Orthopedic braces are medical devices designed to address musculoskeletal issues; they are used to properly align, correct the position, support, stabilize, and protect certain parts of the body (particularly the muscles, joints, and bones) as they heal from injury or trauma.
Orthopedic braces are a fairly common, but are often a misunderstood part of recuperative medicine. Typically, they’re used to immobilize joints and allow them to heal in an effective position. This way muscles, tendons and ligaments receive the right amount of blood flow and avoid movements that may aggravate or worsen existing injuries. In some cases, the right braces can even help with recovering full range of movement after a surgical procedure.
What is a Brace
Orthopedic braces are objects made of rigid materials, such as hard plastics, and soft materials such as spandex or other tightly-knit fabrics designed to inhibit the movement of a joint. The purpose of a brace is to ensure that a joint is unable to move beyond a certain range of motion, or in some cases at all. This ensures all connective tissues get the chance to heal properly. Unlike a cast, a brace can be easily worn or removed for bathing or physical therapy. In some cases, a brace can even allow you to retain use of your muscles for reasonable exercise. Orthopedic braces serve a large number of purposes, depending on which body part needs healing assistance.
Ankle orthopedic braces are useful for avoiding sprains of inversion and aversion, while still allowing your foot to move for regular actions like walking or even running. In some cases, such as through the use of R3 technology, compression can allow you to experience less swelling and inflammation. Properly made ankle braces are washable, and can be used in your daily life to facilitate movement even when you are recovering from a significant ankle injury that would otherwise require more invasive and limiting support.
Back braces are typically used to protect the lumbar vertabrae near your tail bone, or other parts of your back and core, without placing undue stress on your abdominal muscles or hips. Using a back brace can keep your back in its proper intended alignment during both regular actions and during lifting. For many people, going through a move, carrying in groceries or going to the gym would be all but impossible without back orthopedic braces helping to keep them in proper alignment. This is particularly valuable during the early stages of physical therapy, when your back and abdominal muscles are not strong yet.
A knee is a delicate part of your body that is still expected to carry a large and frequently shifting burden. Knees are expected to take the strain of not only supporting large amounts of weight as you move, run and carry objects, but they might also need to withstand sheer impact and force from sports. Your ankles and hips may be moving in opposite directions, and your knees have to compensate for this. Knee injuries are extremely common, and orthopedic braces can be of great assistance when healing. In some cases, athletes and active workers who know their knees might suffer wear and tear, will use a knee brace called a prophylactic. This can prevent improper knee movements and stops injuries from occurring.
IT'S IMPORTANT THAT THE BRACE FITS
Having the right brace for your needs is crucial for both effective recovery and staying healthy, so make sure to read the size guides carefully.