In almost every activity that we engage in, the knees bear the brunt of impacts. A lot of times, the result is various knee complications that are usually very uncomfortable and painful. To try to prevent or manage this, knee braces are worn as protective and supportive devices.
One of the conditions that the knees can suffer from as a result of the huge load and impact it has to bear is knee osteoarthritis. Though the name may sound very complicated, this is a rather common condition. You actually won’t believe how common it is.
It will interest you to know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that about 50% of every adult will at one time or the other in their life suffer this condition. The increase in the occurrence of knee osteoarthritis has been largely linked to obesity.
In trying to manage this condition, knee braces are recommended. In this case, not just any type of knee braces but unloader knee braces. What exactly are unloader knee braces?
To put it very simply, an unloader knee brace is regarded as the best knee brace for osteoarthritis. As the name suggests, it unloads the pressure and stress on the area that is affected and distributes it to the healthy parts, thereby relieving the pain and discomfort.
It does this by applying pressure on three points along the femur bone. This makes the knee shift slightly from the affected part.
This unloading process can be from the inner part (medial) to the outer part (lateral) or the other way. Some knee braces can be changed from a medial unloader knee brace which unloads pressure from the inner knee to the outer knee to one which does the opposite by effecting a simple adjustment.
Another type of knee brace that is also used in the management of knee osteoarthritis is the offloader knee brace which basically works by applying some pressure on the unaffected knee part, forcing it into alignment and thereby relieving the pain.
To get the most from your unloader knee brace, whether it is a medial unloader brace or any other kind, it is important to know some important things to consider. We will look at a few of these.
Size – This no doubt is an important factor to consider. These knee braces are supposed to fit very tightly so it is important that the perfect size is chosen. If it’s too small, you won’t be able to put it on and if it is too big, it won’t be able to perform the task for which you got it.
Type – Apart from the size, you will also find that unloader knee braces are offered in different types.
Considering that the affected knee could be the left or right knee, it is usually offered in knee specific designs. So be sure you are getting the right one for your needs.
Apart from the choice of left or right, you may also have to choose between a medial style or a lateral one. This will depend on the type of knee condition you are suffering from. Some unloader braces will also be offered for ACL, PCL, CI etc. If you are not sure which is the right one for you, you should of course consult your health provider.
Quality – Another important thing to look at is the quality of the braces. This will largely have to do with the quality of the material used. You will want something that is very durable and can withstand the use. Given that it is supposed to be providing solid support, it cannot be made of flimsy materials.
Comfort – The discomfort a person suffering from knee osteoarthritis is already going through does not need any additional discomfort. When choosing your knee braces, ensure it is well designed to be comfortable. It should be well padded so that as it fits very snugly on your knees, it will not cause any pains or discomfort.
This again has to do with the quality of the material used.
Usability – You want knee braces that are easy to use. You should be able to easily put them on and also take them off. The straps should be easy to adjust to get the best fit and they should stay on and not slip away from where they are meant to be.
Another thing to look at is its bulk. Some braces can be uncomfortably bulky such that even with lose clothing, it is immediately obvious to everyone that you are putting on knee braces. Get something that you can wear easily and go about your activities with ease.
Unloader knee braces are great for managing knee osteoarthritis. They are however not meant to be sole solutions. They are usually used in conjunction with other treatments like medication. It is therefore best to work with your physician when choosing your knee braces as this will help you get the best fit.
Before jumping to get an unloader knee brace, you need to understand that they can be quite expensive. It may be necessary to check with your health insurer to know if your policy covers this expense. If it does not, then you will have to squeeze out the cost from your pockets.
There’s no doubt that unloader knee braces are effective in the management of knee osteoarthritis. They are so effective that they can even delay a patient’s need for knee replacement and will also increase comfort and relief from pain following an ACLR (anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction). Knowing how important unloader knee braces are, we have written this guide with the hope that working with your physician, you will be able to quickly pick out one that is best for you.
