Do you wear a custom knee brace? November 18, 2018 12:45 5 Comments
At 15 years of age, I suffered a complete tear of my left ACL during a basketball game. I tried not to let my injury slow me down but over the course of the next twenty years I had a number of knee operations including a few arthroscopic surgeries to remove damaged meniscus and cartilage, 3 unsuccessful ACL reconstruction using patellar tendon and then left and right hamstring tendons and most recently a high tibial osteotomy where my tibia plateau was cut in half and a wedge-shaped disc from my pelvic bone was inserted into the tibia plateau to realign the knee.
Throughout the course of all these knee surgeries, l have been able to maintain an active lifestyle thanks to custom knee braces. My first three braces where Generation II Extreme (now Ossur) Custom ACL knee braces, then I had an Ossur Cti Custom ACL brace and now I find myself sporting a DonJoy Defiance custom ACL knee brace which is a great choice for anyone with severe knee instability.
The two biggest problems that I have experienced with all the custom knee braces that I've used over the years are the migration of the knee brace down the leg during intense sporting activity or when worn over longer periods of time and skin trauma caused by pinching and rubbing from the knee brace straps.
Bracelayer™ Knee Compression Pants help solve both these issues by incorporating a thin layer of perforated neoprene around the knee, along with the IT bands and around the lower lumbar area.
This layer of perforated neoprene is thin enough so it can fit comfortably under custom knee braces but is also strong enough to provide relief from straps pinching and digging into the athlete's skin. It also provides grip, even while sweating and prolonged periods of sport, to keep the knee brace firmly in the place where it is designed to be.
And the best part about wearing our Men's or Women's Bracelayer™ Knee Compression Pants under your custom knee brace is that you are giving your other knee a layer of support, stability, and protection that it deserves.
Do you wear a custom knee brace? Please share your knee story in our comments section!
DonJoy Defiance Custom ACL Knee Brace
How to Stop Your Knee Brace from Slipping Down October 4, 2018 20:07
Bracelayer Compression Gear fits comfortably under custom knee braces and stops them from sliding down the leg during activity and limits skin trauma caused by knee brace straps.
Use promo code KNEEBRACE to save 15% off your first order.
When you’re an athlete who is already dealing with the frustration of having a knee injury, the last thing you want to be doing is constantly tugging up a custom knee brace. Even if you’re not back in the gym yet, struggling to keep your knee brace where it belongs—around your knee, stabilizing it—can be a real problem.
As is so often done nowadays, you have probably gone online to find some sort of solution—anything but duct tape to keep your knee brace in place while you go about your daily life or physical therapy.
Let’s look at how to keep knee brace from slipping down.
Why is Your Knee Brace Slipping?
To understand how to stop your knee brace from slipping, it’s a good idea to understand why your knee brace is falling down in the first place. Even when you are wearing your knee brace correctly, more often than not, there will be distal migration or sliding of the knee brace down the leg. This is a very common problem.
Fundamentally, you’re fighting gravity. All the straps on your knee brace are desperately battling against that constant force that only those who have experienced outer space-like environments have escaped. All day, every day, gravity is doing its best to pull your knee brace down.
Another major issue that causes knee braces to slip is that the circumference of your thigh is greater than the circumference of your calf. If you think of strapping your knee brace to an upside-down traffic cone, it’s pretty easy to imagine why it’s prone to slip down.
Thankfully, when it comes to your conical-shaped legs, there is the gastrocnemius muscle. This muscle is what creates that little “shelf” on the back of your calf. Ensuring that your brace fits correctly and a strap can be snugged down right above the gastrocnemius muscle is essential in your battle against a migrating brace.
Another major and fundamental issue you face with your brace is the hinge. Many companies use a polycentric hinge, which centers the hinge over the center of the knee. Unfortunately, this does not allow for the roll and glide movement of the knee. If you’ve not gotten your brace yet, or are looking for a new brace, make sure you talk to your physical therapist, orthopedic specialist, and doctor about the exact kind of hinge in the brace—push to get a roll and glide hinge.
