Understanding Knee Brace For Running

It is no secret that physical exercise is an ideal addition while looking for practical ways to up your health and fitness regimen. However, it is not always straightforward, especially considering a range of injuries that could derail your progress. In and out of the sporting world, among the most common concerns are knee injuries. ACLs, MCLs, PCLs, and LCL might sound like an alphabet game, but they are the main ligaments in the knee, and if either is blown or torn, it can pose a scary injury concern. Noting how problematic the injuries can prove, using a knee brace for running is quite a common protective and preventive measure. With a range of designs and functionalities, knee braces offer support, lessening the pain and discomforts experienced, allowing you to keep running and maintain an active lifestyle.

Knee braces for running are designed to offer support to reduce injury chances, severity or alleviate pain without inhibiting the knee’s overall mobility. While common in sports, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be an athlete or in pain to consider protecting and supporting your knee joint ligaments while running. Whether you are dealing with chronic disease, causing pain or discomfort such as osteoarthritis, nursing an injury (post-surgery or rehabilitating injury that didn’t require surgery), or simply looking for effective measures to keep running with lower chances of an injury, you can find an ideal knee braced designed with your needs in mind. Knee braces can be categorized into two;

  • Basic knee braces – These are the most common and affordable knee brace for running, readily available in sporting stores and pharmacies. The braces offer minimal support and are ideal for mild long-term pain or post-surgery knee care.
  • Advanced knee braces – These are braces designed for more demanding and ongoing knee conditions, usually recommended by a professional. They offer more support and available in more sophisticated designs.

Each knee brace for running category features various types, designed to match specific requirements. As you hit the market, let’s look at the common types of knee brace for running to help you make an informed decision.

Knee strap

This is visually the minimalistic option, as it is a small cushioned strap typically worn around or below the kneecap. The brace is designed to help alleviate pressure on the patellar tendon, reducing pain as you run. It is an ideal choice for individuals dealing with runner’s knee, characterized by pain around the knee’s front, or Osgood Schlatter’s disease. The minimalistic design makes it a convenient choice, especially as it can even be worn over your clothing if it doesn’t fit underneath, without affecting its effectiveness.

Knee sleeve

If you are dealing with pain and swelling, a knee sleeve brace for running is an ideal choice. Much like a knee strap, the knee sleeve is also a minimal brace, but it cushions the whole knee. By providing compression to the entire knee, the knee brace for running alleviates pain and consequential swelling. The minimalistic design means that it can fit well under clothing, even better than a knee strap. While it provides adequate support, a knee sleeve is only effective if dealing with mild pain, not severe conditions.

Patellar tracking

Does your knee fall inward while running? This is the common cause of knee pain, which is usually due to weakness in the hips. Strength training comes in handy while striving to fix the pain, and for better results, a patellar tracking knee brace for running is essential. The patellar tracking brace helps you ensure that you are properly positioned while running and ensuring that you aren’t sitting on your hips. Proper positioning ensures that your knee is in line, and coupled with the support, including compression on the lower quad that relieves pressure above the knee, you can run better, prevent further injury, and recover from the knee pain. Keeping the knee in place throughout the running session makes the patellar tracking brace an ideal choice even for severe pain.

Wraparound knee brace

This type offers the most support possible without significantly affect the normal motion. The brace is ideal for moderate to mild pain. It is thicker than the knee sleeve, with some designed to offer additional functionalities such as patellar tracking. Some are also adjustable to help you choose the compression and support level. Noting its support range, you shouldn’t need it to run; should you need it regularly, it is advisable to seek professional assistance for proper diagnosis.

Hinged knee brace

Much like wraparound knee braces, the brace isn’t ideal for running. The knee brace is specially designed to facilitate proper healing, and it doesn’t allow full-range motion. Offering the most support to your knee and restricting movement, it is unlikely that you would use it while running. Hinged knee braces are typically prescribed by professionals to patients after surgery to deal with severe pain.

If you are having a hard time running and maintaining your fitness routine due to knee pain, turning to a knee brace for running is an ideal choice. Following the level and where the pain is, you can choose from an extensive pool of possible solutions. As you shop for an ideal knee brace for running, knowing the difference can help you narrow the options, as not every choice is best suited for your situation. If you are unable to pick an ideal knee brace for running, consulting a professional is advisable. A professional can diagnose your problem and recommend a brace offering the best support and compression, alleviating the pain without masking possible root causes that could be dealt with following a different approach.

While the right knee brace for running can make all the difference, it is worth noting that it won’t be a long-term fix. If you maintain a good run form, observe your strength training and mobility, but still experience the pain, it is advisable to seek professional advice. With the right strategy, you can include a knee brace for running as a supplemental relief tool, allowing you to solve your issues and stay pain-free.

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