Knee Bracing for Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome:
Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) often known as anterior knee pain or ‘runners knee’ is a broad term used to describe pain around the front, underneath or behind the patella (knee cap). The knee joint is the largest joints in the body and one of the most complex putting it at risk of injury or poor alignment.
- Pain in the knee during periods of rest where the knee is held in a bent position.
- Stiffness of the knee joint.
- Pain during activities such as, running, climbing stairs or squatting.
- Knee buckling when walking.
- A popping or grinding sensation in the knee.
- Knee injury.
- Muscle weakness in the knee or a muscle imbalance around the knee joint.
- Excess weight.
- Overuse or a sudden increase in exercise or activity.
- Poor patella alignment.
- Poor general biomechanical alignment, such as flat feet.
Bracing options of PFPS:
Patella braces are non-adhesive, low profile and lightweight devices which apply compressive forces around the patella and knee joint. They are designed to offer compression and support for stability and pain management of the symptoms associated with PFPS. Patella braces can also aid the correct alignment and tracking of the patella to reduce longer term complications, such as patellofemoral osteoarthritis.
1. Patella bands/ straps:
These are low profile straps which sit directly below the patella and apply direct pressure to the large patella tendon. They are designed to apply a strong compressive force to stabilise the patella and reduce pain.
2. Compressive knee sleeves:
These braces are simple to fit and lightweight devices which are designed to apply generalised compression around the knee joint. They can reduce inflammation, provide pain relief, offer stability and support the knee.
3. Knee sleeve with patella support:
These braces offer increased direct patella stability compared to a simple knee sleeve. These braces can aid the patella alignment and help position the patella to further aid pain relief during activities.
4. Open patella knee sleeve:
These braces offer overall less support than a full knee sleeve. However, they offer increased flexibility and comfort for all day wear and everyday use. They are also desirable when pain is created from direct pressure over the patella.
5. Knee braces with additional external and internal patella support.
These braces are usually designed with an internal c-shaped rubber support which cups around the patella, with an external strap which provides an additional support around the patella. These braces provide flexibility for completing activities whist also providing additional patella and overall knee support. They are lightweight and are designed to aid patella alignment and tracking, they can also reduce the risk of patella dislocation. These braces can include additional hinges either side of the knee to provide increased overall knee stability and support.
If you would like any further information on our any of our braces then you can call us to speak with one of our clinicians on 07751 370949, visit our website at www.totalbodyorthotics.com or visit us at our clinic based in The Arcade, High Street, Eccleshall. Our experienced clinicians are able to offer a full lower limb biomechanical assessment and provide treatment advice on the best patella knee brace to suit your individual needs.