Best Knee Brace for Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people and as we age the disease becomes more and more common. The pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis can put limits on you daily life my limiting the intensity and duration for activities, sports and work life.
Osteoarthritis braces will reduce the pain, inflammation and joint stiffness. As well as reduced tissue and bone degradation. By taking some of the pressure off of your knee it will make it easier to stank, walk and move around.
Symptoms for osteoarthritis include:
- Reduced range of motion
- Knock-kneed or bowlegged appearance
What causes Osteoarthritis?
In a healthy knee there are tissues that form a natural cushion between the tibia (shin bone) and femur (thigh bone). These cartilage tissues are used to absorb and dissipate the forces that are placed on the knee, as well as provide a cushioned smooth surface for bones to glide along. When someone is diagnosed with osteoarthritis it means that the cartilage tissue between their bones has begun to decrease. Without the cushion surface the bones will begin to grind against each other and cause swelling and pain.
What type of brace will work?
Single-piece sleeves are the simplest type of knee brace. The brace is pulled over foot and placed snuggly over the knee. It provides compression, warmth and support for more mild to moderate symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Unloader braces are considered the best type of brace used to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. The unloader brace is specifically designed to reduce bone on bone contact. These braces are clinically proven to benefit the patient, through increased mobility and improved quality of life. They are a semi rigid brace molded from plastic and foam that helps stabilize the knee.
How does a knee brace help?
Osteoarthritis braces work by applying corrective forces to the knee to maintain normal alignment and redistribute load away from the damaged side of the knee. Most braces will take the load off of either the lateral or medial compartment, and incorporate load adjustment mechanisms that allow the patient to fine tune their knee brace.
These braces will also provide a form of stability for the knee to help you stand and move around with more confidence. The knee brace will make it possible to walk longer distances comfortably.
What’s the appropriate knee brace for you!
The first thing you need to consider is which compartment of the knee is painful. Medial pain will be located on the inside of the knee joint and lateral pain will be pain on the outside of the knee joint. There is also patellofemoral pain which is characterized by pain behind the knee cap. Braces work best for patients who have uni-compartmental knee damage, meaning the pain is mainly restricted to one of the compartments. The most common compartment for osteoarthritis to develop in is the medial.
Here are 4 great knee braces for osteoarthritis
Ossur Unloader One OTS Osteoarthritic Knee Brace
This highly professional engineered knee brace is perfect for those suffering with knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. It is designed to treat mild to severe uni-compartmental osteoarthritis by unloading pressure on the joint. This light weight brace will provide immediate pain relief and can be worn for hours a day comfortably. The pads help to keep the brace in place and prevent it from slipping out of place. It features flexible, perforated shells that conform easily to individual anatomy, giving this knee brace an excellent fit and the title of best knee brace for Osteoarthritis.
Donjoy Knee Elastic
This knee elastic is a great support for those suffering from mild osteoarthritis, as well as providing stability to unstable knees. Through compression of the knee, this support will alleviate symptoms of pain, swelling and stiffness. It will also enhance proprioceptive and neuromuscular stimulation to aid in balance control and smooth movements. On top of that is provides warmth to the knee joint to increase vascularization which then leads to decreased swelling and recovery time.
Orthomen Medical Osteoarthritis Knee Brace
The Orthomen knee brace is another brace that is great for uni-compartment osteoarthritis patients. This brace will help support the knee joint and share the loading of the affected joint. The light weight and superior fit make this brace comfortable enough to wear for many hours of the day.
DonJoy Osteoarhtritis Reaction WEB knee brace
With this brace, you will have to choose the one that is specific to your affected compartment. This brace is great for people looking to do mild activity like hiking, jobbing and playing sports. The silicone webbing provides shock absorption and anterior pain relief by supporting the patella. Once you have got used to the feeling of this brace it will be comfortable allowing you to walk with confidence.
Physical therapy is also a very important part of treating Osteoarthritis. The combination of a knee brace with stretching and strengthening is the best way to get back to a healthy life style. Some more advanced braces may require to be fitted professionally by your physiotherapist or doctor.