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Knee Braces for Runners

Bhakti Satalkar Aug 28, 2020
Knees take all the body weight when a person runs. Certain braces are used to support the knee and reduce the pain caused due to running. Read on to know about these braces.
You may be an athlete or an experienced runner, or you may be running regularly just to keep yourself in shape. If you are observant about your body, you may have noticed the amount of stress your knees endure when you run. Knee injuries can keep you out of the running circuit for a long period.
However, if you use knee braces while running, they will help in keeping the injuries and the resulting pain at bay. But, before going the braces, you should know a little about runner's knee.

Runner's Knee

One of the most common causes of knee pain is a condition called runner's knee. It affects all age groups, inclusive of teenagers and adults. In some cases, it can even become chronic. Although it is commonly seen in runners, it can also be observed in physically inactive people.
The pain associated with this condition is experienced as pain behind and around the knee cap. If the femur (thigh) bone is weak or imbalanced, it causes the kneecap to move off the groove, which in turn, leads to pressure, friction, and irritation to the knee cartilage. Overuse of the quadriceps muscles causes this condition to worsen.
Therefore, in case of the runner's knee, you will have to stop your running practices immediately, and seek medical help. One of the primary treatment option for this condition is knee braces.

Choosing the Best Knee Braces

A knee injury can worsen, if it is not allowed to heal. Healing the knee means giving complete rest to the knee. If a person has an injured knee, he should stop running immediately.
Braces are used to give the required support to the knee and also, help in reducing the pain. However, if a runner has injured himself, he should not continue to run with or without using these braces.
Very often, it is seen that people have assumptions about these support braces. There are many types of braces available in the market. The focus of each type of support braces is different. The emphasis lies on the severity of the pain and injury. There are often three types of knee problems, namely, arthritis, meniscus injuries, and ligament injuries.
If a person is suffering from osteoarthritis, the braces required would be the ones that support the knees and also, help in aligning the knee-joint. If a person suffers from meniscus or any type of ligament injury, the braces will need to be the ones, which promote healing.
For this type of knee pain, the braces should have a hinge along with medial and lateral uprights. These will keep the knee in place and avoid excessive side to side movements, which can cause immense pain. If the knee support is well designed, not only will it hasten the healing process, but will also prevent future damage.
Kneecap braces are available in a customized as well as standardized form. It is a misconception that only the customized braces are beneficial. This is not always true, as even the non-customized braces are known to give exceptionally good support to the knees. This doesn't mean that customized braces are not required at all.
Customized braces are required, especially when there is a problem with the anatomy of the knee. This, however, is not the case with most people. The major difference between the customized and non-customized braces is that of price.
Knee braces are not only worn by the injured but are also worn by many athletes and sportsmen during workouts and competitions. Braces are worn on the knees to provide stability for the unsteady knees and prevent injuries. A number of athletes are of the opinion that running feels easier and more sustainable when they are wearing knee braces.
Depending on the type of the braces, runners can still enjoy a full range of movements and their movements are not hindered because of the braces when they are running. The kind of braces to be used varies from individual to individual, and largely depends on the amount of running per day, the terrain on which the person runs, and any pre-existing injuries.