Not The Best Ideas from the Internet
One person seeking advice for how to keep knee brace from slipping down through the Knee Guru forum wrote: “I have tightened it so much that I have pressure ridges all up and down my leg--and I can't even walk from the bedroom to the living room before the things fall down around my ankle and the opening for the patella is on my shin!”
Ideas started tumbling in, with people suggesting everything from an ace wrap under the brace to self-adhesive tape. In other places on the internet, you’ll find people building makeshift solutions. One video blogger suggests using sticky-back, hook velcro and attaching a thin rubber material to the back of it. The velcro part can then be attached to the inside of the knee brace, while the rubber will have more grasp on your pants or skin, preventing the brace from migrating.
Another suggestion floating out there is the idea of wearing a compression sleeve over the top of your knee brace, with the hope of pressing it tighter against your skin or clothing to cause more friction and prevent gravity from tugging it down.
There is also the idea of combining several options, such as using a compression wrap or wearing tights or a compression sleeve over the top. Though everyone seems to be trying to develop a solution, nobody seems particularly happy with what they were doing.
Yes, the compression wrap is much better than a knee brace around one’s ankle, but it was far from ideal. It might seem inevitable that a knee brace will start slipping down your leg as you go through physical therapy or when you are back out on the field, it’s not.
A Real Solution to Distal Migration
With the right compression pants, you can prevent the distal migration of a custom knee brace.
The right compression pants mean that it will no longer be necessary to tug up you brace mid-stride on your morning jog. Additionally, the right compression pants can limit skin trauma caused by the friction of knee brace straps.
With the mission “to improve athletic performance, speed recovery, and reduce pain through the targeted compression and stabilization of key muscles and joints,” Bracelayer has designed exactly those compression pants. Pants that provide support for your knee, while also preventing your knee brace from slipping.
The innovative Bracelayer compression pants are designed with a supportive layer around the knee, which also insulates your IT bands, hips, and lumbar. The layer is made from the compression fabric and has a thin layer of medical grade perforated neoprene on top, which is then covered with a compression mesh.
The pants are thin enough to comfortably sift under DonJoy, Ossur, Generation II, CTI, and any other custom knee brace.
Final Thoughts: how to keep knee brace from slipping down
The solution for how to keep knee brace from slipping down is simple. Before Bracelayer was founded in 2015, things might have been more complicated. You might have had to use a compression wrap below your brace and pulled sleeves over the top. Now, with a variety of styles of Bracelayer compression pants, you can save your wraps etc. for another occasion.
It's Time To Replace Your Knee Sleeves With These Compression Pants August 25, 2018 17:02
Traditionally, there have been 3 types of knee compression available to athletes looking for varying degrees of warmth, stability and support.
Cloth Knee Sleeves are the thinnest type of knee sleeve available and provide mild compression and some warmth to the joint and surrounding muscles. A cloth knee sleeve can be made from any number of materials including polyesters, cotton, acrylics and will usually contain lycra or spandex for their elasticity. They provide limited injury protection and knee support.
Neoprene Knee Sleeves are more substantial than cloth knee sleeves and come in different thicknesses. Neoprene sleeves, such as the Rehband Knee Sleeves, are a popular choice for powerlifters and CrossFit enthusiasts. Although much bulkier than a cloth knee sleeve, a neoprene knee sleeve provides improved knee stability along with more warmth and greater injury prevention which make them a staple in weightlifting and CrossFit gyms.
Knee Wraps are typically worn for performance and heavy powerlifting. Wraps provide extreme compression but can be cumbersome and require significant attention. They are best used during short periods of intense activity such as lower bodybuilding exercises such are squats and deadlifts.
Most athletes in need of knee compression find themselves choosing between the first two alternatives: cloth knee sleeves or neoprene knee sleeves. Some people even wear compression tights with knee sleeves overtop.
But now there is a better option. Bracelayer Knee Stabilizing Compression Pants provide all of the benefits of traditional compression tights along with the warmth and stability found in neoprene knee sleeves, all while maintaining a low profile.
