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Can you recommend supports for my knees?

Q) I'm 55 and have arthritis in my knees and hands. At the moment my knees are particularly painful. I am looking for a knee support but there are so many different ones on the market so I was wondering if you could recommend one. My husband and I like to go walking, but I'm struggling at the moment.
Liz (Spring 2017)

A) Sorry to hear you're struggling at the moment, but you're doing the right thing by keeping moving and not giving up on your love of walking.

Knee braces and supports are recommended as an add-on treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. There are lots of different options on the market and the main functions you need to look out for are:

  • additional stability
  • compression support
  • comfort.

Devices range from simple neoprene supports right through to mechanical hinged braces and the choice of which one is best often relies on what you'll be using it for and the parts of the knee affected by osteoarthritis.

The NICE guidelines do suggest assessment to advise on the most suitable type of brace. This assessment could be done by a physiotherapist. Most importantly you should try on the options available to you and see what they're like in the real world as you are looking for a solution to aid your mobility and reduce your pain levels.

If you're a keen walker it's also worth considering purchasing a pair of walking poles as these do reduce the load passing through the knees significantly and offer additional help with overall balance.

This answer was provided by Dr Tom Margham for the Spring 2017 edition of our magazine, Arthritis Today, and was correct at the time of publication.

Send your questions for Dr Tom Margham to enquiries@arthritisresearchuk.org


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