Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.
It only takes a little knee pain to significantly slow down an otherwise fully healthy person. Unfortunately, knee pain caused by osteoarthritis is all too common in older patients. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control reports, “Nearly 1 in 2 people may develop symptomatic knee OA by age 85 years.” That figure goes up for obese patients. “Two in three people who are obese may develop symptomatic knee OA in their lifetime,” reports the CDC.
Knee Braces for Osteoarthritis
A couple of weeks ago I discussed the use of injections for treating knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. However, one option that many patients turn to before going the injection route is the knee brace.
One 2013 study found, “Patients who wore a knee brace said it reduced pain by about 40% over 6 weeks.” One benefit of a knee brace is that it stabilizes the knee, making aerobic exercise and strength training more feasible for patients with joint stiffness.
Why Wear a Knee Brace?
There are a few reasons many patients choose the knee brace for their pain.
- For one, a brace can keep the kneecap in place, which reduces pain in patients who have weak or softened cartilage beneath the kneecap.
- Secondly, a knee brace allows patients with a damaged knee to walk with greater comfort. While the comfort is an obvious benefit, the more subtle benefit here is that patients can get more exercise, which improves both mood and health – all because of a simple brace.
- Knee braces also have psychological benefits: increased confidence and caution. By wearing the brace, patients are reminded of their injury and may be more careful in their movements, thereby lessening the risk of injury.
Talk to Your Houston Orthopedic Physician About Bracing
A knee brace can be a very simple, effective, and affordable solution to pain caused by osteoarthritis of the knee. If you have been experiencing symptoms that sound like arthritis, take this brief assessment to have someone from Houston Institute for Sports Medicine and Orthopedics contact you. (You will be transferred to a secure server when you click the clink.)
To schedule your appointment with a Houston orthopedic physician, please call us at (713) 756-5546. You can also schedule online.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.