Knee Braces & Supports
How Knee Braces and Knee Supports Can Help You
Knee braces are designed to help stabilise and protect your knee after an injury to give the damaged ligaments time to heal effectively. They can also be used to prevent injuries in close contact sports, such as football, basketball, and netball.
There are various types of knee injuries you can sustain that will determine which type of knee stabilizer you use for support. The cruciate ligaments that move your knee back and forth are prone to injury:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL)
- Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)
Ligament injuries and sprains, particularly to the ACL, are most common with people who play sports. Meniscus injuries are also very common. A meniscus tear is when the rubbery cartilage between the shinbone and the thigh bone is torn when twisting or rotating. This results in pain, swelling, and stiffness. Knee supports are also widely used with symptoms of jumper's knee, such as inflammation (patellar tendinitis) and thickening (patellar tendinosis) of the patellar tendon, as well as runner's knee which is a broad term to describe knee pain, also known as patellofemoral pain.
No matter which type of knee injury you have, a knee brace can limit your range of motion to give the knee joint time to heal and get you back up and moving around sooner.
What Wearing a Knee Brace Will Do
A knee brace has 2 major goals - to provide support after a knee injury and to prevent further injury to the knee. It can work to limit the mobility of the knee joint to stabilise the leg and help you to recover. It can also reduce pain and swelling associated with knee injuries. There are different types of knee braces with varying levels of support.
A patella knee injury refers to an injury made to the kneecap and is one of the most common injuries that can benefit from wearing a knee support. Also known as jumper's knee due to its prevalence amongst athletes, it occurs when tears are made to the patella tendon which can result in pain and inflammation.
Knee braces are also used as a tool for managing the pain and discomfort associated with osteoarthritis. With an unloader brace, weight can be shifted from the damaged part of the knee to reduce pain and make it more comfortable to walk around.
Good knee support will:
- Prevent injury
- Support the knee with compression and stabilisation
- Improve performance
- Prevent the knee from overextending post-injury or surgery
Things to Consider Before Buying a Knee Support
Knee supports come in many types and fabrics that offer varying levels of support for different types of knee injuries. Before making a purchase, ask yourself these questions:
- What type of knee brace matches my injury? There are hinged braces, knee stabilisers, sleeves, knee supports, straps, and more.
- What size should I get? The brace needs to be tight enough to provide proper support to the knee.
- What style should I get? Knee braces are available in different styles, including open patella for additional kneecap support, closed patella, slip-on and wraparound.
- Which fabric should I get? Fabrics have different characteristics which may make them more suitable to your needs than others. There are elastic knee braces, spandex, anti-slip silicone straps, neoprene supports that are thick and breathable, and much more.
Discuss with your healthcare professional first to determine which type of knee support will best support your needs.
Types of Knee Supports Available
The type of knee brace you choose will depend on the type of knee injury you have sustained and what kind of support you require. There are several types, including:
- Hinged knee brace - This type offers the most support by using hinges to keep your knee joint aligned when bending. They are commonly used after surgery or if you are experiencing moderate to severe pain and instability and allow for an adjustable knee support to match your range of motion.
- Knee stabilizers - These are comfortable and offer support and protection by using metal springs on the sides for advanced support and compression.
- Knee sleeves - A knee sleeve can be slipped over the kneecap to provide pain relief and prevent knee injuries.
- Knee straps - Straps can offer compression to the patellar tendon to minimise pain and distribute tension when you move. They are commonly used with jumper's knee and runner's knee.
- Wraparound - These braces provide more support than a sleeve and can help to alleviate mild to moderate knee pain. They're a great option for athletes as they're slim and easy to take on and off.
- Closed and open patella - An open patella brace features a hole in the centre of the brace where the kneecap can show through. They offer pressure relief and extra kneecap support. Closed patella braces offer compression to the kneecap and surrounding area for additional support when needed.
- Unloader brace - These are used to ease pain associated with osteoarthritis by shifting the weight off the affected portion to another area to make moving around easier.
Does Size Matter?
Your knee support needs to fit properly against your knee for you to get the full benefits. The right size brace will feel tight which means you have a good level of compression. However, it must still be comfortable. If the brace is too tight, loosen the straps or purchase a bigger size.
Our knee braces come in different sizes to suit everyone. We have small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes as well as adjustable knee supports to help you find the right fit. Choose from open patella knee braces by Elastoplast, thermal support and elastic knee braces by Thermoskin, moisture control knee supports and straps by Futuro for athletes, and much more.
