Arthritis knee braces are designed to relieve the pain and swelling associated with arthritis.
Arthritis is very common problem and affects around 50 million Americans, approximately 22% of the population.
Arthritis braces work by reducing the pressure going through the arthritic parts of the knee and providing support and warmth.
Here we will look at how different styles of arthritis
braces work, what evidence there is to their effectiveness, how to choose the
best brace for you including how to get the right size, and what to expect from the brace.
There are three different styles of arthritis knee brace:
We will start by looking at Unloader arthritis knee braces as they are the ones most specifically designed for arthritis.
Unloader arthritis knee braces work by reducing the weight going through the arthritic part of the knee joint and redistributing it to the healthy part of the knee.
As a result, unloader knee braces work best for people whose arthritis is confined to one side of the knee joint. Most commonly, arthritis affects the medial (inner) side of the knee, while the lateral (outer) side of the knee is often unaffected, but sometimes it works in reverse.
Unloader knee braces are more expensive than other types of arthritis knee brace, but that is because of their more complex design, which makes them much more effective.
Many people find they get great relief from their pain when wearing an unloader arthritis knee brace, and it can delay or even prevent the need for surgery.
Overview: The Komzer Unloader Arthritis Knee Brace is a comfortable, lightweight, low-profile brace. It's unique varus/valgus angle adjuster and 3 points of leverage design means you can reduce the weight going through the medial (inner) side of the knee joint.
There are also options flexion/extension stops if you want to limit the amount of flexion/extension at the knee to reduce the risk of injury
The adjustable straps means it's one-size fits most and it has quick release buckles to make it quick and easy to get it on and off. The silicone gripped liners and strap pads ensure it stays in place. Simply choose from the right or left knee design. This Komzer arthritis knee brace also comes with a 6 month guarantee.
Our Verdict: The Komzer Arthritis Knee Brace is one of the most popular medial offloader arthritis knee braces on the market. We love that you can not only control the angle of the brace to reduce pressure through arthritis in the inner knee, but also that you can control how far the knee bends and straightens. Average User Rating 4.2/5
Overview: The Orthomen Lateral Unloader Knee Brace is designed for people with arthritis affecting that lateral (outer) side of their knee. It reduces the amount of pressure going through the outer part of the knee joint which reduces arthritis knee pain.
The three point leverage system allows you to adjust the line of force and increase joint space, reducing pressure and wear and tear on the arthritic knee. It has an adjustable dial for controlling knee range of motion and flexion/extension sliders that allow you full control over how much your knee can bend and straighten. It is made of lightweight breathable fabric and has quick release adjustable straps fitting a thigh circumference up to 32".
Not only does it redistribute the forces going through the knee, it also provides sideways stability, reducing the risk of knee injuries such as ligament sprains and cartilage tears.
Our Verdict: The Orthomen Lateral Arthritis Knee Brace is perfect if your arthritis is confined to the outer side of the knee. By reducing the pressure through the affected part of the knee, you will be able to get back the activities you love. Average user rating 4.1/5
These arthritis knee braces provide moderate support for the knee joint, as well as helping to reduce swelling. They are great if your knee is starting to feel weak or unstable due to your arthritis, whether it is with sporting activities like skiing, or everyday activities such as walking. People often feel more confident knowing that they have some extra support. However, these braces won't offload the arthritic parts of the knee as unloader braces do.
These arthritis knee braces provide some support and warmth to the joint, as well as helping to reduce knee arthritis pain and swelling. They are most suitable in the early stages of arthritis.
Overview: The MagnetRX Knee Support has 17 powerful neodymium magnets strategically positions in acupressure points all around the knee for maximum results.
Magnetic therapy can be extremely useful with knee arthritis as it is thought to boost circulation and aid healing. Whilst the scientific evidence is still lacking, many people swear by it. If you've tried other arthritis knee braces that haven't worked, you may benefit from this.
This magnetic knee brace is made using 3d knit technology to provide superior support and comfort without compromising knee mobility. Made of soft elastic and breathable fabric it has anti-slip silicone strips to keep the sleeve in place. They are sold in packs of 2 and are available in 4 different sizes, and they come with a full 60-day money back guarantee.
Our Verdict: The Magnet RX Knee Support receives excellent user reviews with people reporting immediate benefits. We like how the magnets are evenly spaced around the front and back of the knee so they work, whichever part of your knee is painful. Average user rating 4.4/5
Overview: The ACE Knee Brace With Stabilizers has flexible metal side stabilizers which provide medial and lateral stability, simulating the action of the knee ligaments. It is lightweight and allows full range of movement at the knee.
It helps to support the knee and reduce the risk of knee injuries, and is comfortable, even when worn for long periods. There are two versions available, one has an opening to reduce pressure on the kneecap, the other is a full sleeve.
Our Verdict: The ACE Knee Brace With Stabilizers is one of the only pull up sleeves on the market that has side stabilizers built in, providing that extra bit of support to help reduce knee arthritis pain. It a extremely comfortable, easy to put on, provides a good level of support and gets excellent reviews. Average user rating 4.4/5.
An article in Arthritis Today magazine quoted the American
College of Rheumatology on the recommended management of arthritis stating “The
use of lightweight knee braces may correct misaligned bones of the knee joint
and reduce pressure on the soft tissues.”
The article also mentions that the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons too, supports the use of braces for knee osteoarthritis (OA), “Some [braces] may provide significant reduction in pain ... in selected patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.”
Knee arthritis braces can be a really useful treatment tool but it is important to remember:
Arthritis knee braces generally tend to be most beneficial for people with mild to moderate arthritis. The unloader braces can help with severe arthritis but I would recommend you discuss them with your doctor before purchasing any to check what is appropriate.
It is vital that you get the right sized arthritis knee brace otherwise it will not provide the support you need and will likely be uncomfortable. The size guides below will allow you to find the right size for you. If your measurements put you between two sizes, it is usually best to opt for the larger size.
*Prices correct as of February 2024. All prices are subject to change. Please note we do not stock products directly and therefore have no control over price changes. See advertising policy for more information.
If you want to know more about arthritis including diagnosis, symptoms and treatment options, visit the arthritis section.
If you don't think you've found the right arthritis knee brace for you, go to the knee brace guide for a greater range of braces.
You can also check out our book Knee Arthritis: Take Back Control. It is the top rated book on Knee Arthritis on Amazon with an average user review rating of 4.4/5. It's packed full of great information from exercises to knee replacements and everything in between. A perfect guide for anyone who is having a knee joint replacement
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Page Last Updated: 11/01/24
Next Review Due: 11/01/26