces provide stability and support that will help improve function of the knee and decrease symptoms caused by arthritis. This type of brace is custom designed and made of molded plastic, foam and steel stuts.
Here are some great braces recommended for basketball players:
1. CompressionZ Knee Sleeve
If you are looking for a great knee sleeve to provide mild-moderate support during your basketball games this is a great option. This compression technology boosts the heat retention which leads to faster muscle recovery and blood circulation. The fabric is made to keep your knee warm in cold weather and cooler in high temperatures. The fabric also has anti itch and odor protection for added comfort.
2. Bracoo Breathable Neoprene Knee Support
This is the type of brace some basketball players may wear for preventative measures. It is designed to hold the patella in place and stabilize all surrounding ligaments. It is a snug but comfortable brace that provides flexibility in movement. There are three separate straps that allow you to find the perfect fit for comfortability during a basketball game.
3. Mueller Patella Stabilizer Knee Brace
This patellar stabilizing brace falls into the category of a moderate support brace that could be used for stability and heat retention. This brace is great for the treatment of patellar tendinitis, tendon strains and arthritic knees. The supportive steel springs and kneecap buttress will protect the patella and knee joint during running, basketball and other activities. If you have been experiencing pain around your knee cap during a game, this brace is great to help relieve that pain.
4. Donjoy Fullforce Ligament Brace
This brace is designed to be used with mild to moderate ligament injuries and is suitable for contact sports like basketball. The fullforce brace will provide an excellent amount of support if recovering from a knee surgery but is not a heavy brace like many other hinged braces. It is light weight and comfortable, containing “anti-migration” pads to hold the brace in place.
5. McDavid Pro Stabilizer ll Hinged Knee Brace
This is another hinged brace that would be used for a basketball player who has injured a ligament (most commonly the ACL in basketball players). The brace contains medial-lateral support to prevent the knee from moving into high risk positions as well as two side hinges to prevent hyperextension. It is light weight and is sold for a very reasonable price.