A simple knee brace can make a massive difference to the life of an arthritis sufferer. It provides some much-needed support, protecting their joints throughout the day and keeping knee pain to a minimum.
What to Look for in a Knee Support
Not all knee supports work in the same way. Some protect the whole of the knee joint, others focus on specific parts; some are tailored toward elderly users with arthritis, others focus more on sports injuries.
Look for all the following features to ensure you get the best knee brace for your needs:
How Flexible is the Brace?
Do you still have the freedom to move? Does it lock your knee in place or simply provide a little extra support? If you’re using a knee brace to reduce joint pain while you move, you’ll want something that is flexible and allows you to continue living your life.
Is it Effective?
Read the user reviews, look at the materials it’s made of, and see what claims the manufacturers are making. Any-old knee support won’t do—you need something that provides optimal support and can help to reduce pain.
How Comfortable is it?
Maximum support doesn’t need to mean minimum comfort. It should be comfortable, and if you’re wearing it for prolonged periods of time it should also be breathable.
The Best Knee Supports for Arthritis Pain
We looked through many different knee supports on Amazon and hand-selected the best ones. Take a look at our list below to see these for yourself:
Dynamic Gear Open Patella Stabilizing Knee Brace
A high-quality knee brace with an open patella design. It features adjustable compression, is available in multiple sizes, and can assist with everything from arthritic knees to rehabilitation following a meniscus tear or other injury.
TechWare Pro Knee Brace Support
With Velcro straps, an open patella design, non-slip strips, and moisture-resistant neoprene, this brace fits your left or right knee and is designed for men and women and for people of all ages. Multiple sizing options ensure a perfect fit for all, including plus size users.
Vive Knee Ice Pack Wraparound Brace
Viva always pops up when we’re doing reviews of the best mobility aids and accessories. This manufacturer has produced some of the best supportive products, so it’s no surprise to see it on this list.
The Vive ice park wraparound can help with sprains and other injuries, as well as arthritis. Just freeze the ice packs, slip them in, and use the adjustable straps to secure it in place. It provides pain relief and helps to reduce swelling.
BLITZU Compression Knee Sleeve
The BLITZU knee sleeve compresses the knee joint and provides stabilization. It’s breathable, washable, and cheap, costing less than $15 for a pack of two. The BLITZU is not one of our top picks as it won’t suit everyone, but it’s a very affordable and well-made sleeve that helps with certain injuries and conditions.
Brace Align Osteoarthritis Unloader Brace
This is a premium product and it is available for a premium price, costing between $100 and $150, depending on where and when you buy. It’s a little more complicated than the others on this list, but it’s incredibly well made and completely adjustable, removing some of the pressure from your joint.
Benefits of Knee Supports
Knee osteoarthritis, a form of arthritis common in older individuals, typically affects one side of the knee joint more than the other. This causes a type of misalignment. If you suffer from this condition, it may feel like your knees are ready to buckle every time you put pressure on them.
A knee support puts pressure on the knee, locking everything together and helping to realign.
A knee brace can also provide support following surgery or an injury. Where medial collateral ligament (MCL) injuries are concerned, a hinged knee brace can take some of the pressure off the knee while maintaining some freedom of movement. Following anterior collateral ligament (ACL) surgeries, for instance, it can lock the knee and prevent further damage while promoting healing.
Treatments for Knee Osteoarthritis
Your physician can diagnose osteoarthritis and point you toward effective treatments and management methods. These may include:
Obese individuals are more prone to osteoarthritis, as well as tendonitis and a host of knee injuries. That extra weight applies a lot of pressure to the joints and this may be exacerbated by physical activity.
Ironically, regular exercise is one of the best ways to lose weight, causing somewhat of a dilemma. This is where a knee support brace can help, although it’s only really necessary if you are prone to injuries or have been advised by an expert.
Weight loss can help with many other conditions as well, potentially reducing your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more.
This is why you might see a lot of knee supports in the sport of weightlifting. If you are morbidly obese, you’ll be carrying all that extra weight wherever you go.
Physical Therapy and Exercise
Regular stretching and moderate exercise can help with the management of arthritis of the knee. It helps to strengthen your joints and your muscles, reducing the risk of damage. However, it’s important to stick with light/moderate low-impact exercise, otherwise you may exacerbate the condition.
Your doctor can prescribe pain medications to help you manage the condition. These medications can be oral or topical, with the latter potentially triggering fewer side effects with many of the same benefits. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen work well and are available in multiple forms.
For severe pain, your physician can prescribe injectable steroids. However, you may want to rethink the consumption of opioid medications. While effective at killing pain, they provide more side effects, are highly addictive, and may not work as well as NSAIDs and steroids.
Hot and Cold Therapy
An ice pack can reduce pain and swelling in the knee and may help to reduce inflammation. Heat works in the same way, but these methods can’t substitute for a weight loss, a clean diet, and medication.