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Bracing for knee arthritis
A common treatment for knee arthritis includes bracing for the knee. Is that helpful and is it recommended? Partly it depends on the knee problem, but in general bracing can be helpful.
There are various different types of braces.  For example a compression brace can help in terms of pain relief. It’s a sleeve type brace that is usually comfortable and easy to wear.  It can help with some of the myofascial pain and soft tissue related pain around the knee due to the compression. In  addition if you have swelling, compression can help with that as well.
Compression braces do not offer significant structural support however. Osteoarthritis has a very significant component of instability and laxity in the ligaments and certain types of knee braces, in particular more rigid ones, can help in terms of instability as well. The rigidity of the brace is the benefit, but can also be less comfortable to wear.
In general knee bracing can be helpful in terms of knee osteoarthritis related pain.  It can offer stability and support, allow you to do more significant function, and reduce pain while you’re doing activity.  As such it’s a good low-risk modality to utilize in terms of knee pain relief, keep you functional, and keep you physically active.
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