If you are nursing an injury, getting the right knee brace is certainly a must to ensure that it won’t get worse. However, with all of the different types of braces available, this can often be confusing. So here are some tips when buying and using a brace.
What types of braces are available to you?
Before purchasing, think first whether you need to have it or not. In some cases, minor knee injuries can be nursed even without the need for braces. However, keep in mind that you do need to take considerable precautions, such as completely avoiding any strenuous activity, during the whole recovery period. If you do need to continue such activities, then a prophylactic brace will be suited. Do note, however, that these will reduce your performance.
If the injury is a severe one, then getting a functional knee brace is in order. Here, you are probably asking whether to opt for a store-bought or a custom made brace. Store-bought braces are obviously the easier ones to get and will provide you with a quick remedy. However, as Brett Sears reminded, it would still be best for you to be fitted with a custom one to ensure full protection.
Fitting and adapting into the brace
An important pointer when choosing a knee brace to purchase is it needs to perfectly fit the wearer. Thus, make sure to take the necessary measurements beforehand. Aside from the knee’s circumference, you want to get measurements at points three inches above and below it. When getting braces with predetermined sizes, Carrie Skimmer advises to get one that is slightly larger than your own to provide that needed breathing space for your skin.
Many of the more specialized braces also offer several adjustment points to better fit these to your knee. When adjusting the parts, do it in small increments until you are satisfied with how the brace fits. What you are looking for here is that your knee should be properly restrained, while still remaining comfortable. In some cases, it would be better to let your physician do the adjustments for you. Remember that you have to do regular adjustments to ensure that it provides maximum comfort during recovery.
Training with a knee brace
Before you can go out and resume regular athletic activities while wearing braces, consult your physician first. Most will likely recommend you to skip training until after full recovery. However there are some instances where they would allow it under close supervision. In the latter’s case, you will be restricted to only a few activities that will not subject your knees to too much strain. Note that this is actually good as it will help you regain knee strength.
If you do get the signal to go into training, you yourself need to be well aware of the precautions. Even if you don’t feel any pain, resist the temptation to push the knee further. Also make sure that you regularly check the position of the brace and adjust it accordingly.
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