Our compression pants are moisture wicking and have antimicrobial properties to keep you feeling fresh and odor free. Around the knee and along the IT band and hip is a thin 2mm layer of perforated neoprene to provide targeted compression, stability and warmth to active and recovering knees. As the perforated neoprene is only 2mm in thickness, the brace layer of our compression pants is thin enough to wear under custom knee braces or knee wraps.
So stop playing around with individual knee sleeves. And stop choosing between knees sleeves or compression pants and get the all in one solution - Bracelayer Men’s or Women’s Knee Stabilizing Compression Pants!
Bracelayer Knee Stabilizing Compression Pants have 2mm medical grade ventilated neoprene knee sleeves built into each leg. Use promo code KNEESLEEVES to save 15% off you first order.
Bracelayer Knee Compression Pants are the all in one solution for athletes looking to replace their knee sleeves. Bracelayer compression tights have medical grade ventilated neoprene built right into each knee. They are built on a moisture wicking and anti-odor Lycra base. They also pair great with custom knee braces.
The Latest Advances and Innovations in Knee Surgeries February 27, 2018 23:42
All athletes know that one of the biggest threats to their competitive career is a knee injury. Knee injuries are one of the most common of all sports-related injuries. Everyone from professionals to high school athletes to people looking to live an active lifestyle knows in the back of their minds that a painful knee injury could strike at any time.
However, while knee injuries such as an ACL tear was once the end of any athletic career, most people are now able to bounce back. But, it often takes more than a year to get the knee back in shape for elite level training and performance.
Recent medical advances are now making knee surgeries less invasive and greatly shortening the recovery time.
Radio Frequency Treatment
With some knee conditions surgery is not needed to heal the tear, but to heal the pain. With some knee issues, the only way to handle the pain is strong prescription drugs or invasive surgery.
But, now a new FDA approved procedure offers a new path. Doctors can know treat chronic knee pain by inserting specialized needles into the knee that send out a particular radio frequency.
This radio frequency targets the nerve cells in the knee and “freezes” them. The radio waves basically keep the nerves from reporting the pain reflex back to the brain.
This allows people to improve their quality of life and be free of opioids. This allows patients to forego invasive surgery until it is absolutely necessary.
Traditional style ACL surgery is brutal. The reconstructive surgery required a tendon graft and that holes be drilled into the bone. The reason for this was that it was thought that ACL tears couldn’t be stitched back together and left to heal.
One former engineering student turned knee surgeon felt that there had to be a better way. Dr. Martha Murray has invented a new procedure that offers great promise and will soon be undergoing human trials.
Dr. Murry invented a sponge scaffold that can be surgically implanted around the ACL injury and helps the tendon to heal.
The surgery is much less invasive than the traditional approach and it allows for the patient to be active in a much shorter time.
ACL Stem Cell Procedure
It seems like stem cells are always in the medical news in one way or another. A new stem cell procedure is currently being used to treat both full and partial ACL tears.
With this stem cell procedure, instead of opening up the body, the stem cells are inserted into target areas through a simple needle.
The stem cells trigger the regrowth and healing of the tendon.
The most incredible part of this therapy is it allows athletes to return much faster to training and full competition than surgical treatments.
Swiss doctors have developed a successful treatment for knee cartilage injuries. The issues with many cartilage injuries are that the injury contributes to the rapid development of many different degenerative joint conditions. Before this newest technique, doctors often struggled to repair the cartilage.
The Swiss doctors have successfully transplanted cartilage from the nose to the knee. These transplants are still in the early trial stages, but they are very promising.
While no athlete wants to suffer a knee injury, it is exciting that so much research is being done on this issue. These new advances make soon make major knee surgery a thing of the past.
The better care you take of your knees during the recovery process, the faster you can get back out into competition.
