Should You Wear the Knee Brace Over or Under Pants
You’ve been told by a doctor (or a friend) to wear a knee brace. However, there is a fundamental question that they failed to include in their advice - should you wear a knee brace over or under your pants?
I've worn many knee braces in my life and tried over and under, with jeans or tracksuit pants, I even tried different designs of knee braces. Each time I came to the same conclusion - I preferred wearing them OVER my pants.
Be that as it may, there were advantages to both methods to wearing a knee brace over OR under your pants.
Let's take a look at these so you can work out your preferred choice.
Wearing a Knee Brace Over Pants
Wearing a knee brace over pants may seem like the unnatural choice of wearing a knee brace, however I found it to be my favorite method of supporting my knee. Here are the reasons.
Advantages of Wearing your Knee Brace OVER your Pants
With your knee brace over your pants, it is away from your skin. This means it is less likely to absorb body odors, which results in no more smelly knee braces.
Placing your knee brace over your pants allows you to take the brace on or off during the day. It also means you can easily make adjustments to your brace if it begins to slip or become uncomfortable. This may not seem like a big deal, until you soon realize how inconvenient it is to taking your pants off every time your brace needs to be adjusted.
The knee brace wasn't restrictive when I wore it over my pants. Assuming you find a knee brace with adjustable straps (unlike sleeves), I found wearing it over my pants much more comfortable than under my pants. By wearing your pants on top of the brace, the pants restricted the brace, limiting the mobility and giving a "bulky" feeling to my knee.
As a person who has suffered from eczema for my whole life, wearing the knee brace over my pants was much more convenient and caused less skin irritations. I attribute this to the fact that when I didn't need the brace (like when I was sitting), I could easily remove the brace and my knee didn't become sweaty from sporting a tight brace all day.
We think it is also important to highlight that if you decide to wear your brace over your pants, you need to make sure that it is still achieving it's intended purpose. To support your knee. If you find you are not receiving the necessary support, an alternative is that you change up your wardrobe and wear a dress or shorts instead of pants.
Wearing a Knee Brace Under your Pants
This was actually the first method I tried when I began to wear knee braces. No one told me otherwise, so I assumed it was the only way to wear a knee brace. There were many benefits to wearing a knee brace under my pants such as:
Advantages of Wearing your Knee Brace UNDER your Pants
most direct support to the areas that needed it most. This may sound strange, however having the knee brace directly in contact with the areas of the knee was reassuring. Now this may be all in my head, however it gave me the confidence that my knee was being supported (in my case the patella) and I could go about my usual daily activities.
Having my pants to protect the knee brace meant my knee brace's longevity increased and it was not exposed to the usual bumps and scrapes it would normally experience if I wore it on the outside of my pants.
Wearing a knee brace under your pants with moisture wicking properties allows you to keep your knee joint (especially behind the knee) dry, since the knee brace material is in direct contact with your skin.
Final Thoughts on Wearing your Knee Brace Over or Under Pants
Knee braces are a great supportive aid that can help you bounce back from a knee injury or weak knees. However, when you have been prescribed a brace, they don't come with instructions on how to wear them. After much experimentation, I found wearing knee braces over pants was the most logical solution for my requirements. However, this may not be the best solution for you - which is why I decided to list down the advantages I found for both methods.
There is no right or wrong way - only the way that works best for you.