Do Knee Supports Work?

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By Dr. Edward Loniewski, DO |

Patients ask us questions like this all the time. I normally answer yes and no depending upon what you expect the knee support to do. If a patient wants a knee support to guarantee that they will never injure their knee, I tell them that no knee brace can guarantee that an injury will never happen. However, a properly fitted and designed knee support can help lessen the chance by providing added stability and force dissipation across the knee joint. Knee supports can also help off-load or reduce the pressure across a specific area of the knee affected by arthritis. However, a knee support can not cure your arthritis and give you a brand new knee. Over the counter neoprene knee supports do not provide any real support of the knee. However, they can relieve some pain by compressing the knee. When any joint is compressed by any method, small nerve endings called pancinian corpuscles are compressed providing some relief of pain. This effect is temporary such as when you squeeze your finger after you smash it with a hammer. You can not walk around squeezing your finger for days just like you can’t keep squeezing your knee for days expecting it to help with the pain. Simple knee support bands can also help by providing a fulcrum point for a knee cap to off load a small amount of pressure. However, again, this effect is temporary since the tendon and the strap stretch over time.

Properly designed knee support braces such as our Legend knee brace are a great value. This brace is named the Legend because it has legendary support for many professional athletes over the past 30 years. Professional sports greats in football, soccer, basketball, and hockey have all enjoyed the comfort and confidence of the patented 4 point stability. In summary, a properly designed and fitted knee braces support your knee; can relieve pain and provide stability. However, they can not guarantee absence of any injury, and over the counter, poorly designed braces only provide temporary if any relief of pain.

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