Last updated: August 25, 2021

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We know that knee pads have become a fundamental tool in sport and an indispensable support in medicine; today there are many brands and models, with features for every occasion. We don't just want to give you the technical details, we want you to know the characteristics and factors that are fundamental when choosing the ideal knee brace for you, as your physical health will depend on it.

We want to give you the best option when choosing the knee brace you need or are looking for to do your favourite sports with the best protection or to correct orthopaedic problems. In addition, we will give you the characteristics of the best knee braces you can find in the market.




Summary

  • The knee brace is a garment that covers the knee and part of the joints, in addition to the soft parts, giving warmth to the muscle and support to the joints, it is very advantageous for artists who want to prevent injuries or patients with orthopaedic injuries.
  • Before starting to use a knee brace, it is wise to visit a specialist who will recommend the ideal one for each case, as there are sports and orthopaedic knee braces, which have different functions and advantages.
  • The most important aspects for acquiring the knee brace that best suits our needs and tastes range from finding the right size, utility and manufacturing materials, to the style of our preference and the actions it will apply on the kneecap.

The Best Kneepads: Our Picks

Buying Guide

We may think that buying a knee brace is a matter of going to the shop and choosing the most aesthetic or economical one, but there are several aspects to take into account that we should not overlook, as we could put our health at risk and expose ourselves to injury. This is why we want to provide you with the necessary tools to be able to choose the ideal knee brace.

In the area of industrial safety it is also common, in some cases, to use knee pads as an industrial protection accessory. (photo: Voltamax / pixabay.com)

What are kneepads and what advantages do they offer?

The knee brace is an orthopaedic product whose purpose is to protect, and prevent or alleviate knee injuries; there are different types of knee braces depending on the case that requires them and special attention must be paid to every detail, since using an inadequate knee brace can worsen an initial situation.

Its main advantage is that it allows sportsmen and athletes to perform high impact exercises preventing specific injuries, as well as alleviating the pain of people who have suffered orthopaedic trauma for the different reasons that can cause them.

This medicinal tool exerts actions on the knee depending on the type of knee brace, most of them have different combined actions, which is why the ideal is to make a detailed study to see which one is the most suitable according to our case. It can be considered a garment, as it covers a part of the body, so aesthetics and fashion must be taken into account when choosing the ideal one.

Advantages
  • Provides warmth to the joints
  • Has a compressive, stabilising and balancing action
  • Provides a feeling of well-being and security
  • Protects the joints and soft parts.
Disadvantages
  • Can cause injury if not worn properly
  • Can cause discomfort depending on the design
  • Can be uncomfortable or heavy depending on the design.

Sports and orthopaedic knee pads - what should you look out for?

Nowadays there is a great variety of knee braces, depending on the use we want or need; they are made of different materials and perform different actions on the knee. The most popular knee braces are sports and orthopaedic, although there is also a combination of both.

Sports knee braces: In sport, they are used as a safety and protection element. In many cases, depending on the training, they also function as a therapeutic aid for athletes during the rehabilitation period or permanently on the recommendation of a specialist. It is very important to use them to care for and protect the joint and soft parts, but also to increase the athlete's performance, as they can perform more effort with less risk of suffering a physical injury.

The orthopaedic knee brace: Helps rehabilitation after specific knee injuries, also to alleviate persistent orthopaedic problems and to cure pain or facilitate knee movement. These can be classified into different types: closed knee braces, open knee braces, knee braces with lateral support, knee braces with Velcro adjustment, flexion-extension knee braces, flexion knee braces and immobilisation knee braces.

Closed knee braces: This type of knee brace is recommended for tendonitis, inflammation and postoperative processes.

Open knee braces: These are ideal for patellar injuries, patellar chondropathy or osteoarthritis. They make a superior reinforcement in the patella, facilitating and helping in the location of the same, keeping it in place.

Knee braces with lateral support: These knee braces have bars or splints articulated on the sides of the knee to avoid sudden movements and obtain a rapid improvement of the injury.

Knee braces with Velcro adjustment: These knee braces have the particularity of being able to adjust the compressive action on the knee, they are excellent for inflammatory processes.

Knee braces with flexion-extension: These knee braces come with articulated bars and adjustable Velcro for a quicker adjustment of the knee and limit knee movement.

Flexion knee brace: These knee braces are recommended for use only under the supervision of a specialist, as they consist of two flexible splints that are placed on the back of the thigh and in front of the knee. Limiting the movement of the knee, without greatly reducing our ability to move.

Immobilisation knee brace: They have a series of Velcro straps, rods and splints that limit the movement of the knee. These knee braces are indicated for serious knee injuries that require keeping the knee in one position.

Sports Orthopaedic Sports - Orthopaedic
Use Preventive, performance Orthopaedic and rehabilitation Orthopaedic, healing and rehabilitation
Action on the knee Compressive, stabilising Compressive, stabilising and balancing Compressive, stabilising and balancing
Characteristics Elastic, breathable and compressive Depends on the injury to be treated Depends on the specialist's recommendations

How did knee braces come about?

There are records from medieval times of a kind of knee brace made of metal to protect knights during battles and combat. They continued to be used in this way until they began to have a sporting or orthopaedic and curative use to prevent or alleviate knee injuries.

Knee braces serve to align and hold joints in place, thus improving any existing injuries. It should be recommended by a specialist. (Photo: Sergey Ryzhov / 123rf.com)

Purchasing criteria

It is very important to take into account what we want the knee brace for specifically. If it is for protection, prevention, treatment of an injury or on the recommendation of a specialist to increase our performance in a specific sport.

In addition to its use, you should know different factors and characteristics that would allow you to know about the knee pads what you need to compare and choose a specific one according to your case; these are:

Knee brace size

The size of the knee brace is an important factor to take into account at the moment of purchase, since when acquiring an inadequate size it could diminish the circulation or lose its compressive action on the joint. To choose the right size, we must take a flexible tape measure and measure the perimeter of the knee. In the case of not having a flexible tape measure, we can use a cloth tape, put it on the perimeter and use it as a reference.

Sports knee pads protect athletes from injury. (photo: KeithJJ / Pixabay.com)

Manufacturing materials

Today, one of the most commonly used components in the manufacture of knee pads is neoprene, which is a synthetic rubber in the form of a flexible and very resistant latex that is used to manufacture a variety of articles, including knee pads. That is why we must take into account, among other variables, the advantages of our knee pads having neoprene or not.

knee brace with neoprene Knee brace without neoprene
Useful in meniscus injuries, arthritis and rheumatism Gives warmth
They provide warmth They are much cheaper
Better adjustment They exert pressure or compressive action
They avoid humidity They tend to keep humidity

Function of the knee brace

If the right knee brace is not used, no matter how simple it may seem, instead of rehabilitating or healing an injury, if it exists, it can worsen it to catastrophic levels, so we must know the actions they exert on the knee to know the ideal one for our case:

The compressive action: It provides heat and exerts pressure on the knee. Almost all knee braces exert this action, as it is the simplest one.

Stabilising action: This is the most common in orthopaedic knee braces, but its use in sport is not ruled out. Its use is to stabilise or limit the movement of the knee, it is used under the supervision of a specialist.

Balancing action: It has a hole in the middle, around the kneecap, which keeps it in place and massages the soft areas of the knee.

The most important aspects for acquiring the knee brace that best suits your needs and tastes range from getting the right size, utility and manufacturing materials.
(Photo: Udo Herrmann/ 123rf.com)

Image source: Bekkers/ Unsplash.com

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