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Standing Calf Stretch

 

Stretching can help relieve knee pain in people with osteoarthritis.  Keeping your muscles loose and limber is important for your knees.  Stretching is actually at the core of many treatment programs for osteoarthritis of the knee.  Stretching is free and you don’t need a prescription for it.  Hamstrings, quadriceps, calves and hip flexors are the muscles that need special attention.  If your legs are tight your knees will be stiff.  You want your knee joint to slide, glide, and rotate easily.  Limber muscles will help achieve that.  Stretching and strength training are necessary if you are looking to avoid surgery or cut back on prescriptions and over the counter pain killers.  If your excuse for not stretching and exercising is that your knees hurt, try a knee brace.



Most people who tore an ACL or their cartilage can explain in detail how it happened.  Some heard the “pop”, others went to take a step and their knee “just wasn’t there.”  A traumatic event to the knee can lead to osteoarthritis years later.  Osteoarthritis is a wear and tear disease.  The cartilage erodes slowly, one step at a time.  The knee tracks differently once it has been injured.  The knee joint slides, glides, and rotates.  Changing the bio-mechanics of the knee, even just slightly can, cause your body weight to be carried differently.  The change in how your knee cartilage absorbs your body weight can be damaging over the years.

So what can you do?  Knee replacement may be a foregone conclusion but it can certainly be delayed.  Maintaining a healthy body weight is crucial.  The more weight you carry the more stress you put on your knees.  Stretching is also important.  Keeping the muscles surrounding your knee limber helps your knee track properly.  Exercise will make your knee feel better over the long term.  Moderate exercise can help delay knee replacement, help you lose weight, and help you stretch your muscles.



CMC Thumb Arthritis

August 21, 2018

 

This is a low profile thumb brace with smooth edges for enhanced comfort.  The closures are designed to be easily secured with one hand.  This thumb brace effectively restricts thumb movement while leaving the other four fingers and wrist to move freely.  This CMC arthritis thumb brace is made from materials that repel dirt and water so it is easy to clean.  The aluminum core is moldable to ensure a custom fit.

This CMC Arthritis Brace is streamlined and durable.  It is the best choice available for relief of basal joint (CMC) arthritis.  This thumb brace can be worn during household activities and sports like golf or tennis.

The thumb splint immobilizes the carpometacarpal (CMC) and the first metacarpophalangeal (MCP 1) joints and places the thumb in a functional position.

It is easy to clean and machine washable.

Learn More or Purchase

 

 



 

We get asked all the time about the best knee brace for treating knee pain associated with osteoarthritis.  So what is the best knee brace for OA?

Unfortunately, there isn’t one perfect knee brace that will treat every arthritic knee.  Every person is different.  The size of the leg is important, both in length and width.  A tall person with thin legs will require a different brace than someone who is short and stout.  It’s easier to keep a knee brace in place on a muscular leg than it is a soft fleshy one.  How hard or soft a leg is can be an important determination.  The location of the knee pain is a consideration.  Arthritis on the inside of the knee requires a different type of brace than arthritis on the outside of the knee.  Cosmetic appearance matters more to some people than to others, but it also plays a role in selecting knee braces.

There are custom and off-the-shelf knee braces for OA.  Custom knee braces for osteoarthritis are overkill for the vast majority of patients.  Custom knee braces can be made from a variety of materials.  In fact the manufacturers of custom knee braces often just modify their off-the-shelf models and call them custom.  Beware of being taken advantage of.  If you are getting a custom knee brace make sure to ask how the brace is being made.  These knee braces cost over $1200.  Patients need to ensure it is truly custom, and not just molded to a patient model with rubber bands.  Custom knee braces are for patients who are obese, or have unique anatomy.  Just about all the rest of the OA knee brace wearing public will do just fine in an off-the-shelf model.

How do you know which knee brace is right for you?  Your doctor can help but probably doesn’t know all the types of knee braces that are available.  A certified orthotist is really your best bet for determining what brace is right for you.  You can find a certified orthotist here.  Certified orthotists are licensed and educated in bracing.  It’s their specialty.

The Stride OA does a good job treating a wide range of patients.  It is adjustable so it can fit different leg sizes.  The Stride OA can treat either medial or lateral OA and is farily simple to put on.  To get the best result with the Stride OA patients should be measured and fit by a certified orthotist.



The fitting of the CMC Thumb Brace is really simple.  Check out this CMC Thumb Brace fitting video.

The open design of the CMC Thumb Brace keeps the skin cool and dry.  This is a comfortable and effective thumb brace for treating CMC (basil joint) arthritis.  Learn more about the CMC Thumb Brace for thumb pain.

  • Restricts thumb adduction, while allowing free movement of the other fingers and wrist
  • Adaptable aluminum core makes it easy to fit
  • The brace can be easily secured with one hand
  • Maximum comfort
  • Dirt and water resistant and is easily dried



ACL Knee braces need to provide protection and stability.  They come in two varieties: custom and off-the-shelf.  A custom ACL Knee brace is for people with unique anatomy or serious athletes.  An off-the-shelf knee brace is pretty much for everyone else.

