I know from personal experience that choosing your first knee brace can be a confusing experience. The most important consideration when selecting knee braces is the type and severity of your injury. If the wrong knee brace is selected you can do more damage to an already injured knee. For that reason it's always advisable to seek your medical professional's advice before selecting any knee supports. The level of support you need is also an important factor because not enough support can mean the chance for damage and too much support can weaken your body's natural knee support system. The last item to consider in choosing knee supports is the cost. In my opinion if I find a brace that allows me to function as normally as possible, the cost isn't that much of an issue. Knee braces can be categorized in many ways, but I prefer the following: Hinged Knee Braces contains metal or alloy reinforcements on the sides for maximum lateral or medial stability and support. The hinges range from a basic single hinge to more elaborate multiple hinges to provide more normal knee motion. Other features may include stop pins to control how much the knee is allowed to flex. The hinged knee brace is suitable for moderate to bad knee joint injuries and is often used in high impact/ high movement sports.Examples of quality hinged knee braces would be the Mueller HG80 and the McDavid  428. Stabilized Knee Braces doesn't have solid metal hinges but will have other features to provide some extra support than just a basic elastic sleeve. At the low end you would have a neoprene knee brace that provides heat and circulation benefits usually with an opening to keep the patella in place and free from pressure.The most popular stabilized knee braces have flexible steel springs sewn into the material at the side or have elastic straps that can be adjusted for additional support. These braces are popular Knee pain or injuries such as meniscus, tendinitis, bursitis, arthritis or patella problems can benefit from these knee braces. Examples are the McDavid 425 Ligament Knee Brace and the Pro-Tec J Lat Patella Knee Support. Wrap Around Knee Braces are easy to use because you don't have to slide them on your knee. They simply wrap around around your knee and can be easily adjusted for comfort and support. Most often they don't give the same level of support as a sized knee support but they have the advantage of adjustable compression for minor knee sprains, arthritis and  patella tracking. (example: McDavid 4195 Multi Action Knee Brace) Other single band versions work great for runners knee (Illiotibial Band Syndrome), jumpers knee,tendinitis, Osgood Schlatters disease, chondromalicia. (example: Pro-Tec Patellar tendon strap ) Basic Knee Braces are usually simple elastic sleeves that pull over your knee and provide minimum support, if any. You can find these simple braces in any drug or convenience store. The padded knee support versions are primarily used for protection from contact and the magnetic knee support gives the added benefit of imbedded magnets which some claim to have unique healing powers. About the Author: Bruce is the president of Return2Fitness.net, an online sports medical resource and product center. His "entrepreneurial spirit" has resulted in the founding or acquisition of 20 companies during his 39 year career. Bruce is not a medical professional so please consult your local specialist before making any changes in the treatment of any injury or condition. Thanks for reading my post! For more information connect with me: Return2FitnessEmail │ Facebook │ SquidooLinkedIn

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