The knee is a complicated joint that requires stability, mobility, and flexibility to stay healthy.
If you suffer from arthritis, or have recently had surgery or sustained an injury, this can make it difficult to keep your knee stable.
Many people choose to wear a brace to provide extra support for their knee. And it’s possible to wear a brace to unload weight from different areas of the affected knee. It is called an OA Unloader Knee Brace.
In this post, we dive into the specifics of the Unloader Knee Brace, and answer the questions you may have surrounding how to use and wear this style of support.
What is an Unloader Knee Brace?
Unloader knee braces are specific-designed support aids made of molded plastic, foam, and steel struts to stabilize your knee joint. The mechanics of the brace are such that it can be adjusted to shift weight from one side of the knee to the other. This effective unloads the stress and pressure placed on certain areas of the knee - allowing for recovery and support.
We, at The Best Knee Braces, have actually written an article that takes a deep dive into the mechanics of unloader knee braces. If you are interested in the technicalities of unloader knee braces, you can read more about it here.
Do Unloader Knee Braces Work?
Unloader knee braces are a hot topic in the knee brace community right now.
We know that knee braces are helpful in alleviating pain and aiding in the healing process, but what about unloader knee braces?
Research shows that using unloader knee braces while on your feet significantly reduces the amount of stress on your patellofemoral joint, the largest joint in your body. They are designed to take some of the weight of the user’s knee, off of the weak areas of the knee joint, and onto the brace or stronger parts of the knee.
So to answer your questions - do unloader knee braces work?
YES, they do. However, the only way to really know if unloader knee braces work is to try them for yourself.
Using an OA Unloader Knee Brace like the Orthomen Unloading Knee Brace is ideal for people with osteoarthritis, as it's slimline and easy to use design makes it the perfect choice for daily use.
How To Fit an Unloader Knee Brace
Fitting an OA unloader knee brace is probably one of the more daunting aspects of this knee brace. After all, it looks like it belongs on a robot.
However, we are here to reassure you that fitting and adjusting the knee brace will be a breeze once you have been guided through the process once or twice.
To help with fitting your brace, the team at Ossur have put together a how-to video below. Obviously this video is specific to their OA unloading knee brace, however the principles are the same for other brands.
Knee Braces are Bulky - What should I wear?
It is undeniably one of the more unappealing aspects of wearing a knee brace - they look and feel bulky.
However, when given the choice of not wearing a knee brace and being unable to move without pain OR wearing a knee brace and having the confidence to move about my daily routine - we know which option we are opting for.
Plus, with the latest innovations in knee brace design with modern technology, you do have quite a few slimline options available.
And even if you choose a 'bulkier' knee brace option, you still have options. Wearing clothes that are loose-fitting and stretchable help to provide comfort and discretion by covering up your knee brace.
Final Thoughts on OA Unloader Knee Brace
Unloader knee braces are one of the best solutions for osteoarthritis sufferers. They provide pain relief and support that enables you to move about their daily activities with confidence.
First time OA unloader knee brace wearers may feel daunted by the look and feel of the knee support. However, by understanding the mechanics of the device and learning how it fits, you will soon wonder why you didn't get one sooner.