Some people can get along with an ACL deficient knee.  If you’re not that active or engage in activities that don’t put too much stress on your knees it’s quite possible you can avoid surgery and/or bracing.  However if your knee isn’t always there for you, meaning it gives out from time-to-time, you have to understand that the condition will only get worse.  Ligaments aren’t known for spontaneaously regenerating.

Long term, and ACL deficient knee can cause osteoarthritis.  It most likely will.  An ACL knee brace can help stabilize your knee joint so that it “tracks” correctly.  A knee joint slides, glides, and rotates.  There’s a lot going on in your knee.  If your knee isn’t tracking correctly, even the slightest misalignment can cause unnecessary wear and tear that will eventually lead to arthritis.

An ACL Knee brace can help.



If you are considering buying a knee brace or back brace over the internet, or calling an 800 number, and having the people you’re communicating with bill Medicare on your behalf –  stop.  Stop immediately.  It’s a scam.  Even if you receive the back brace or knee brace, you’re being robbed.  When a medical professional bills medicare on your behalf for a knee brace or back brace they are supposed to evaluate you, measure you, fit you, and be available for follow-up.  The follow-up is good for three years!  All of that is built into the cost.  The person fitting you needs to be a credentialed medical professional.  In some states the person needs to be licensed.

The internet and 800 phone number companies are running a scam.  Don’t believe me?  Just look at the math.  When a medical professional bills Medicare for fitting a knee brace or back brace they will get reimbursed between $800 and $1200 – it depends on the state you live in, and the type of brace being ordered.  Built into that price is the evaluation, measuring, fitting, and follow up visits.  How many follow-up visits?  As many as you need.  You can go see that person everyday for three years for adjustments and they cannot charge you a penny.

Here are a couple of arthritis knee braces we sell on line.  The price is between $159.99 and $329.99.  Here is a typical back brace, $75.45.  We do not bill Medicare.  We sell to the medical professionals that do.  The medical professionals bill Medicare between $800 and $1200 – which is fair and reasonable.  Built into that price is all of the evaluating, measuring, fitting, and follow-ups.  The internet knee brace and back brace providers scam Medicare by buying the brace and shipping it to you.  They skip all the patient care that is built into the reimbursement.

Heritage Medical Equipment owns a couple of blogs, a website that sells orthopedic braces directly to consumers, and we do some distributing for the orthopedic community.  With that said, more than one of these internet and 800 number companies have contacted us over the years looking to buy our knee braces and back braces.  We have very competitive pricing so they are attracted to us.  In many of these cases it only takes a couple of phone calls to our manufacturers to learn that these companies run up huge bills, never pay them, and then disappear.

If you need a back brace or a knee brace, get a prescription from your doctor and go to a certified orthotist.  An orthotist is credentialed professional with a degree.

DO NOT LET AN INTERNET COMPANY BILL MEDICARE ON YOUR BEHALF.



Liquidation Sale!

February 19, 2018

The webstore supportandbrace.com is having  a liquidation sale on their remaining inventory of Push thumb braces.  This opportunity will only be available while supplies last.



Thumb Arthritis

January 31, 2018

The thumb pain associated with CMC Arthritis can be severe.  A decrease in range of motion and strength can make it painful to shake hands, open doors, and forget about opening that jar of pickles.  Treatment can involve splints, braces, and medications.  If its really bad surgery may be an option.

Pain is the primary symptom.  It’s felt at the base of the thumb when gripping, grasping, pinching or forcing an object.  The thumb can also be stiff, tender, and swollen.  The thumb will get weaker and lose range of motion.  And it may start to look a bit deformed.

CMC arthritis is common in women over 40 years old.  Obesity, previous injury,  and heredity are also risk factors.  CMC Arthritis used to be called “Game Keepers” thumb.   Back in the day the people that twisted the necks of rabbits for a living (game keepers) would develop CMC arthritis from the repetitive motion of breaking necks.  Gross.

a CMC Thumb brace is a great treatment option.  Learn more about the thumb splint shown below:

 



Purchase this CMC thumb brace.

As we get older osteoarthritis will develop.  It’s just a normal part of aging.  And it usually develops in the joints that we use the most and receive the most stress.  That’s why osteoarthritis is often called, “wear and tear arthritis”.  Pain and disability are the most common complaints of CMC thumb arthritis.

Thumb splints and thumb braces come in many shapes and sizes.  Beware of using a thumb brace that completely immobilizes the thumb.  You need to use your thumb or the muscles surrounding it will atrophy (shrink).  You want the opposite.  You want to use your thumb so the muscles surrounding it get stronger.  So you need a thumb brace that positions your thumb in such a way that it reduces pain but still allows you to use it.

That’s what the thumb brace pictured above can do.  The CMC Thumb Brace is easily put on and taken off with one hand, and provides support that doesn’t limit other joint movement.  It is durable, flexible, and is easily cleaned.  And most important it will reduce your pain.