Bracing (Custom & Pre-fabricated)
There are several different braces available for the treatment of arthritis. Most are over-the-counter and are worn for comfort. However, there are custom braces available depending on the specific area of the knee that is affected by arthritis. An unloader brace is one commonly used brace that attempts to alleviate pressure from the arthritic area of your knee, where cartilage is missing. This is accomplished by pressing on the non-arthritic side of the knee to open the space between the bones on the arthritic side. The brace is designed for active people and allows for knee bending and straightening. The brace does not help everyone, but people who do get relief are able to lead a more active lifestyle than before using it. A doctor’s prescription is needed for this brace and appropriate sizing is essential.
Braces are also widely recommended for the management of certain sports injuries, including muscular and tendon injuries. Braces or splints are specifically designed devices that safely support the injured area in correct position to induce the healing process. For better recovery of the sports injury, bracing should be used along with physical therapy and strengthening exercises.