Cycling World Magazine July 2017 - Page 45

July 2017| 45 Stability knee braces Stability braces are more complex and are available as purely stability braces, or stability combined with compression. The stability feature is the inclusion of a hinge within the brace which works as you move. Stability braces with compression are used to maintain mobility following severe sprains. n ammation is controlled by the compression whilst increased support is supplied by straps that act as external ligaments. igid stability braces are designed simply to offer protection and stability. They can be worn to provide protection from injury, often in sports such as mountain biking, motocross or skiing, but can also be used to give the knee joint stability following injuries such as damage to ligaments. These types of braces are manufactured from super strong yet lightweight material, such as carbon fibre, which can withstand huge impacts. Knee braces can be used to prevent the kind of ligament damage that often occurs in sports such as cycling. Following knee surgery, an immobilising knee brace may be recommended. These are worn after your operation to prevent the joint from moving around and damaging the repair that has been made, giving the knee a chance to heal properly before any pressure is put on it. Once you are mobile, a hinged brace will normally be offered to provide protection. In some hinged braces, you are able to limit the range of motion (ROM) of the knee, thereby allowing you to remain active without allowing your knee to move beyond certain degrees of exion or extension. Knee supports vary widely in cost, with simple compression supports manufactured from materials such as surgical elastic or neoprene which are relatively inexpensive. In comparison, some of the highly engineered knee supports used in high impact situations cost considerably more, and there are many different styles of support to choose from, including hinged supports and even bands, which are primarily designed to apply compression to the patella. ifferent supports are needed for different in uries, so it is important to obtain an accurate diagnosis from a doctor or physiotherapist before selecting a knee support for your particular knee injury or problem. Not all GPs are sufficiently knowledgeable about sports in uries to provide an accurate diagnosis, but they will be able to refer you to a colleague who specialises in this field. Once the specific condition is identified, you can choose a knee support with the appropriate level of support. Many knee braces are available off the shelf but others need to be fitted and, in this situation, you will need accurate measurements to ensure that the correct support is obtained. Solutions for common knee injuries Overuse and repetitive motions can irritate the knee and cause pain and injury. Knee pain can occur in four areas; anterior, posterior, medial lateral and iliotibial band syndrome.