A Runners Knee Brace Can Get You Back in the Game

When it comes to runner’s knee treatment, the answer may sometimes lead to the use of a runner’s knee brace. This painful condition of the knee, commonly known as runner’s knee, and medically categorised as patellofemoral pain syndrome, most often strikes runners or those involved in high traction sports, with repetitious flexion / extension such as running, football and basketball.

Sports podiatrist Karl Lockett and his Sydney Podiatry team see many chronic cases of runner’s knee, where pain flairs up around the front and back of the kneecap.

When to Use a Runners Knee Brace

In cases where there is ongoing pain after a period of rest, rehab and anti-inflammatories, they sometimes recommend the wearing of a runner’s knee brace for a trial period to give support and to provide traction assistance to the knee and allow the patellar tendon to fully heal.

Before the runners knee brace is applied however, a full bio-mechanical assessment will be carried out to eliminate mechanical causes of the condition that can be treated by the sports podiatrist. Often, there are patient’s with lax ligaments that pronate severely, and this causes mal tracking of the knee.

“A runner’s knee brace can help prevent or reduce the symptoms of patellofemoral pain (PFPS). As pain is usually felt under or around the knee cap, a brace can help alleviate the discomfort and offer important support to those muscles, ligaments and tendons taking the load when you’re flexing and extending the knee joint,” says sports podiatrist Karl Lockett.

For those on the recovery journey, a runner’s knee brace can allow you to slowly ease back into training with the peace of mind that a knee brace is giving your knee additional support, stability and pain management.

A runner’s knee brace allows you to get stronger while still staying in the game, which might be important if you’re training for an upcoming marathon or midway through a season of basketball, football or your favourite high impact gym class.

“Anecdotally in our practice we’ve seen clients benefit from wearing a runner’s knee brace. It’s a low cost additional help to exercises and physical therapy that also gives you the psychological benefit of feeling like you’re not completely exposed when you begin exercising again,” says the Sydney sports podiatrist.

What to Look for in Runners Knee Brace

Once you’ve been advised to try a runner’s knee brace, it’s important to choose the right type for your body, your condition and your sport. The Sydney Sports Podiatry team advise that above all else, to choose a runner’s knee brace that provides compression and stability.

Low Profile Runner’s Knee Brace

A low-profile brace for Runner’s Knee features a strap design which applies pressure on the patellar tendon to help relieve pain. A silicone web in this runner’s knee brace applies pressure to the patellar tendon, with contouring at the top and bottom for a comfortable fit. For those who run at night, there are versions with reflectors for enhanced visibility.

Sleeve Style Runner’s Knee Brace

A sleeve style runner’s knee brace offers compression, medial and lateral support to help reduce pain and swelling, and the ability to hold in heat to keep your knee warm. It’s coverage also offers an easy fit design that can be worn under clothes.

Hinged Runner’s Knee Brace

For anyone faced with recovery from an ACL / MCL injury or the need to stabilize the knee because of patellar instability, a hinged runner’s knee brace may be the solution. A bilateral hinge on this brace is ideal for athletes or individuals dealing with ligament instabilities, meniscus injuries, sprains, arthritis and runner’s knee. A rigid hinged knee brace is the most supportive version available to provide maximum support for the knee and prevent it from moving unnaturally.

Drytex Runner’s Knee Brace

For those active in water, a Drytex variety of runner’s knee brace is available and this is made from moisture-absorbing material which you can wear in the pool or in the ocean. After exposure to chlorinated or salt water, always hand wash in warm soapy water, rinse and dry.

runner's knee brace sydney

If you think you need a runners knee brace you may wish to have an assessment with a sports podiatrist to rule out any underlying causes that can be treated long term. A bio mechanical assessment is crucial to any athlete who pays sports that involve running.

Podiatrist, Karl Lockett