Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. This disease causes pain, stiffness and limited movement of the affected joint. Along with damage to the meniscus, articular cartilage could wear away over time causing a narrowing of the joint space. When this shock absorption is lost, and as the joint space narrows, bone could rub against bone causing pain. When you stand or walk, the hip, knee and ankle joints ideally should be vertically aligned like staggered blocks. In an OA knee, narrow space and pain associated with the disease can often lead to an abnormal gait which can throw off this natural alignment. The resulting misalignment is often associated with OA.
Although both the lateral (outside) or medial (inside) of the knee can be affected. The majority of people with OA have medial OA. you may compensate for this painful knee by limping to reduce the weight on that side of the body. Over time, knee OA can also lead to pain and instability and stiffness problems with your knees, hips and ankles. This disease is progressive and, unfortunately has no cure. Though, its progression is at a different rate for each person. Treatment for this non-fatal disease includes both surgical and non-surgical approaches.
From the non-surgical standpoint, you should use soft or cushion shoes to dampen the impact of your foot hitting the ground. You should also do exercises keep your leg muscle strong. Another thing you could do is use a brace. Knee braces can help with restoring knee alignment, particularly during weight-bearing activities, like walking. Knee braces for osteoarthritis are known as unloader braces. Knee braces gently apply pressure on the affected side to align the knee, taking pressure off the affected side of the knee. This will ultimately push the knee back into normal alignment.
When you stand or walk, your hip, knee and ankle joints ideally should be vertically aligned like staggered blocks.
Besides restoring alignment of your knee, a knee brace can also be beneficial in…
Reducing pain in your kneecap.
To keep the bone in place and relieve pain, your doctor or local pharmacist may recommend a neoprene brace when you experience weakness of cartilage under your kneecap. This type of brace has a cutout for your kneecap and helps you able to exercise comfortably. Exercising in this case can strengthen your leg muscle and quadriceps. You can purchase a neoprene brace at pharmacy and sporting goods stores.
Wearing a knee brace has been shown to not only reduce swelling and relieve pain but also benefit arthritis patients psychologically. Researchers say patients experience a feeling of support while having a knee brace on. In addition, when you’re physically active, a knee brace may act as a friendly reminder for you to be more careful of your legs, knees and whole body as well.
You can benefit from a hinged knee brace for additional healing if you have medial collateral ligament (MCL) injuries. For those of you who have anterior collateral ligament (ACL) tears, your doctor may prescribe you a drop lock hinged brace to help your knee post-surgical procedure.
Warning: Consult your licensed healthcare professional and doctor if knee braces is a good option for you regarding safe and appropriate activity levels while wearing one. If you experience increased pain, swelling, skin irritation or any adverse reactions, while using knee braces, immediately consult your healthcare professional.