Have a question about bracing and supports? See our list of frequently asked questions below.
What does a brace do?
A brace is a wearable medical aid that applies external pressure to provide mechanical support to a joint. Braces are prescribed to patients that lack of stability or strength, or who experience joint pain and/or swelling. An expertly fitted brace restricts excessive acute bending and cushions force without impeding the joint’s regular pattern of movement.
How do I choose a brace?
If a healthcare provider has prescribed or recommended a brace, it is wise to visit a professional establishment that specializes in medical aids or rehabilitation products. A trained individual can help you ensure a proper fit.
How long do you have to wear a brace?
Each individual’s condition and stage of healing determines the duration and frequency with which a brace must be worn. Your practitioner will be able to provide you with some guidelines and expectations in this area.
Is it true that wearing a brace can weaken your muscles?
Most braces and supports are functional, and so the muscles involved in movement of the joint remain active. The wearer can also remove the device prior to performing exercise that will maintain or improve mobility, strength, and stability.
What is the difference between a brace and an elastic bandage?
Elastic bandages apply pressure and protect the skin, however they do not provide mechanical support. A brace is far more effective at providing support and stability, especially for sprains and strains.
How long does a brace normally last?
A brace can be worn and washed hundreds of times, but it will wear out eventually. The degree of wear will depend on the type of brace, how often it is used, the amount of perspiration produced, and the local frictional forces. A brace’s useful life also depends on good maintenance. Always follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions, and return your brace to the place of purchase if it shows signs of defect.