To further help you get the best knee brace for osteoarthritis, we have listed and reviewed different unloader knee braces from different top brands for your convenience. Take a look at these and hopefully you will find one that will be just perfect for you and that will help you manage that pain efficiently.
DonJoy Everyday Osteoarthritis Knee Brace
- Manufacturer – DJO Global, Inc.
- Size – 15 sizes
- Sold in pairs
- Colors – blue
- Weight – 19 ounces
- Other features – lightweight, provides about 6 corrections and is easy to apply
When it comes to top quality orthopedic products and those used for pain management, physical therapy, and rehabilitation, few brands have the expertise and quality that DJO Global, Inc. offers. Aside from orthopedic rehabilitation products of non-surgical nature of which it is the United States’ largest supplier, it also produces and supplies a wide range of implant products for surgical reconstruction. The brand’s commitment to the delivery of top quality products driven by innovation and the desire to deliver a broad-based solution to orthopedic and physical therapy related conditions has made the brand name a globally respected one. Its impressive distribution network backed by a supportive customer service has further improved the global penetration and acceptance of its numerous products.
Its merger with leading electrotherapy products manufacturer and supplier, ReAble Therapeutics, Inc. has only further strengthened the brand, better positioning it for improved impact and solution delivery. Despite the huge successes it has recorded, DJO Global, Inc. shows no signs of slowing down in its delivery of quality orthopedic and physical therapy products.
The DonJoy OA Everyday Osteoarthritis Knee Brace is one of the top quality products from the brand. This is an OA knee brace that is very lightweight, highly effective and very simple to use. Weighing a mere 19 ounces, this brace offers about 6 points of correction and allows patients to finely set the load according to their requirements. This is made possible with the telescoping condyle pad which is controlled by the patient. It is very easy to put on thanks to the easy to release straps. This feature also makes it suitable for interior applications.
It is compact and ergonomically designed to be comfortable and easy to wear. As the load is applied across the middle of the knee by the adjustable pad, an opposing force is applied along the cuffs. These load points serve to steer the compressive forces from the affected region to the wealthier parts. This is a highly efficient knee pad that is designed to spread the load over a wider area, reducing its concentration on a point.
Sili-grips and Swivel straps keep it in place while the condyle pad, made fully of memory foam, ensures full comfort. This is an ideal knee brace for osteoarthritis and it is made of good quality materials to ensure both top performance and durability.
This knee brace is available in about 15 sizes and types which include small-left-lateral, small-left-medial, small-right-lateral, small-right-medial all the way to XXlarge left or right lateral and medial. It also comes only in blue.
If you need a top quality product to correct that osteoarthritic knee, look no farther than the DonJoy OA Everyday Osteoarthritis Knee Brace.
- It provides up to 6 points of correction for a wider range of solutions
Its very lightweight increases its comfort level
Patients can adjust it to suit their personal needs
It is easy to put on and take off
It is ergonomically designed to enhance comfort
It offers good size options to suit a wide range of users
It is made with top quality materials for increased comfort and durability
- Might require some getting used to
DonJoy Legend Knee Support Brace
- Manufacturer – DJO Global, Inc.
- Materials – Aircraft grade aluminum, nylon, heavy elastic, and velcro
- Size – X-small, small, medium, large, x-large, xx-large and xxx-large
- Weight – 32 ounces
- Sold as single
- Other features – Made from top quality materials and designed for severe ACL, and/or Combined Instability
Once again we are looking at the brand DonJoy. We mentioned earlier that it is a leader in the manufacture and distribution of top quality orthopedic devices and products used for pain management, physical therapy and rehabilitation. That we are featuring another product from the same brand sure says a lot about both the quality of its products and the wide variety of related solutions it offers.