Meniscus Tear Rehabilitation: How Compression Can Relieve Knee Pain January 19, 2018 21:56
If you were a strong athlete in high school or even if you got into the game late, you are probably no stranger to knee pain. Athletes such as yourself go hard, and it’s hard on your body. This makes it even more important to take steps—not only through the park on a morning run—but to protect your knees from meniscus tears and osteoarthritis.
Injury-prevention measures, such as knee-stabilizing compression pants that aid with meniscus tear rehabilitation, can help keep you moving, instead of stuck in the house nursing an injured knee.
Benefits of Athletic Compression
Though most athletes who use compression gear wear it while engaged in sporting events, the real benefits come during recovery. If your compression pants also provide specialized support and stabilization for your knees, then they’re working overtime for you—during and after your workout.
According to the New York Times, “Most recent studies indicate that compression sleeves do not boost blood flow through muscles during exercise, probably because the movement of blood when we are exercising is already at its peak”.
That, of course, isn’t the full story. Compression clothing was first introduced to patients who needed help to promote blood circulation and prevent blood from pooling in their extremities, which the clothing did exceptionally well.
Billy Sperlich, who co-authored a review questioning the performance-enhancement theories about compression gear, published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. He notes that compression garments do appear to significantly aid muscles’ recovery after exercise. The New York Times went on to explain that “the garments can augment the movement of blood through muscles after exercising, when blood flow would otherwise slow… This increase in circulation may help flush away some of the biochemical byproducts of hard workouts, like lactate… reducing inflammation and muscle aches”.
Additionally, one of the many real advantages of compression gear comes down to the placebo effect. Some researchers who question the physical advantages of compression gear for endurance athletes admit that if they make you feel stronger and faster, then they’re providing a tangible benefit to your performance.
“Since beliefs are strong performance enhancers, I would recommend compression clothing to persons who believe in the performance-enhancing effect,” says Dr. Sperlich.
Common Knee Injuries
Osteoarthritis and meniscus tears are two of the most common knee injuries for middle-aged athletes.
Osteoarthritis, often known as degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis, occurs when the cartilage between joints breaks down, leading to pain, stiffness, and swelling. Much of the pain associated with osteoarthritis can be managed with a rigorous quadriceps-strengthening routine, glucosamine, and a knee brace.
A meniscus tear, rips in the cartilage of your knee, can happen at any age. However, as you get older, you are more prone to degenerative meniscus tears, where cartilage weakens and wears thin over time, making it more susceptible to tears. For younger athletes, these tears often occur during contact sports. However, later in life, they can be caused by any awkward twist, which is one of the reasons that providing extra stabilization to your knees should become a priority.
Luckily, there’s a simple solution for meniscus tear rehabilitation and soothing osteoarthritis.
Why Knee Supports Work
Don’t let common knee injuries or knee pain keep you on the bench. Taking preventative actions to avoid injury is your best option. However, with certain degenerative issues, it’s understood that you can’t dodge bullets forever. Either way, you should be taking advantage of the support, stability, and protection provided to active and recovering knees by Bracelayer Knee Compression Pants—available for men and women athletes.
The Bracelayer pants are innovative because in addition to providing the standard moisture wicking and antimicrobial features associated with most top brands of compression pants, they also come equipped with a stabilizing neoprene brace layer. This brace layer wraps around the knee while also insulating the IT bands, hips, and lumbar area. The stabilizing layer uses lightweight, medical grade perforated neoprene to provide advanced compression to these areas.
Additionally, the pants are designed to allow your customized brace to go over the top of them, providing even more protection. The design also stops the distal migration of your knee brace down your leg and helps prevent skin trauma caused by knee brace straps.
Meniscus Tear Rehabilitation: How Compression Can Relieve Knee Pain
As an athlete, your emotional health and mental health is tied to your physical wellbeing. Anyone who has been forced away from their healthy, daily exercise routine because of a knee injury or knee pain knows the toll it can take on your entire life. By using compression pants with a built-in knee sleeve, you can protect your body, lessen knee pain, and recover more quickly—all while feeling faster and stronger.
