For those who are health conscious, physical exercise and activity is an important part of our daily routine. However every sport and physical exercise does have the potential to cause injury to the body. Many physically active people seek out equipment that will minimize the risk of injury. Orthopedic and sport braces are part of this equipment. There are three types of braces that are most commonly used by athletes and trainers. These include rehabilitative, functional, and prophylactic braces.
When injury occurs often an athlete will need to limit and protect the injured area. This type of protection can be provided by a brace which will limit the range of motion of the joint that needs to be protected.
The severity of the injury will determine just how much you need to limit the range of motion. At the start you might need to limit motion a lot; slowly increasing mobility as the injury heals. In the past these injuries were commonly placed in a cast. This type of treatment would completely immobilized the joint and sometimes lead to “Cast Disease.” When a joint becomes immobilized not only do you lose strength and flexibility in your muscles but also weakness can develop in the ligaments as well as around the joint. However; when an athlete uses a brace instead of a cast, functional rehabilitation can begin much sooner. The result is the athlete can return to the physical activity earlier at a higher functioning level.
Prophylactic braces are designed to prevent injuries. The most commonly used prophylactic braces are designed for ankles and knees. Sports such as volleyball often have numerous ankle injuries which can limit an athlete’s performance. There is a stirrup-type brace which is designed to prevent ankle injuries that athletes can use. This brace will not affect an athlete’s ability to function. In addition there are knee braces which have been designed to prevent some ligament injuries. This type of brace is most often used by athletes who have experienced a considerable amount of trauma on the outside of their knee.
This type of brace is most commonly used by athletes. When an injury occurs this brace can be worn to prevent additional injury. It can also provide additional support to an area that has been structurally damaged. Often this type of brace is used when ligaments are damaged in the knee area. For athletes who have torn their anterior cruciate ligament there are special braces available.
Functional braces support injuries better than taping your ankle. Functional braces are available for virtually any joint which has experienced injury. They can also be used if you suffer from arthritis. These braces are designed to change the pressure through the knee, so that the work is being done by the healthy part of the knee rather than the arthritic part. This can reduce pain and in some cases delay surgery.
In addition, you can find braces which are designed for tendinitis. These are known as counterforce braces. They are most often used for tennis elbow. The function of this brace is to dissipate the force which goes into a small inflamed area. These braces can also absorb shock, thereby reducing additional inflammation.
If you are in need of a brace and live in or near Burligton Ontario, stop by Brant Arts I.D.A. Dispensary to browse our selection of braces.