Treatment and support for knee injuries may be achieved in professional sport using zinc oxide sports tape and appropriate taping and strapping techniques, while the use of a knee brace may offer compression, pain relief and stability for ligaments and weak knees in a range of conditions from ACL injuries to osteoarthritis.
Knee Support and Knee Braces
Knee injuries rival ankle injuries for the most common form of sports injury seen on the field of sport today.
While knee problems can result in severe pain, an understanding of knee anatomy is important in the classification of knee injuries and the choice, if appropriate of a suitable knee support.
The vulnerability of the knee joint to impact, make it especially relevant in sport. While impact injury in contact sports such as rugby or football may result in a serious Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury, the constant pounding of the knees in casual marathon runners results in the greatest number of knee injuries.
Sports knee support for running may begin at the lower level with the use of a neoprene sleeve such as the Mueller Neoprene knee support, which tend to offer heat and a degree of compression alongside the important psychological support for the runner’s knee.
Two of the most vulnerable parts of knee anatomy in running are the patella and the illiotibial band.
Treatment for Patellar Tendinitis may include knee exercises, but strengthening of the Quads combined with flexibility and proprioceptive exercises are the general follow up after the acute injury has subsided.
During running, knee pain as a result of instability of the knee cap is often treated with the use of knee strap. These supports apply pressure on the patellar tendon with a pad and help prevent movement during running.
To support the knee joint to a greater degree it is important in the design of a knee splint to offer structural support to the knee ligaments. Hence, as in the case of the ankle joint, knee supports often follow the techniques of sports tape.
This usually takes the form of splints supporting the collateral ligaments, with straps designed to hold the brace in place and help stabilise the knee joint.
The splinting may be simple support in the case of some of the Mueller and McDavid knee braces, or the hinged knee support of Push Med or DJO braces. This style of brace is useful to prevent damaged knees in skiing. The common injuries of the ski slopes may be prevented by using a good skiing knee brace or wrist support.
While the use of knee braces in sport is a huge part of the market, osteo-arthritritis of the knee requires a range of different types of knee support to help with the degenerating condition of the arthritic knee joint. The Push range offers a graduated level of support with the Push Care brace for gentle support in arthritis, to the greater stability of the Award Winning Push Med Knee Brace.