Knee braces specifically those that are made out of elastic are structured to provide stability in the affected knee while promoting flexibility and comfort at the same time. When an individual has an unstable or damaged knee, it can trigger intense pain and disrupt with activities in daily life. Once an individual experienced a minor knee injury or eager to prevent damage to the knee, it is best to consider the use of a knee brace.
Close look on knee braces
An elastic knee brace has 4 main functions that you should be familiar with:
- Prophylactic – utilized for prevention of injuries
- Functional – provides support to a damaged knee
- Patellofemoral – used to prevent the kneecap from dislocating
- Rehabilitative – these are used to help the damaged knee heal properly heal after an injury or surgical procedure
An elastic knee brace is usually made out of stretchable material usually cotton or cotton blend that is designed to allow the skin to easily breathe while wicks sweat away from the knee.
The material compresses the skin yet not in a restrictive manner that the knee could no longer move. When the knee brace is used, it often covers both the upper part of the patella and extends several inches below the kneecap.
Benefits and drawbacks of using an elastic knee brace
An elastic knee brace can provide a number of benefits that you should be familiar with.
- Reduces the impact to the knee especially among athletes
- Reduces rotation while engaging in physical activity
- Reducing the risk for injuries particularly to the medial collateral ligament (MCL) if used during activity
Despite the benefits one can gain from this type of knee brace, there are also activity-related drawbacks such as providing a false sense of security. An individual might believe that the brace will allow him/her to engage in an activity that the body could not support. In addition, using a knee brace can also affect the speed and agility that might be useful in the prevention of injuries especially in certain sports.
Ensuring the right fit
The doctor will recommend a particular type of knee brace in an attempt to properly fit the brace. A longer brace is usually preferred since it provides a wider protection for the MCL. It is also possible to opt for an elastic knee brace that is created to deal with the specific injury or condition of the individual. Make sure that the knee brace should snugly fit but must not constrict circulation in any way.