Arthritis - General Info
Arthritis or osteoarthritis of the knee is a condition which leads to wearing of the knee cartilage and reduction of the synovial fluid. Both, the cartilage and the synovial fluid allow the knee to function properly. The very cartilage actually represents a cushion to the bone ends and prevents direct friction between the bones and consequent damage. The synovial fluid is in charge with adequate lubrication of the knee joint.
If the cartilage is damaged and there is low amount of the synovial fluid this affect normal movement of knee and causes its irritation and inflammation. The knee joint becomes stiff and a patient is unable to move it without experiencing intensive pain. While moving the affected knee a characteristic cracking sound called crepitus occurs. The disease tends to progress if proper treatment does not start on time and one neglects all the symptoms and signs of the disease. If left untreated the condition can cause serious knee deformity. In advanced stages of the disease patients are practically unable to perform even the simplest daily activities. If damage is serious and utterly irreversible the patients are left with only one option-a knee replacement surgery.
Knee Braces for Knee Arthritis
The very treatment of arthritis generally includes specific diet and physiotherapy. The previously mentioned is also applied in case of knee arthritis. Exercises are of major importance and may help in re-establishment of reduced joint function and may strengthen the surrounding muscles. Furthermore, physiotherapy is rather effective in maintaining the desirable range of motions of the affected knee.
One more solution for patients suffering from knee arthritis includes wearing knee support braces. The role of these braces is to support and protect the affected joint, in this case the knee joint. These aids may be rather effective especially in one-side arthritis of the knee. Their role is to reduce the pressure by changing the distribution of weight onto the knee joints. Furthermore, knee support braces maintain proper alignment of the joints. Certain types of these braces may retain the body heat, hence help in reduction of pain.
There is a variety of arthritis knee support braces and they include functional, rehabilitative, underloader and offloader knee support braces. Functional and rehabilitative are considered most effective. Apart from being used in patients suffering from arthritis, functional braces may be also used after knee injuries. Rehabilitative braces are basically used after knee arthroscopy and knee injury. Unloader type of knee braces is excellent for reduction of pain, enhancement of movements and it may successfully delay the need for surgery. These braces are not as suitable for obese people as they may be difficult to fix and place the brace on the desirable position.
Depending on the type of arthritis the doctor chooses the most suitable type of knee braces. The patients are due to pay maximum attention onto the braces and check whether they have been placed properly.