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The knee joint is often subject to more stress than most other joints in the body. While active sports and fitness regimens can lead to pain in the knee joint, sitting for too long or excessive walking can cause this as well. Even with preventative measures such as reducing stress on the knees and proper strength training, knee pain is still highly likely. An excellent way to help manage recurring knee pain is with assistive devices that can help support the joint, such as a patella knee strap.
Regular knee pain is due in part to the shape and function of the knee joint. The patellar tendon and the quadriceps tendon are the two central tendons of the knee. These tendons give the knee its range of motion by connecting the bones to the muscles and allowing the legs to bend and extend. The quadriceps tendon connects the knee cap to the thigh muscles, and the patellar tendon connects the kneecap to the shin bone. Damage or strain to either of these tendons can cause gradually worsening knee pain and could require the use of a patella knee support to assist in the healing.
There are two conditions that commonly affect the knee joint and can cause pain to the area. They are patellofemoral pain syndrome, or PFPS, and patellar tendonitis. These two conditions affect different tendons in the knee but can be helped in similar ways.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome relates to the discomfort that is located above the knee cap. It is caused by problems in the quadriceps and the quadriceps tendon, thus allowing the knee cap to consistently hit the femur. Excessive force on the tendon, either with exercise or sitting, can cause this trauma. An examination will be done by a doctor to diagnose this condition and create a treatment plan. Typical treatment for patellofemoral pain syndrome includes rest, the use of assistive supports, and physical therapy.
Patellar tendonitis is a painful condition that affects the underside of the knee cap and the patellar tendon. This is caused by overuse and is typically seen in athletes or those with running or jumping fitness regimens. These repeating movements can cause micro-tears and collagen degeneration in the tendon. A doctor will perform an examination on the afflicted area and could request an MRI and an X-ray to make sure the patellar tendon is not degenerating. Once the joint is assessed, a treatment plan can be created. This typically includes rest from strenuous activities, cold therapy, bracing supports, and rehab exercises.
For both of the above knee conditions, assistive supports are typically helpful and recommended. One of the most common and easy to use supports is the patella knee strap. This strap is simple to use compared to full braces, can provide pain relief in many cases, and can help support the knee cap during healing.
With patellofemoral pain syndrome, the patella knee strap is used to support the knee cap and prevent it from hitting the femur bone. This support eases some of the discomfort associated with this syndrome, as well as preventing the cartilage of the knee from degenerating any further.
The use of the knee strap with patellar tendonitis works by applying pressure to the patellar tendon to help relieve the pain associated with this condition and support the knee cap for better movement. This support allows patellar compression to be reduced and helps to prevent sideways movement of the knee cap, keeping it in proper alignment.
Proper application of the knee support is crucial to get the most benefit and prevent further injury. If a doctor prescribes the support in the treatment plan, then they will typically demonstrate how to use it properly. If that is not the case, or it is going to be used more as a preventive measure without a doctor’s help, it is easy to figure out how to wear the support correctly.
Most of these knee straps will require to be slipped on over the foot and pulled up to just below the knee cap. The front of the strap, with the cushion or the air pillow, should be directly on top of the area where the patellar tendon connects to the patella. Once it is in proper alignment, the strap can be tightened for uniform pressure on the patellar tendon. It should give the feeling of support to the knee. In order to check the tightness and placement of the strap, bend the afflicted knee or perform a squat. The strap should not be so tight that it causes numbness or tingling in the legs; if this occurs, the strap should be loosened.
Finding the best knee support will require some trial and error in order to find the one that provides the best fit, support, and material for any individual. One of the most important things to look for when purchasing a knee support strap is the quality of materials it is made of and how well it was made. A cheap but poorly made knee strap will end up doing more harm than good due to its lack of support.
A good knee support strap will be made out of high-quality materials and provide adequate support to the knee cap. These supports can come with either one or two adjustable velcro straps that can be used to tighten it while on the knee. Those that come with two adjustable straps tend to work better at applying the uniform pressure needed to support the injured knee. But if the support is going to be used for preventive care, a single strap support would work just as well.
If knee pain is causing problems performing day to day activities or affecting the ability to work out, it may help to try out a knee support strap. While such a simple support won’t work on every cause of knee pain, it is commonly used as the first choice of defense with athletes and fitness gurus.