Tag your Bracelayer gear on Instagram next time you workout and share your stories below of how Bracelayer has helped with your meniscus tear rehabilitation.
Anatomy of the Human Knee - Infographic February 10, 2017 23:33
The knee is one of the largest and most important joints in the human body as it connects the upper (femur) and lower (tibia) leg. The muscles that move the knee are connected by tendons to the knee bones. In addition to these bones, the joint is comprised of ligaments, which connect the knee bones and provide stability, as well as menisci and cartilage which function as shock absorbers and allow the joint to move with less friction.
The main ligaments connecting the bones and providing stability to the knee are:
The Anterior Crutiate Ligament - The ACL lies deep within the knee joint and provide significant stability to the joint. For atheletes especially, it is one of the most commonly injured and discussed ligament in knee joint.
The Posterior Crutiate Ligament - The PCL connects the back of the tibia to the femur and stops the shinbone or tibia from moving backwards in relation to the knee. It is an extremely tough and resilient ligament. At nearly twice the size of the ACL, a lot of force is required to completely rupture the PCL.
The Medial & Lateral Crutiate Ligaments - MCL & LCL, stabilize the side to side movement of the femur in relation to the knee. The MCL is also a commoly injured ligament. It is found on the inside of the knee joint and connects to the top of the shinbone, or tibia, and to the bottom of the thighbone or femur. The LCL also connects the tibia and femur but is found on the outside of the knee.
Articular Cartilage is a special connective tissue that is slippery and limits friction between the knee bones
The medial and lateral meniscus are the wedge shaped pads within the kneethat act as shock absorbers to help suck up impact to the knee joint. Tears to the meniscus can result pain and mobilty issues.
Check out our infographic below for a visual breakdown of the anatomy of the human knee:
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What is a Dashboard Knee Injury and it's Effect on the PCL? February 4, 2016 23:16
A dashboard injury occurs almost always occurs during flexion of the knee. When the is bent knee recieves a direct blow to the top of the shinbone, the tibia can get pushed backwards with enough force to inflict damage to the PCL.
Posterior View Of PCL / Back of Right Knee
A dashboard injury refers to an injury caused to the PCL or posterior cruciate ligament, which is one of the major ligaments found in the human knee. The posterior cruciate ligament lies deep within the knee and gets its name because it attaches the posterior, or back, of the tibia to the femur. This configuration helps the PCL resist backward motion of the lower leg or tibia.
A posterior cruciate ligament injury can occur when the knee is bent and the upper tibia suffers direct impact causing the shinbone to be pushed backwards below the knee. With enough force, this can result in a tear or rupture of the PCL as the tibia is pushed back too far. This type of injury is often called a dashboard injury as it can occur during car accidents as the driver's or passenger's bent leg suffers a direct blow into the dashboard causing posterior cruciate ligament damage. Dashboard type injuries can also occur during sporting activity when an athlete falls or gets tackled on a bent knee or when the bent knee collides with an immovable object.
PCL injuries can vary dramatically in the degree on damaged inflicted and range from minor injuries that are difficult to assess and diagnose to more serious cases which show obvious signs of physical injury and severe knee instabilities.
One of the indicators of possible injury to the posterior cruciate ligament is often a divot or 'dent' in the subjects patella tendon. A posterior sag test can help confirm whether PCL damage exists or not. The test is performed as the subject lays flat on their back and lifts the injured leg in the air, flexed at a 90-degree angle. A positive sign of injury will result in the posterior sag of the tibia and an indent in the patella tendon caused by gravitational pull.
The protocol for the rehabilitation of a PCL injury will depend on the degree of damage and whether surgery is recommended or not. Frequently, rehab is often recommended over surgery with PCL injuries but as always one should consult the advice of a medical professional.
Posterior View of the Knee and PCL
As shown in the diagram above, the PCL is an extremely large and strong ligament and therefore a lot of force is required to rupture it completely. It is 1.5 to 2 times the size of the more commonly injured and discussed anterior cruciate ligament or ACL.