The DonJoy Legend SE-4 Knee Support Brace is another product from DonJoy and is a picture of the quality many have come to expect from the brand. This unloader knee brace is designed for medium to the most severe cases of Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) instabilities. It can also be used as a combined instability brace to manage instabilities in the posterior cruciate ligament, lateral collateral ligament and medial collateral ligament. It fully supports the lateral and medial structures even as it protects the important reconstructions done to the ligaments. It also features a 4-point leverage system that is dynamic. This system is patented by the brand and helps ensure that the kneecap does not suffer from short term, partial dislocation from its regular position in the groove located at the end of the femur, a condition known as knee subluxation.
This unloader brace comes highly recommended for different activities including contact sports. Its low profile design makes it convenient to be used in a wide range of activities. It is sturdily designed and made with the best of materials. Made from aircraft grade aluminum that we know is very strong and finished with Kraton, a material that prevents rusting, corroding or chipping; this knee brace can be conveniently used for fresh and salt water activities and of course many other non-water sports and activities.
The DonJoy Legend SE-4 Knee Support Brace has a universal design that means men and women can conveniently use it. It features nylon straps with heavy elastic and velcro locks that make it easy to securely fit it to most users.
Considering that it comes in about 7 sizes which include: X-small to xxx-large, and six styles which cover right leg CI, left leg CI, right leg ACL, left leg ACL, left leg PCL and right leg PCL, it is perfect for use as a solution for a wide range of knee support needs.
There is no doubt that this is one of the most versatile and most dependable knee braces. The brand’s reputation precedes it and this product no doubt lives up to its billing. If you are looking for the best knee brace for osteoarthritis, enjoy complete relief from those knee complications with this well made, efficient knee brace.
- It is versatile and can be used for many sports and other activities
- It is suitable for mild to severe cases of ACL and Combined Instabilities
- Features a leverage system that prevents knee subluxations
- It is made from top quality, durable materials including aircraft grade aluminum
- It has a universal design that makes it suitable for men and women
- It offers ample size and style options
- You may find the straps a bit longer than needed, requiring some trimming
Orthomen Unloading Knee Brace for Osteoarthritis
- Manufacturer – Orthomen
- Size – One size fits all
- Age group – adults and youth
- Machine washable – No
- Sold in pairs
- Colors – black
- Weight – 1.7 pounds
- Other features – Varus and Valgus adjustment capabilities
Orthomen is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, producers of supports and braces for orthopedic use. It is a brand that understands the importance of its products, therefore all talk of profit is secondary. Orthomen’s primary aim is to cater to the needs of its patients with ergonomic technology. That is why it pours huge funds into the top notch and constant research so as to make your life that much easier. With Orthomen, your health is wealth as they cater to a wider array of patients including athletes.
Its products are for all age groups including children. Each one of its orthopedic braces is infused with the highest level of quality, innovation, and research. Say goodbye to pain and a big hello to relief with Orthomen.
Knee pain caused by Osteoarthritis can be excruciating and limiting. However, science and technology have combined to give you the OA unloader knee brace. Designed to considerably lessen your pain, it essentially unloads pressure from the affected part of your knee. One of the best unloaders on the market is the Orthomen OA Unloading Knee Brace. To cater to your curiosity we have researched this product and have come up with its best features. Keep reading as we highlight them.
The Orthomen OA Unloading knee brace is one of the lightest knee braces for osteoarthritis patients. Perhaps you have been wondering how you would walk around with all of that extra weight on your knees. Well, worry no more as this knee unloader is quite light. Weighing just 1.7 pounds, this knee brace does its work efficiently and silently. Frequent users have been known to forget they were wearing one!
A lateral unloader knee brace, its leverage system has 3 different strategically placed points which allow it to work efficiently. Essentially, this lifesaver from Orthomen is uniquely engineered to put enough equal pressure on three different parts of your knee, spreading the weight more efficiently for your relief and comfort.
