What's The Best Brace For Knee Osteoarthritis?
With so many knee braces on the market, it's hard to tell which one is best. However, the best kind of brace for knee osteoarthritis is an "unloader brace" that takes the pressure off of the arthritic joint surfaces.
Watch the video to see my review of the DDS OA Pro Knee Unloader Brace to learn how it's different from most knee unloader braces.
What Kind Of Brace For Knee Osteoarthritis?
The best type of braces for osteoarthritis in your knee are those that unload the knee joint.
If you have arthritis and the two joint surfaces are compressing together, that compression can create inflammation in your knee. That's especially true if you have bone-on-bone knee pain.
Therefore to relieve knee arthritis pain a brace would need to take compression OFF of the knee.
Knee unloader braces take take pressure off of the arthritic joint surfaces
Most "knee unloader" braces, like the one shown below by Orthomen, are designed to unload either the inner or the outer compartment of the knee by bending the knee sideways.
They use a three-point pressure system, so it bends the knee inwards or outwards and gaps one side at a time.
If you have arthritis on the inside of your knee or medial knee arthritis, you'd want a brace that presses inwards and gaps the inside.
The downside is that it also compresses the outer compartment.
If you have arthritis on the outer compartment of your knee or the lateral compartment, you'd want a brace that has an outwardly-directed pressure, so that it gaps the outer side of the knee.
However, it compresses the inner side of the knee.
A Better Unloader Brace For Knee Osteoarthritis
But what if you have osteoarthritis on BOTH the inside and the outside of your knee?
What do you do then?
Well, I recently came upon another knee unloader brace by that unloads BOTH compartments of the knee.
DDS Solutions makes unloader braces for the lower back, and I'm a big fan of their back braces.
However, I didn't know until recently that they also make an unloader brace for the knee called the Knee OA Pro.
Advantages Of The OA Pro Knee Unloader Brace
The OA Pro Knee Unloader brace is a small slimline brace that's much less bulky than typical knee unloader braces.
Additionally, you don't need to turn a key to adjust the knee torque to go more one way or to go more the other way, so it's more user-friendly than typical knee unloader braces.
Most importantly though, it's a better option, especially if you have knee arthritis on both the inner compartment and the outer compartment of your knee.
How To Use The OA Pro Knee Arthritis Brace
To put on the brace, sit down in a chair with your knee straight.
Loosen the Velcro straps or undo them completely, and slide the brace on while sitting in a chair.
It's essential to get the hinge of the brace aligned with where your knee joint bends.
Get the lower strap position first, making sure that the hinge is staying aligned with your knee joint. Pull both ends with even pressure, get it fairly tight, and strap them around and Velcro them in the back.
Now Bend your knee to 90 degrees
(this is a KEY step in making the brace work properly)
Make sure again that this hinge is still lined up with your knee joint.
Reposition the top part of the brace and then secure it in place by pulling equal pressure on both Velcro straps and fastening them around on the back of the brace.
The hinge of the knee brace is strategically positioned slightly in FRONT of the axis of rotation of your knee joint.
Therefore, when you stand up, the brace exerts a vertically directed force against the bones of your leg which decompresses the joint surfaces.
That way, it unloads both the inside compartment and the outside compartment of your knee at the same time.
Where to buy the OA Pro Knee Arthritis Brace
If you like the brace, you can buy the Knee OA Pro directly from DDS and save 10% using my discount code "DRCANDY10".
Or you can buy it on Amazon at full price.
Transparently, both of these are affiliate links so I earn a commission if you purchase through the links, but I only promote products that I actually believe are helpful.
Braces Aren't A Cure For Knee Osteoarthritis
Understand that knee braces are something to help take the symptoms away if you do have knee arthritis, but there is ultimately something that caused the knee to become arthritic in the first place.
Some of those factors may include:
- muscle imbalances
- muscle flexibility deficits
- muscle strength deficits
- abnormal walking patterns
All of those things can cause your knee cartilage to wear down over time.
Ultimately you want to treat the underlying cause of your knee arthritis
By addressing those underlying issues, you can prevent further degeneration of your knee cartilage and avoid knee replacement surgery.
This might involve exercises to improve your flexibility and strengthen the muscles around your knee (or your hip).
Contrary to popular belief, most people with knee arthritis DON'T have "weak knees". Instead, they have weak hips that cause abnormal stress on the knee joints.
Likewise, your calves, ankles, and feet also affect your knees.
Furthermore, our treatment for knee arthritis at More 4 Life may involve:
- improving the alignment of your knees
- reducing muscle spasms around your knees
- helping you improve your walking pattern
- helping you learn to do your day-to-day activities with less knee pain
Need Help For Knee Arthritis Pain?
If you'd like to find out how you can walk more comfortably without pain from knee arthritis, tap the button below to request an appointment with one of our specialists.