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  • Writer's pictureDr. Terrell Joseph

Should You Wear a Knee Brace for Injuries?

There are a lot of sports out there, and a lot of athletes playing them. Naturally, everybody wants to avoid injuries. So, naturally, they also want to know how to prevent them.

That's why we hear this question all the time: do knee braces prevent injuries?

Can we prove that knee braces work?

The truth is, we really can't say definitively that knee braces always help to prevent injuries. At least, from a scientific standpoint. However, in quite a few situations, athletes do say that the extra level of support that a brace supplies provides them with the support they need to perform at a higher level without fearing additional injury.

We do know that braces help the stabilize the knee as people recover from surgery. Talk to your knee surgeon to see which one of these bracing options is right for you:

What are the types of knee braces?

1. Unloader/Offloader Knee Braces

People who have arthritis in their knee may use these to take the weight off of the joint.

2. Functional Knee Braces.

We mentioned that certain braces are used after surgery following a serious injury to the knee. Functional knee braces fall into this category. That's why you'll see top athletes wearing these types of braces on social media while doing PT to recover from injury.

3. Rehabilitative Knee Braces

These types of knee braces limit movement while the knee joint is still healing from surgery or the injury itself. Hence the name.

4. Prophylactic Knee Braces

These braces are used by skiers, football players, basketball players, and other athletes. Some will use prophylactic knee braces even if they have healthy knees to help prevent injuries.

Do they work? We just aren't sure, and it will probably vary on a case-by-case basis.

So, do knee braces help prevent injuries?

As mentioned before, we just don't know definitively. However, doctors are apt to suggest knee bracing for those who are very active in sports that put an abnormal amount of strain upon the knees.

Talk to your knee doctor and see what they have to say!

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