Size is key when it comes to selecting an unloader knee brace. However, you don’t have to worry about picking the wrong size when it comes to this product. It is universal in size making use of quick straps and snaps for adjustment. The Orthomen OA unloading knee brace is also highly ergonomic. It comes with varus and valgus adjusting capabilities to make sure that it totally fits on your knee. Almost like it was custom made for you!
Finally, this lateral unloader knee brace is constructed with the best durable snaps and straps. You don’t have to worry about this knee brace breaking off under immense pressure. It has been crafted and tested with the worst of conditions in mind. Buy, strap-on and be relieved.
- It is extremely lightweight.
- It has a uniquely engineered leverage system with 3 strategic points
- Universal size
- It has varus and valgus adjusting capabilities to enable you to get the perfect fit
- It has strong, easy-to-use straps and snaps
- There is the distinct possibility that the plastic clips attached to the straps may break after years of use
Breg Fusion Plus Osteoarthritis Knee Brace
- Manufacturer – Breg
- Size – XS, S, M, M+, L, XL, XXL
- Age group – One size fits all
- Machine washable – No
- Sold in pairs
- Color – Black
- Other features – AirTech Pads for increased airflow
With Berg, your health is the number one priority; specifically your orthopedic health. Berg is actually one of the largest producers of orthopedic braces in the United States. To put that in perspectives, it caters to over 2500 clinics around the world. This is a brand that has been accepted and commended by many. Why not by you?
Initially, a brand which focused on sports therapy and medicine, Berg has diversified and morphed into a brand that provides solutions in all aspects of orthopedic health including consultation, high tech devices, and services. With Berg, each and every aspect of your orthopedic health will receive a positive impact.
Osteoarthritis is not a condition that can be trifled with. Painful and extremely debilitating, one of the top ways through which this condition can be managed is with the aid of an OA unloader knee brace. There are different types and specifications of knee braces as you would have discovered by searching through various osteoarthritis knee brace reviews. To make things easy for you, we bring you the Breg Fusion Knee Brace.
A medial unloader knee brace, the Berg Fusion Knee Brace combines technology and innovation perfectly. It is equipped with the revolutionary AirTech designed by Berg. Its frame pads have crevices and windows for one singular reason. These channels allow air to flow in and out of the unloader. This effectively helps your knee to cool down faster, getting rid of sweat and moisture.
Like we mentioned earlier, there are different types of unloader braces. The Berg Fusion Knee Brace, however, has a low profile. For this reason, it is easier for it to combine alleviating your pain with providing comfort and suspension.
With this brace, you don’t have to worry about fit due to its ProForm technology. This unique tech allows this OA knee unloader to contour to your body perfectly. With the ProForm technology, protection is also guaranteed for the insides and outsides of your knees. The Berg Fusion Knee Brace absolutely covers any eventuality.
It also incorporates pivoting strapping. Due to this feature, its straps shape perfectly with your knees, giving you a custom experience. These straps are also easy to incorporate and take little to no time to get used to. You can rest assured that this piece of genius will align and conform with your knee like a glove.
Convenience and ease is a big part of the Berg Fusion knee brace. Like the name suggests, this device fuses both qualities into a thumbwheel dial. Fitted onto the hinge of the brace, the dial which can be operated with any finger is easy to reach. This makes it totally easy to adjust the offloading capabilities of the knee brace according to your preference. The Berg Fusion Knee Brace is convenience at its very peak!
- It has AirTech technology that makes cooling easier
- It is a low profile type of brace
- ProForm technology and pivoting strapping allow it to fit like a glove
- It makes use of a finger operated dial to control the offloading settings
- Its price might be a little too daunting for some although it is worth every penny
Braceit ComfortLine Knee Brace
- Manufacturer – Braceit
- Materials – plastic
- Size – Available in 21 sizes
- Age group – adults
- Machine washable – No
- Sold as single
- Color – Orange, Brown, and Gray
- Weight – 1.43 pounds
- Other features – Can be used to treat many knee conditions
Braceit is well known for its prowess in manufacturing quality products that are designed to treat injuries to the bone as well as many other types of joint ailment. The effectiveness of its products can be traced to the brand’s commitment to research and feedback. These enable them to fashion treatment that deals directly with the user’s problem and solves it adequately.
