November 2015
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Posts Tagged ‘unloader knee brace’

Swimming Helps OA

Swimming Helps Knee OA


The more overweight you are, the more your knees will hurt.  You can try and mask the pain with drugs like NSAIDs and steroids, but at the end of the day your cartilage still takes an undue pounding every time you take a step.  You only have so much cartilage in your knee.  The more overweight you are, the more you compress the cartilage in your knee whenever you take a step.  Think about how your knees support your entire body weight as you walk.  If you are carrying extra pounds the best way to treat your chronic knee pain from OA is to shed some weight.

Losing weight isn’t easy but it is possible.  It’s not possible for you to spontaneously grow new cartilage.  An unloader knee brace can be very effective for people trying to lose weight.  A common complaint among people who suffer from knee OA is that they can’t exercise because their knees hurt, so they cant lose weight.  An unloader knee brace can help treat the pain associated with knee OA so people can get up and moving.  Just walk or swim.  Your knees will thank you.

A knee brace for arthritis.

Knee Pain Relief

Knee Pain Relief

An Unloader knee brace is indicated for people with unicompartmental osteoarthritis.  That means the knee brace is for people with arthritis that is affecting one side of the knee joint compartment, not both.

Unloader knee braces have come a long way in recent years.  It wasn’t long ago that Unloaders, or off-loading knee braces, had to be made from heavy carbon graphite or metal alloys.  But technology has come so far so fast that now these knee braces can be made from lightweight materials like, neoprene and nylon.

Most patients with osteoarthritis do not tolerate heavy unloader knee braces for very long.  Though the knee braces can relieve pain, when worn for hours they can cause fatigue and make a knee tired.  So many unloaders wind up at the bottom of the closet because patients do not wear them.

In many cases a neoprene brace with a simple hinge is all that’s needed.  A custom unloader which can cost over $1200 can be overkill.

Consider what the knee brace is being used for.  If the patient isn’t climbing telephone poles or playing contact sports carbon graphite and complicated strapping systems probably aren’t needed.  Use the right tool for the job.  If the patient is just going to the store, driving a car, and going about normal activities of daily living a neoprene sleeve with a simple hinge will provide warmth, compression, and some gentle unloading.

Learn more about an unloder knee brace – click the link.

Joint Pain

Joint Pain

There are several reasons osteoarthritis affects the knee joint, though the most common is wear and tear.  Your knees take a pounding with every step you take.  If you were an athlete as a young person and ran around and jumped up and down a lot, chances are your knees are currently paying the price.  If you’re overweight, your knees have to absorb the added pressure of your additional poundage every time you stand up.  People that experienced traumatic knee injuries are also prone to osteoarthritis.  A lifetime of use is what got your knees into the shape they are currently in.

Now that I have OA, what do I do?  Well if you are newly diagnosed or even if you’ve had OA for years, one of your primary goals should be postponing knee replacement surgery.  Pain relief is crucial to your treatment plan but be careful how you achieve it.  Over the counter medications, narcotics, NSAIDs can all stop the pain but they also come with adverse side effects.  OA isn’t going to go away.  If you have it, you pretty much always will.  So consider long-term options for treatment.

Weight loss, stretching, and exercise are treatment options worth considering for knee osteoarthritis.  Go get some therapy if you’re not sure  how to go about rehabbing your knee.  But keep in the back of your mind, you want to stay off the operating table for as long as possible.  An unloader knee brace is a great option for providing knee pain relief, in a safe and conservative manner, and postponing knee replacement surgery.  A knee brace can allow you to get up and moving without drugs or surgery.  Absolutely worth trying.





Knee Pain Relief

Knee Pain Relief

The new Unloader Knee Brace is now available at Heritage Medical Equipment.  This knee brace is indicated for patients who experience knee pain due to arthritis on one side of their knee or the other.  This unloader knee brace (also called an off-loading knee brace) applies pressure to the knee that opens (or unloads) the joint space.  Pain is relieved by opening the joint space.

Most unloader knee braces cost over $1000.  This is an inexpensive alternative that should absolutely be tried before spending big money at an orthopedic clinic.  This brace will apply warmth, compression, and gentle unloading to arthritic knees.

The top and bottom of this unloader brace have independent closures which make it easy to put on and take off.  Relieve your knee pain without drugs, without surgery, and without expensive custom knee orthotics.


The KineSpring system unloads the medial compartment throughout a broad range of motion.

Moximed’s KineSpring system was developed as a surgical intervention for osteoarthritis of the knee that is not as severe as a joint replacement.  If the medial compartment of the knee is under abnormal stresses, it can lead to extreme knee pain.  This pain, and the osteoarthritis that causes it, is often treated with anti-inflammatories, rest, diet, exercise, and ultimately a partial or total knee replacement.  This final stage of treatment, the joint replacement surgery, is highly traumatic.  Joint replacements involve the removal of entire sections of bone to be replaced by metallic prosthetics.

Instead of removing damaged bone, the KineSpring system offers an implantable spring that could let the injured tissue heal.  The spring unloads the medial compartment of the knee throughout a broad range of knee motion, allowing high user function while promoting tissue repair.  This is especially important because knee motion is crucial to bone and cartilage growth.  If you are considering a medial compartment knee joint replacement, the KineSpring may be a less severe and similarly effective alternative.

