Should I Use A Knee Brace When I Run?
It is not uncommon for many runners to experience some discomfort after prolonged distances on their feet. The repetition of a running motion for miles on end, day in and day out, can easily begin to cause some slight discrepancies in your knee muscles and ligaments. In events like these, runners will typically look to alleviate symptoms of their ‘runner’s knee’ on their own by shopping around for some extra leg support in the form of a knee brace.
One might assume that all knee braces are equal, when actually, they are each suited for different levels of activity. It is because of the variations in knee brace products and the need for their use, that there can easily be some poor decisions made when shopping for the right running aid. To reduce a bit of the confusion, following are elements to look for when selecting your next knee brace:
1: Determine Your Type
As mentioned before, there are several different designs and uses for knee braces. It’s important to know exactly which type of knee brace is best for you. There are a few different functions of knee braces; support, stability and mobility. Sometimes, you just need a bit of compression to keep your knee tight and warm when running, in which case a knee sleeve might be compatible for you. However, your knee may have trouble with slight movements outside of its normal hinging-motion, thus requiring a brace with stability additions on the outer sides of it to keep everything in place.
2. What Style Fits You?
If you’re looking for something that’s quick, comfortable and provides support, then a slip-on brace or “knee sleeve” may be just what you’re looking for. It slips over just like a sock and slides up around your knee. It’s a simple design with small padding and cushioning, as well as durable fabric to endure distance running or minor contact sports, like soccer or volleyball. Another style you might look into is a more intense “wraparound” brace, which is usually strapped on right to the knee via velcro straps. This adjustable brace will most likely come with stability measures on the outsides, such as springs or hard plastic and metal braces, to assure that once velcroed into place, your knee will have a very slim chance of being disturbed while running.
3. Patella Disclosure
Sometimes a lot of compression surrounds your knee joint and the pressure felt on your tendons and ligaments is derived from the amount of support your patella, or ‘kneecap’, is receiving. This is why testing out different knee braces is a smart approach.
Knee joints are important in helping us get by in our day-to-day lives, seeing as they are engaged in nearly every motion we make. Having proper support is key. If you have any doubt about your knee’s capability, consult a healthcare professional, who can properly
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