Knee braces designed to off-load the more diseased compartment of the knee have also been used to provide symptomatic relief. These low-risk, noninvasive unloader braces have increasingly been used as a conservative treatment modality for knee osteoarthritis (OA).
Characterized by persistent pain, chronic inflammation and limited function, knee OA ranks among the most common disabling conditions in adults. It is important to understand the benefits of OA braces when determining whether you should utilize this tool. Read on to learn more about the effects of off-loading braces and whether you might benefit from wearing one.
At Reflex, we have witnessed the effectiveness of these off-loading knee braces, as they play a vital role in reducing pain and increasing mobility for patients with OA.
Off-loading braces are specifically designed to relieve the joint stress over the affected compartment of the knee. The brace also helps restore proper alignment and cause dormant muscles to re-fire and properly function. These changes reduce the mechanical forces and pressure transmitted to the damaged area the knee. In addition, off-loading braces help correct compensation patterns and retrain the knee to move and function in a correct manner. Thus, OA braces play a vital role by slowing the rate of cartilage breakdown as well as reducing pain and improving function.
Off-loading braces are designed to stabilize the knee joint, shift forces to the unaffected compartments, and restore function. This type of brace is typically custom-fabricated and fitted to the patient by a qualified healthcare professional.
This type of brace is only worn during weight-bearing activities. Depending on the grade of OA, our doctors will make the appropriate recommendation for how often it needs to be worn – and this advice is necessary for maximizing the relief it can provide you.
Braces augment treatment outcomes by correcting the biomechanical factors that accelerate tissue breakdown. Increased mobility promotes an improved quality of life. This treatment will help people can do the things they want without the limitations of constant pain. Bracing may not relieve all symptoms of OA, but when used in conjunction with injection therapies that treat chronic inflammation, it has been demonstrated to be essential to achieve optimal outcomes.