But do not mistake this post as an endorsement of the KineSpring system for osteoarthritis of the medial compartment.  The KineSpring is a surgical replication of an orthotic solution.  In other words, a medial unloader knee brace offers all of the benefits of the KineSpring system without the needless risk of undergoing surgery.  So if you suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee, ask your doctor about orthotic solutions before you move on to surgical ones.  Braces are safer, less expensive, and far more easily removed than surgical implantations.


The knee joint is the connection between two bones, the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone).  The femur has two adjacent “condyles”, which are rounded portions that extend down to the tibia.  The tibia has two slightly cup-shaped sockets which meet the femoral condyles.

In healthy knee alignment, the femoral condyles rest evenly on the tibia, and apply nearly even pressure to both sides.  There are two types of knee deformities with asymmetrical force distributions: varus and valgus deformities.  A valgus (knock-kneed) deformity is where the knees are closer together than normal.  Valgus is more common than varus, and often occurs in overweight individuals.  A valgus deformity leaves a gap between the femur and the tibia on the lateral side, and increases pressure on the condyles on the medial side.  A varus deformity is where the knees are farther apart than normal.  Varus knees leave gaps between the femur and tibia on the medial side, and increase pressure on the lateral condyles.

These deformities are fairly common and lead to asymmetrical degeneration of the cartilage in the knee.  This means that  an osteoarthritic knee in valgus would have extreme damage to the medial side of the knee, and milder effects on the lateral side.

A medial unloader knee brace is a tested and reliable treatment for knee osteoarthritis.  It is especially effective on an individual with a mild valgus deformity, because they have increased stress on the medial compartment.

Medial Unloader


Knee pain is treated with many different braces, depending on the source of knee pain.  Osteoarthritis of the knee is a common diagnosis, and can occur in several variations.  One common type is called “unicompartmental osteoarthritis”.  This means that the osteoarthritis primarily effects one side of the knee (usually the side closer to the other leg).  If you have this type of knee osteoarthritis, then a medial unloader knee brace may be right for you.

A medial unloader knee brace supports the weight the would pass through the injured compartment.  It also redirects some of the remaining forces through the other compartment of the knee.  This reduces the stress on the osteoarthritis.  The medial unloader brace can help without restricting motion at the knee.  In fact a recent study by the Steadman Philippon Research Institute found that a medial unloader brace can improve function and reduce the need for pain and anti-inflammatory medications.

If you have persistent pain on one side of your knee, then the medial unloader brace may be right for you.  Braces make great solutions because they are mechanical, and not physiological solutions.  This means that the side effects are minimal, and adjustments can be made as necessary without the risk of systemic problems.

Knee Brace For Exercise

Knee Brace For Exercise

An Unloader Knee Brace or a bio-mechanical knee brace is designed to provide pain relief from unicompartmental osteoarthritis so you can return to activity.  These braces absolutely work.  They are a bio-mechanical solution to a bio-mechanical problem.

These knee braces are covered by most health insurance policies and require a prescription.  In many cases patients experience immediate pain relief.  No drugs.  No surgery.  Put the knee brace on and start walking.  Think about this…

An Unloader knee braces can relieve your pain.  That will allow you to start exercising.  Start exercising and begin to lose weight.  The more weight you lose the less stress on your knees.  The less stress, the less pain.  All of this without going to the pharmacy every week, and without surgery.

If pain is preventing you from exercising, an unloader knee brace can get you moving again.

Unloader Knee Brace

Unloader Knee Brace

Instant pain relief.  Ask any certified orthotist and they will say the same thing.  The majority of patients who try on an unloader knee brace will experience an immediate reduction in pain.  The three point pressure system acts like a fulcrum.  It is a biomechanical solution to a biomechanical problem.

These are prescription orthopedic devices that need to be measured for and fit by a certified orthotist.  Sometimes these braces are fit by sales representatives, sometimes they are fit by athletic trainers, physical therapists, and even cast technicians.  DO NOT LET AN UNCERTIFIED PERSON FIT THESE DEVICES ON YOUR LEG.  Just because a person is a health care provider does not mean they are certified to fit unloader knee braces.  These knee braces do a lot of work, if applied incorrectly an unloader knee brace can do more harm than good.

These knee braces work.  They work best when prescribed by a physician, and measured and fit for by a certified practitioner.



Below is text from a patient who recently received a bio-mechanical knee brace for OA, and felt so strongly about the results he wrote a letter to the manufacturer, Townsend Design.

“Dear Mark,

I have attached two PDF documents showing the before and after x-rys of my left knee.  It illustrates the significant change and improved position of my knee, with separation and relief from the bone to bone condition I have.

I wanted to take a moment to let you know what a huge change the new brace has had on the quality of life for me and the exceptional care you provided.  The casting and custom built Townsend Unloader Knee Brace along with building the shim pads for my shoes to correct my bow legged condition have decreased swelling, eliminated the pain I was having 24/7 and most importantly is allowing me to do the things I would never have been able to do before.

My son and I attended te SF Giants game and we have standing room only tickts in right field.  I was able to stand for over 3 hours straight, with no support and never leaving my location completely pain free.  This included both my knee and lower bcak, which I normally start having pain after 15 minutes.  The constant swelling of the knee is gone.

Your attention to detail and the process and advice you provided have resulted in a significant improvemet in quality of life for me and I see myself doing many more activities and extending the life of my knee for years to come.

With warm regards and a big thank you!

Bob V.”