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Should I wear a knee brace while running?

Should I wear a knee brace while running? Many avid runners like you wonder because knee pain is a common fear for every runner.

Data shows that 25% of male and 30% of female runners (1) suffers from this injury in one form or another. Athletes suffering from runner’s knee or those who fear the risk of this misfortune find themselves in big trouble.

So will wearing a knee brace help or not? What does a knee brace do when I run? And how do I choose the right one? running knee brace does that suit me? These are some frequently asked questions that plague the minds of runners.

Do not worry. This article will provide comprehensive information to answer the ultimate running myth: Should I wear a knee brace while running?

Things every runner should know about knee braces

Understanding Runner’s Knee

How does the knee work when running?

When you start running, several muscle groups, joints, and organs kick in to prepare you for the activity.

Your knee is especially important when running, and it’s not as simple as you think. Your knee is a network of muscles, ligaments and cartilage that work together to control movement and provide stability when racing against the wind or just jogging at a relaxed pace.

Your knee also acts as a shock absorber. When your foot hits the ground, it exerts a force on your knee. To dissipate these forces and reduce damage to your bones and tissues, your knee naturally bends and flexes as ligaments and tendons stretch and muscles activate.

However, you can still catch running injuries. Why is this and what are the injuries?

What do studies say about running-related injuries?

Even though our bodies are amazing at protecting us from injury, things can still go wrong. There are several main factors to watch out for.

  • Overuse: The frequent and high-intensity forces added to the knee joint from running can cause microtrauma to the knee joint and surrounding tissues. They can build up over time without adequate rest and recovery, resulting in injuries such as
  • Improper Form: Poor running form, such as overstepping, improper foot strike, and a loose core area, disrupts the body’s natural running mechanics and exposes the knee to uneven impact force.
  • Muscle Imbalance: Weak or tight muscles surrounding the knee due to lack of training and adaptation may not provide the necessary support and stability, resulting in increased stress on the joint.
  • Genetic disposition: Some individuals may have genetic factors that make them prone to certain knee injuries.
  • Environmental Factors: Ill-fitting shoes and uneven surfaces can cause your knees to take a beating. Extreme temperatures or humidity can also disrupt muscle function and hydration levels and limit your body’s ability to protect the knee.
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This is according to a study in the Journal of Sports and Health Science (2)the knee is one of the areas with the highest injury rate and injury prevalence among both ultramarathoners and non-ultramarathoners.

Some common running knee injuries can include:

Injury Injury Incidence Rate Prevalence of injuries
Runner’s knee 6.3% 16.7%
IT Band Syndrome 5.1% 7.9%
A stress fracture 4.0% 5.7

Runner’s Knee: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Runner’s Knee, or PFPS, is one of the most common injuries and causes of pain while running. It is often the result of structural defects, misalignment, overuse and muscle imbalances around the knees.

People with a running knee injury may feel pain during physical activity, have a creaking or popping sensation in the knee, and tenderness around the patella. Sometimes swelling around the knee joint can also be a symptom.

For the first symptoms, recovery may take several weeks to months. Rest, ice, and compression are great ways to relieve discomfort, and activity modification also helps.

Because knee braces are widely accepted, runners suffering from this injury often wonder if they should wear them while running. Are knee braces also an effective solution?

Should I wear a knee brace while running?

You may ask if I should wear a knee brace while running and if knee braces help with running. The answer to both of these questions is a big yes.

Knee braces are beneficial for runners recovering from injury or trying to prevent injury.

These devices offer several advantages, including:

  • Improving running performance by providing knee stability
  • Improving joint alignment and correcting biomechanical problems
  • Minimizing impact and stress on the knee during high-intensity training
  • Reducing the risk of knee injury during physical activities
  • Offers pain relief for existing knee conditions
  • Supports healing and recovery of knee injuries

How to choose the right running knee brace?

Not all knee braces are the same. This is why it is important to check various factors before making the final question of whether I should wear a knee brace while running.

