How to Choose the Best Knee Brace
A knee brace can be an important tool to help you recover and relieve pain from a number of injuries like osteoarthritis, ACL tears, and patella tracking disorders, but how do you know which brace is right for you? Here are some tips to remember while choosing a knee brace. There are three main things to consider when choosing a knee brace:
• Level of Support Needed
• Type of Knee Brace
• Knee Brace Design
Determine the Correct Level of Support
The extent of your injury will determine the amount of support you’ll need in a knee brace. BioSkin knee braces come in four levels of support.
A knee sleeve or patella tendon strap provides the most basic level of support through simple compression to the joint without restricting movement. This is a great option if you are looking to prevent injury or are returning to activity following an injury such as mild strains or patellar tendinitis.
The next level of support is a knee sleeve with flexible supports. An example of this type of brace is the BioSkin Compression Knee Brace with Gel . This type of brace provides more stability for the joint than a simple compression sleeve but is lighter and more flexible than a hinged knee brace. Instead of hinges on either side of the brace, there are two flexible supports that provide lightweight stability for the knee. We recommend this option if you are looking for mild to moderate support and pain relief.
The third level of support is a hinged knee brace. A brace such as the Premium Hinged Knee Brace provides more joint stabilizations than the previous two support options, but does not restrict range of motion. A hinged knee brace protects the ligaments and tendons in the joint from painful sideways movements while the injury heals. This is a great option if you have a mild to moderate ligament injury or require joint stabilization during recovery.
The most supportive knee brace that BioSkin offers is a hinged knee brace that limits your range of motion. This type of brace is similar to a hinged knee brace but can limit flexion and extension of the knee while the joint recovers. This option is best if you are recovering from a moderate to severe ligament injury or surgery. BioSkin’s Bodyguard knee brace provides the most support and protection of our knee braces.
What Type of Knee Brace Do You Need?
In addition to level of support, you will also want to consider the various types of functionality provided by different knee braces. The three main types of knee braces are:
- - Patella tracking
- - Swelling control
- - General stability
A patella tracking brace, such as the Lateral J Patellofemoral Brace, includes a foam piece or strap designed to keep the patella (kneecap) tracking properly. The foam ring or “J” creates a barrier for the patella, keeping it in the joint’s groove while the knee bends and extends, relieving pain and enhancing function.
A knee brace designed to control swelling will have an emphasis on compression and includes a gel ring around the kneecap like the Premium Hinged Knee Brace with Gel. Compression increases circulation, relieves pain, and reduces swelling following an injury. The gel ring around the patella provides passive massage and pushes excess swelling out of the joint.
A general stability knee brace like the BioSkin Hinged Knee Brace is designed for overall support and stabilization for the joint. This is a great option if you are looking for general stability and pain relief, or are unsure of your exact knee injury.
Knee Brace Design
There are three main types of knee brace designs. A knee brace can either be a pull-on sleeve, pull-on with a gel ring, or wraparound design. A pull-on knee brace provides the most compression and is the best option if you are looking for a brace to wear during activity. A pull-on with gel design provides comfortable compression and additional swelling control. This option is best if you are looking to relieve pain and swelling. A wraparound design fastens above and below the knee joint without the need to pull anything up from your foot. We recommend this option if you have difficulty applying knee braces or require a more adjustable fit.
Choose the Right Size
The most important thing to remember when purchasing a knee brace is to pick the right size. Be sure to check the size chart before making your decision. The measurement above your knee joint is the most important one to consider when choosing a brace that will fit comfortably. If you are in between sizes, we recommend choosing the larger size to be sure the brace does not cause discomfort.
Remember to always consult with your doctor if you are unsure which option is best for you. If you have any questions about our products, you can use the live chat feature of the website, email [email protected], or give us a call at 866-830-5777.