How to Put on Your Knee Support
Each individual brace will have specific information on how to position the brace over the patella and secure the strapping for the most support. Follow the instructions on the product packet to learn how to properly attach your knee support to your knee. You can also speak to one of our highly trained team members at your nearest Amcal for additional guidance.
Can You Wash Your Knee Support?
Knee supports can suffer from wear and tear as they are typically worn every day. You can help to keep yours clean by regularly washing the fabric with soap and warm water. Leave it to air dry before wearing it again.
How Long Should You Wear Your Knee Brace?
This depends on the reason you are wearing a knee brace. If you have a knee injury, you will typically need to wear a knee brace for at least a week after the incident. If you wish to prevent knee injuries during sports, wear it every time you play. For osteoarthritis and post-operative braces, speak to a healthcare professional for specific instructions.
Wearing Your Knee Brace Over Leggings or Clothing
It is usually recommended that you wear your knee brace directly over the skin for the strongest support. If this is not possible, it can be used over clothing if your pants are tight and smooth, such as leggings or jeans, and the brace can still fit snugly and securely over the knee. Amcal knee braces by leading brands are designed to be perfectly contoured to the body which makes them easier to wear over or under your clothes.
Can You Wear Your Knee Brace to Bed?
Yes, wearing your knee brace overnight can help to heal your knee injury faster. This is because we often move around a lot while we're sleeping, and this can aggravate the injury and do more damage. The knee brace will help to stabilise your leg during the night and may help to reduce pain in the morning.
Wearing Your Brace During Exercise or Rehab
A knee stabiliser is not intended to be the sole solution for healing your knee injury. Physical exercise and rehab activities are more important to improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles around your knee so that you can heal faster with better long-term results. A knee brace can be a great support to wear while doing this - just don't let it become a crutch!
How Amcal Can Help with Our Large Range
Amcal stock the best knee braces to help you recover from knee injuries, reduce pain, and prevent future damage to the region. Shop Futuro sport knee braces, including the Moisture Control Knee Support with neoprene for warmth and breathability, and antimicrobial properties to prevent bacterial development.
We have Elastoplast Functional Knee Stabilisers with an open patella to provide strength and support to weak knees and relieve pain. We also stock Thermoskin thermal knee stabilisers for medial and lateral support, as well as elastic sleeves for pain relief and inflammation.
Shop our stabilisers, supports, wraparound braces, straps and sleeves today with free delivery over $89 or visit your nearest Amcal store and let us assist you.
FAQs About Knee Supports
What is the Best Knee Support?
The best knee support for you will depend on your reason for wearing a knee brace. A good knee brace will:
- Support and compress the area
- Prevent further injury
- Improve your performance
- Reduce pain and inflammation
Shop our range of thermal and elastic braces by Thermoskin, breathable knee supports and adjustable knee straps by Futuro, and sports knee supports by Elastoplast to provide comfort and stabilisation while moving.
What is the Best Support for Knee Pain?
The type of knee brace you choose will determine your level of support and comfort. There are many types of braces to relieve different injuries, including:
- Sleeves for mild pain relief and to prevent injury
- Wraparound for stabilisation, pain relief, and support
- Knee straps to prevent patella injuries
- Open patella to relieve pressure on the kneecap
- Hinged for advanced support after surgery
Our range of knee stabilisers by Futuro, Elastoplast, and Thermoskin is designed to compress the knee to relieve inflammation and support the area to reduce pain. The ActiPatch knee device can also provide pain relief and minimise swelling with electromagnetic pulse therapy.
Does Knee Support Help Knee Pain?
The right knee brace can provide pain relief associated with knee injuries and conditions such as osteoarthritis. They can shift the weight off the affected area, apply compression to reduce swelling, warm the joints to alleviate stiffness, and provide support to weak and unstable knees. Braces can be used alongside our range of pain relief medication to effectively manage knee pain.
What is the Difference Between a Knee Brace and a Knee Support?
A knee brace is a type of knee support that's used to protect a knee injury and prevent further damage from occurring. The terms are often used interchangeably. Amcal stocks a great range of knee braces by Elastoplast, Futuro, Thermoskin, and ActiPatch, including knee straps, open patella braces, sleeves, and stabilisers with wraparound and adjustable features.