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Factors to consider

1. Support and stability

Knee support and stability varies depending on your previous injury profile and level of discomfort. In general, a brace should strengthen the knee without restricting your range of motion too much so that you can run safely and stably.

2. Flexibility and range of motion

Your knee brace must not impede the knee’s natural range of motion more than necessary. A good brace balances support with flexibility and ultimately helps keep your running stride and technique efficient.

3. Comfort and breathability

Since running is a high-intensity activity, flexible, soft and breathable materials should be a top priority for knee braces.

Types and applications of running knee braces

Types of knee braces application
Compression knee sleeves l Ideal for overall knee support

l Relieves pain during and after exercise

l Relieves symptoms of arthritis, tendinitis and general discomfort in the knee

Patellar stabilization braces l Designed for individuals with patellar alignment issues

l Solves problems with sprained knees and runner’s patella

l Ensures proper tracking of the patella

Functional knee braces l Helps in recovery from serious knee injuries such as ACL, MCL or meniscal tears

l Supports a safe return to running activities

l Prevents further injury by ensuring knee stability during recovery

Tips for effective use of knee braces while running

When looking for an answer to the question of whether to wear a knee brace while running, you need to know how to use these braces effectively to get the best results.

Here’s what you need to know:

. Ensure proper fit and adjustment

A knee brace that doesn’t fit properly is worse than no knee brace at all. A properly sized brace should fit the knee properly and any straps or fasteners should be tightened to ensure even pressure distribution.

You should measure your knee circumference correctly before purchasing. The seller’s website provides instructions for measuring and choosing a size.

The material is also important for comfort and fit. Choose materials that are flexible and breathable.

After purchase, you should learn how to adjust the brace for a fit. Put on the brace and check that it stays in place without slipping and that it doesn’t cause discomfort at the edges.

. Incorporate braces gradually and smoothly into your running routine

Start with shorter, less intense runs to allow your body to adjust to the added support of the braces.

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Be aware of any changes in your running gait and make the necessary adjustments to prevent developing bad running habits.

If running with a brace results in new or increased discomfort, stop, assess the situation, and seek help from your retailer or professional therapists.

. Regular maintenance for optimal performance and longevity

Like other fitness gadgets, knee braces require proper maintenance.

  • Proper cleaning: clean according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the care label. Hand washing with mild soap and cold water is often recommended.
  • Air drying: After cleaning, allow the orthosis to dry completely to avoid damage from heat or direct sunlight.
  • Lubricate the hinges: If your brace has moving parts and they’ve been getting a little tight recently, lube might be the solution.
  • Proper storage: When the orthosis is not in use, store it in a dry and cool place away from direct light and heat sources.

Popular knee braces for running recommendations

FIVALI is a well-known name among fitness enthusiasts and athletes. The company’s main mission is to keep you active and protect you from injury.

Born from the passion for fitness shared by its creators, Fivali deeply understands the needs of its community. FIVALI’s state-of-the-art running braces will help you answer the question: Should I wear a knee brace while running?

Conclusion

After reading all this, we hope you have found the answer to the long-standing question «Should I wear a knee brace while running?».

Save your knee from the unfortunate fate that can come without these braces or by using poor quality braces. Knee braces can be a valuable investment for runners looking to prevent injuries or manage existing ones.

Choosing a well-fitting, comfortable brace and maintaining it properly can improve your running experience and support knee health. FIVALI brings a range of knee braces designed to add confidence and protection to your run. Choose FIVALI now embark on a new running journey.

Link

(1) Temple Health. What are common knee injuries in running? Available from (Accessed 28 March 2024)

(2) Nicolas Kakouris, Numan Yener and Daniel TP Fong. «A Systematic Review of Running-Related Musculoskeletal Injuries in Runners.» Journal of Sport and Health Science. Available from (Accessed 28 March 2024)

#wear #knee #brace #running

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