People who are active are strong and physically fit, but they are also more susceptible to injuries. Stretching before a hike, baseball game, or track meet will help keep muscles and tendons limber. Starting slowly when beginning an exercise program instead of overdoing it is another way to reduce the risks of injury.
Specific exercises to strengthen muscles while performing certain movements in repetition are helpful as well. That is why most professional sports teams have a physical therapist on staff to design exercise programs. Extra support and cushioning also have benefits for athletes, as well as regular people who like to keep fit.
There is a huge demand for a variety of braces for sports and recreational activities. Contact sports and fast-paced activities, such as football, hurdle jumping, basketball, and marathon running, can result in broken bones, torn ligaments, misaligned joints, and other injuries. The part of the body that is most likely to be injured is the knee. Twisting wrong, falling or being tackled, sliding into second base, or stumbling on crumbling asphalt can damage the knee.
Repetition can also injure the knee because the shock of every step is absorbed by the knees. A knee brace for sports is always a wise idea. Some are designed for minimal support, such as a knee band to reduce pressure on the patella tendon. Others are larger hinged braces that are kept in place with Velcro to protect an already weak knee.
Other Uses for Braces
Knee braces are also recommended for people who suffer from arthritis, instability, or weak muscles. People recovering from surgery may also have a brace for support. There are also some that keep the knee immobilized while it heals. Many can be purchased over the counter at department or sporting goods stores.
Sleeves with cushioning around the knee are cost-effective and easy to use. They are comfortable, can be concealed under clothing, and will last a long time with proper care. Hand washing the brace and letting it dry on a towel will prevent it from shrinking or fraying. In between washing, a fabric spray can be used to keep the brace from having the scent of sweat.