Do you need knee support for osteoarthritis or you just want to treat ligament injuries to your leg? What you need is an off loader brace and the Braceit K2 ComfortLine Knee Brace is one of the best medical knee braces around. The materials used, the comfort you derive from wearing it as well as the fast relief you get are some of the benefits that give it credibility.
It uses polycentric hinges made of stainless steel to transfer your body weight from your thigh to your calf. It does a great job to avoid exerting weight on your knee. The advanced technology used in the frame that cups your thigh and calf allows it to conform to your body to give you the best grip and maximum comfort.
This load bearing knee brace uses neoprene frame liners which are coated with silicone so the plastic frame will not bite into your skin. It also has padded straps that keep the grip tight and allows brace suspension. All these translate to the extra comfort and the ease of movement you get from wearing this knee brace.
At the two joints on the brace, there are air condoyle that support the knee and ligaments, offering them relief. It also reduces the brace migration which further adds to your comfort.
The brace is designed to be low profile and also lightweight which makes it easier to wear for long hours. The manufacturer suggests that the brace should not be worn to sleep while engaging in extreme activities, and definitely not in water.
The brace is a universal one. You can use a single brace to treat either the left or right knee. This is an ideal choice for mild osteoarthritis and it will also prevent your knees from degradation since it helps to avoid bearing weight on it.
The brace is quite easy to wear, but it is still ideal that you read the instruction so you can get the best benefits out of this load bearing knee brace.
- It is lightweight and low profile, so it is convenient to wear for hours
- It is made of sturdy materials that stand the test of time
- It provides relief for knee and ligament injuries
- It is comfortable to wear and does not exert pressure on the knee
- The hinges are not adjustable
DonJoy Reaction WEB Knee Support Brace
- Manufacturer – DonJoy
- Materials – SILICONE
- Size – Available in 7 sizes
- Weight – 10.4 ounces
- Age group – adults
- Machine washable – No
- Sold in pairs
- Other features – Uses a Silicone Web Technology
When it comes to top quality orthopedic devices and a wide range of physical therapy, injury rehabilitation, and pain management products, DonJoy is the brand you go to. It is committed to protecting the integrity of the name it has invested a lot of time and energy into. This is why it consistently offers top-of-the-food-chain products which have always proffered direct and long-lasting solutions.
If you are looking for a knee brace for osteoarthritis pain that still allows you to stay active, the DonJoy Reaction WEB Knee Support Brace is a great choice. It enables you to get involved in mild activities such as jogging, hiking, aerobics, etc. You can even play some sports, but only non-contact sports as well as mild training that keep you in the game till you get back to full fitness.
This is an ideal non-habit forming and noninvasive alternative to risky and expensive surgeries. This is a knee brace for severe osteoarthritis that still lets you go about your life without inhibitions and with great comfort.
This unloader one knee brace uses a web technology that wraps around your knee, providing supportive grip that absorbs the shock forces to your knee. The silicon web offers a comfortable offloading of weight from the knee. The hexagonal design of the web lets in pockets of air that softly cushions the knee, offering you extra comfort.
The elastic properties of this silicone brace make it conform to your anatomy so you can get a good grip on your knee like it is custom made. This makes it one of the best unloader knee braces you can find.
This knee support is so low profile you can wear it under clothing to provide discreet relief for your anterior knee pains. Even though this knee brace looks complex and is loaded with technology, it is easy to wear and lightweight. It also will not slip out of position as you go about your everyday activities.
Be sure to take the appropriate measurements and consult the manufacturer’s sizing chart so you can get the perfect fit for you. With products like this, the benefits you get are often tied to how well it fits. Trust us; you don’t want to miss out on any of the numerous benefits of this one.
