Perhaps some of the most common tools used in orthopaedic medicine and physical therapy are orthopaedic braces. Orthopaedic braces are prescribed to correct and prevent bone, tendon, and muscular injuries. There are many different types of braces depending on which part of the body it will be used, and for what kind of injury. Choosing the correct brace can be overwhelming for those who aren’t in the medical field. Though they are now easy to buy online or in stores, the only way to truly find the correct orthopaedic brace for your needs is through your specialist or physical therapist at Hampton Roads Orthopaedics Spine & Sports Medicine.
What Are Orthopaedic Braces?
Orthopaedic braces are medical devices that are used to support or properly align bones and muscles, especially around joints. Usually prescribed to a patient after an injury, the braces ensure the injured area is stabilized in the correct alignment while it heals.
Some braces are made from a flexible material like neoprene which allows for restricted joint movement, while others are made from a rigid material like plastic or metal which prevents all movement.
Why Would I Need an Orthopaedic Brace?
The most common types of braces are used on the body’s joints, limbs, and back for a variety of medical conditions such as:
- Sprained joints
- Joint strain
- Ankle instability
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Tissue injury
- Post-cast stabilization
- Post-operative stabilization
- Osteo-arthritic care
- Occupational stabilization
- Back support for lifting
- Joint support for athletics
How Do Orthopaedic Braces Work?
Orthopaedic braces restrict the movement of the body. Many braces stop limbs from moving for a time prescribed by a doctor, likely a week or more after a joint injury. This allows the body to heal the joint without unnecessary pressure or strain on the joint and ensure the bones and muscles heal in the proper position.
Other braces use compression to hold a joint, spine, or muscles in the correct position while it is in use. These more flexible braces give added support to the body to keep the bones and muscles aligned properly and prevent additional strain or misalignment.
How Do I Find the Right Orthopaedic Brace?
The only way to ensure that you are using the proper orthopaedic brace and that you are using that brace correctly is to go to a doctor. While a family doctor can help diagnose an injury, it is likely that they will refer you to a specialist to confirm their diagnosis and prescribe the correct regimen to rehabilitate the injury.
The specialist will be able to determine precisely what the injury is, which type of orthopaedic brace and level of stability is required, and what periods of time you need to use it. They can fit you for the right brace if your injury requires a customized size.
There are many online stores where you can buy orthopaedic braces, but if you are experiencing muscle or joint strain or pain, it is essential to go to a doctor for an official diagnosis and treatment plan.
Orthopaedic braces should not be worn without the advice of a doctor. If you attempt to self-diagnose and treat a muscular or skeletal injury, you may end up doing further damage, possibly even permanent damage, that will require lengthy and expensive treatment in the future.
If you are experiencing joint, muscular, or bone pain, contact us for an appointment with a specialist. Our team will make sure you’re using the proper brace in the correct way to optimize your healing. Hampton Roads Orthopaedics Spine & Sports Medicine offers comprehensive orthopaedic care designed to quickly get you back on your feet and doing the things you love.