Brace Yourself for Sports Injuries
I recently had a sports injury in which I tore my
anterior cruciate ligament. I have never felt that much pain in my
life. Every movement which required use of my knee was excruciating.
Apparently, the anterior cruciate is among the most important
structures in the knee because it provides 86% of restraining tension
to the joint. The ACL has mechanoreceptors that are sensitive to all
knee movements and are important to trigger the muscle reflex actions.
This would explain why I had such painful aching in my whole leg not
just my knee. Apparently a torn ACL is actually referred to as an ACL
deficiency, and affects timing of my knee muscle contraction. My body
was trying to compensate for the ACL deficiency by using other muscles,
namely my hamstrings. My hamstring reflex contraction has lengthened,
and now my knee has limited anterior tibial displacement. In other
words, a torn ACL affects the whole leg and can lead to some very
serious long term damage.
I have been booked for surgery, but in the meantime I wanted to stave
off fatigue, and stay somewhat fit. I was referred to a physiotherapist
by my surgeon. He suggested I use a knee brace. It was explained to me
that one of the most important factors of sports medicine and rehab
management is the use of braces and supports to prevent injuries and
further existing ones. It can be used in conjunction with a
rehabilitation program that incorporates strength training, flexibility
and activity modification. It can provide mechanical protection to the
knee area and stability to the joint while I am putting pressure on it.
Since the goal of my physiotherapy is to strengthen the muscles around
my knee to make up for the absence of an intact ACL, I took his advice
Knee braces are made from combinations of metals, foams, plastics,
elastic materials and straps. Each brace has a specific purpose.
- A prophylactic brace is designed to protect the knee from injuries in
contact sports. A simple brace which is made of neoprene and elastic,
it is easily found in most pharmacies and sport stores.
- Functional braces give support to knees which have already been
damaged, or injured. These are mostly neoprene and elastic, and can be
found online and in medical supply stores.
- Rehabilitative braces limit the knees movements while it's healing,
and offer stabilized knee support. It has metal bars to keep the knee
from experiencing any torque while healing. Must be fitted properly
- Unloader/offloader braces provide relief to arthritis sufferers and
consist mostly of neoprene.
For my particular needs, I was told I needed a rehabilitative brace to
provide control and protection before and after knee surgery.
Rehabilitative braces are used more than functional and prophylactic
braces combined. They are used only to protect injured ligaments and
control knee flexion and extension angles during the healing process.
These braces are cost effective, especially compared to casting. They
allow easy access for treatment and monitoring; their large frame
limits excessive movement and sends a message to others to avoid
nearing that area. Furthermore, they allow for my therapist to adjust
range of motion based on my rate of healing. Rehabilitation braces help
my physiotherapist keep pace with the ever changing healing process.
I have been using my brace in conjunction with physiotherapy for a
month and the pain is already better. The first 10 days were very
difficult, it hurt and I had to apply ice to the area and stay off it
in order to allow the injured ligament to reattach to the bone. After a
few weeks I was allowed back in the gym with my brace and my therapist,
and have begun strengthening exercises. I have no range of motion even
after such a short athletic interval. I am not to put excessive weight
on that leg while exercising, so I have started swimming and walking in
my own time, always with my brace. It is the most important investment
I have ever made. I intend to be physically fit my whole life, and will
probably need to continue using my brace in order to not hurt my ACL
again. That's okay with me. Whatever works, I say.
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/sports-and-fitness-articles/
About the Author
The author highly recommends visiting http://mightygrip.com for sports
braces and supports and sporting goods.
sporting goods distributors.