Osteoarthritis and Knee Bracing

shutterstock-96016463.jpg

Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is the biggest cause of pain and disability in the UK, and each year 1 in 5 of the general population consults a GP about a musculoskeletal condition.  Source:  Arthritis UK

Osteoarthritis is a very common condition which can affect any joint in the body. It is most likely to affect joints that bear most of our weight, such as the knees and feet.  When a joint develops osteoarthritis, part of the cartilage thins and the surface becomes rougher meaning the joint does not move as smoothly as it should.  When cartilage becomes worn or damaged, all the tissues within the joint become more active than normal as the body tries to repair the damage. Repair processes do not always work that well and changes to the joint structure can sometimes cause or contribute to symptoms such as pain, swelling or difficulty in moving the joint normally.

dreamstimemedium-23250676.jpg

 

Unloading OA Knee Braces:

Looking towards your long term future, is important to protect your knee joint cartilage from further damage and to try to postpone surgery as long as possible. Patients with unicompartmental knee OA may benefit from unloading braces. 

An unloading knee brace can be used to offer pain relief, stability and support if you have knee osteoarthritis which primarily affects only one side of your knee joint (medial or lateral, varus or valgus knee).  A knee brace that unloads the knee is designed to take pressure from the areas where the OA is worse, i.e transfer pressure within the knee, 'unloading' one side of the knee joint to the other.  An unloading knee brace does exactly what it says, it moves stress from the affected side to the healthier side of the knee joint.  It achieves this by applying corrective forces, offering improved proprioception and increasing knee stability.  Using an unloading knee support could provide you with a way to improve mobility and reduce pain levels, they do not cure osteoarthritis but can help you return to activities.

NEW Action Reliever - Semi-Soft OA Knee Support:

The Action Reliever is a semi-soft osteoarthritis knee brace that’s invisible under most clothes and designed to help alleviate the pain associated with knee osteoarthritis.  It has been designed and recommended for uni-compartmental Osteoarthritis (lateral or medial) and uni-compartmental (lateral or medial) knee conditions requiring load reduction (double upright). Available in 8 sizes and in medial left, lateral left, lateral right and medial right designs. Made from Thuasne’s exclusive knitted process which have medically proven compression to restore the proprioceptive message (perception of the body) that enables natural stabilisation. The skin is stimulated and the nervous system activated when using knitted braces, they also help to promote blood circulation, reduce pain and swelling. Breathable, hypoallergenic and latex free, the elastic and anatomical fabric voids constricting circulation and tourniquet effect. For details on how to select your knee brace style and size please see our fitting and measurement guide below. 2349-action-reliever-lady.jpg

Features:

  • The Action Reliever is a dynamic off-loading osteoarthritis knee brace which offers pain relief from knee osteoarthritis. Dynamic off-loading is provided by the straps and the combined rigid adjustable hinge on the affected side / flexible stay on the unaffected side.

  • Anatomically shaped straps create a dynamic 3-point pressure system: maximum off-loading on heel strike.

  • Anatomical knit with integrated anti-slip silicone, comfort zone at popliteal crease and stretch knit at the edges.

  • Easy to close thanks to the effortless magnetic buckles with finger loop and self-orientating straps. Perfect for those with limited hand dexterity.

  • Only 2 steps for fitting after the initial fit; simply slide up the leg and snap the magnetic buckles into place.

  • Breathable, provides a natural cooling effect, avoids heat build-up on the skin, allows sweat to evaporate and allows long lasting use. Also avoids constricting circulation, prevents migration, eliminates bunching and pinching.

  • Designed with a specific anatomical structure to adapt to each patient’s morphology during daily activities (i.e. specific areas for malleoli, knee, popliteal fossa, elbow crease).

  • Available in two styles – medial left / lateral right or medial right / lateral left and in 8 sizes.

Indications / Recommendations for Use:

  • Uni-compartmental Osteoarthritis (lateral or medial),
  • Uni-compartmental (lateral or medial) knee conditions requiring load reduction,
  • Knee osteoarthritis.

Mild Knee Osteoarthritis:

When you first notice the signs of knee osteoarthritis or at initial diagnosis you are most likely experiencing mild OA knee symptons and therefore may not need to unload an affected knee joint as this point.  Other styles of OA knee supports are available and if you are looking towards the future, to protect and prevent deterioration of your knee joints, you may wish to consider knee supports designed for milder knee OA such as a Wool Knee Sleeve which provides warmth and support, or a pull on / wrap-around style for increased propriocption, support and pain relief.  SMBUK Ltd have a number of OA knee supports available and we are sure that you will find a style and support level to suit your exact needs.  Arthritic Knee Braces