Knee braces are supports that you wear for a painful or injured knee. Some people use them to prevent knee injuries during sports. Braces are made from combinations of metal, foam, plastic, elastic material and straps. They come in many sizes, colors and designs.
During sports, knee braces should be used as directed by your doctor. Take care when putting the brace on to make sure that the hinges are where the knee bends. Straps, tapes or Velcro® hook and loop tapes should be fastened around your leg. You should check the placement of the brace during activities to make sure that it hasn’t moved. Poorly positioned braces can hurt rather than help you.
To work well, a knee brace should be worn during all activities that put you at risk of injury to your knee. Don’t forget to warm up properly before beginning any athletic activity.
Knee braces often get damaged during normal use. You should inspect your brace often for wear and tear. Regular cleaning with soap and water is good for the brace fabric. Exposed metal should be covered to protect others from injury. A worn-out brace should be replaced for maximum benefit. More durable materials may cost more, but the brace might last longer.
Knee braces are the least important part of preventing knee injuries or getting better after an injury. Even with a knee brace on, you could still injure your knee. Stretching, strengthening and technique improvement is much more important.
You should make changes in intensity or training schedules little by little, to limit knee stress. Good strength and flexibility are important for holding down knee pain and injuries. You should work out an exercise plan with your doctor to get the best program for you. Don’t let a knee brace become a “crutch.”