Brace Yourself: Getting Knee Support for Knee Pain
If you’ve experienced minor knee pain from arthritis or playing contact sports, you may benefit from using a knee support product. Knee pain symptoms range include swelling, stiffness, redness, crunching or popping noises and weakness.
Several factors can increase your risk of having knee problems, including:
- Being overweight increases stress on your knee joints. It also puts you at increased risk of osteoarthritis, the most common condition of arthritis that breaks down joint cartilage.
- Lack of flexibility and strength. Tight or weak muscles offer less support for your knee by not absorbing enough of the stress exerted on the joint. It is one of the leading causes of knee injuries.
- Previous knee injury.You are more likely to injure your knee again after having a previous knee injury.
- Various sports.Some sports put greater stress on your knees than others and increase your risk of knee injury.
Certain knee injuries can lead to increasing pain, joint damage and disability if left untreated. Knowing more about how to pick the best knee brace to treat your injury and support your needs by using a knee support can make the process less stressful. There are several types of knee braces available to choose from, such as sleeves, wraparound braces, hinged braces, and straps:
- A knee sleeve provides compression and mild to moderate support for individuals who have arthritis, those playing high impact sports such as basketball or lifting weights.
- A hinged knee brace offers the most support but limited movement. This type of brace is also generally heavier and is best for recovering from surgery.
- Wraparound or dual-wrap braces and knee straps provide moderate knee support for minor pain relief, injury or weak knees. These braces are also ideal for athletes, can be used while training and are easy to put on and remove.
The right knee brace for you depends on your individualized needs and/or what your doctor recommends. The following suggestions may help prevent injuries and joint deterioration:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Extra pounds put additional strain on your joints, increasing the risk of injuries and osteoarthritis.
- Stay flexible, increase strength.Try balance and stability training to help improve support of the muscles around your knees. Stretching often and try to do more flexibility exercises.
- Change the way you exercise.If you have osteoarthritis, chronic knee pain or recurring injuries, consider limiting high-impact activities and switching to low-impact activities.
- Be conditioned to play your sport.Sports participation requires you to prepare your muscles, so work with a coach or trainer.
Practicing good self-care measures will help stay physically active and be more mindful of giving your knees the support they need. Carmichael’s retail locations in Crowley, Lafayette and Lake Charles offer a variety of knee support products, including knee braces. Carmichael’s Retail Pharmacy in Crowley also fills prescriptions for knee pain and also offers over-the-counter medications.