Everything you need to know about unloading knee braces.
In healthy joints, cartilage acts as a shock absorber when you put weight on the joint. The slippery surface of the cartilage allows the bones to move smoothly. When a joint develops OA, the cartilage becomes rough and thin, and can form cracks and the bone underneath thickens.
Damage to the cartilage is not the primary source of pain in knee osteoarthritis. Instead damaged cartilage causes friction between the bones which in turn causes the knee pain. This bone-on-bone knee pain can happen in three compartments. Medial side, lateral side or behind the knee cap. The medial compartment is the most common.
Unloading knee braces are effective in reducing the symptoms of OA in the knee. The purpose of the unloading brace is to apply pressure to the unaffected side to increase the joint space on the affected side therefore minimizing bone-on-bone. This ultimately reduces pain, delays, or even prevents the need for surgery, and improves function and quality of life.
Candidates for unloading braces will find that they are light weight, low profile, easy to use and highly effective.