- It is designed with advanced technology to provide comfort, and absorbs shock
- It is low profile and lightweight so you can keep it on for hours on end
- It can also be worn under clothing offering discrete relief to pains
- Your lifestyle is not hindered while wearing this brace as you can still continue your daily activities as usual
- It can be worn on either the left or the right knee
- There are no real issues with this product but be sure to consult with your doctor if this treatment is what you need
Ossur Unloader Osteoarthritic Knee Brace
- Manufacturer – Ossur Braces
- Materials – Silicone
- Size – Available in 52 sizes
- Age group – adults
- Machine washable – No
- Weight – 2 pounds
- Other features – Uses Dynamic Force Strap
Ossur Braces is the type of brand that always wants to be there for people with mobility challenges. It focuses its efforts and resources on the design and manufacture of quality and superior performance products that improve people’s mobility. People who suffer life-altering injuries do not need to change their lifestyle completely because of their mobility challenges. Ossur Braces has one product or another that offers solutions to your mobility impairment.
The Ossur Unloader One Knee Brace is a holistic approach to managing osteoarthritis which has rendered a lot of people immobile. Regain your freedom with this knee brace for osteoarthritis pain and start moving like you want. This brace will help alleviate the pains in your knee and allow you indulge in activities you wouldn’t dare without it.
With years of studies and expertise in biochemical materials, Ossur has finally come up with this knee brace that offers up to 50% as much unloading power as its previous iteration. This is the unloader one knee brace worth upgrading to.
This product uses 2 Dynamic Force Straps that work in collaboration with a control system that allows you precisely manage the pain in your knee. The strap and buckle design allow you wear and remove the brace easily as often as you want and still get that snug fit every time without needing to adjust it regularly.
This product also adopts the Smart Dosing System which is powered by Boa Technology. This allows the user to use the one-hand Smart Dosing dial to adjust the Dual Force Strap on the move. This can be done even through your clothing. This approach lets the user better manage their osteoarthritis pain depending on how they feel it.
This unloader brace for arthritic knees is lightweight, low profile, and breathable, allowing ventilation through your knee and making it comfortable to wear for hours on end. Still on the comfort, if you have been having issues with brace migration which makes you uncomfortable and you have to keep adjusting your knee brace, you need to try this one. It is fitted with a silicone-coated padding that keeps the brace in place, thus, almost totally eliminating migration.
You have to take the sizing seriously so you can get a perfect fit. The better the fit, the more of its benefits you will get. You might need to take measurements of your knee area and compare it with the manufacturer’s sizing chart to get a good idea of the size to opt for. This product has many available sizes, so it won’t be hard to find a perfect fit.
- It uses the Dual Force Strap for a great grip of your knee
- It uses a silicone coated padding that prevents brace migration
- Its Smart Dosing System allows you adjust the strap on the fly
- It is low profile and lightweight such that you can wear it underneath your clothing
- It is not universal. You have to buy one for each knee you need to wear it on
Shock Doctor Bio-Logix Knee Brace
- Manufacturer – Shock Doctor
- Materials – Plastic
- Size – Medium and Large
- Weight – 3.52 ounces
- Age group – adults
- Machine washable – No
- Sold as single
- Other features – Uses an adjustable anti-migration straps
Shock Doctor is a leading brand in the sports performance and protection industry. It is a brand well known worldwide by professional and youth athletes who are involved in contact sports. As the name implies, it offers superior quality products that keep the user well protected against impacts during play. From hockey to extreme sports, combat sports, etc. Shock Doctor has you covered and fearless so you can go all out and conquer.
The Shock Doctor 2090 Bio-Logix Knee Brace is your best choice if you want to heal or prevent ACL/PCL injuries or ligament sprains. You can rest assured you have maximum protection and support wearing this knee brace so you can focus on bringing out your best during the game.
This is a masterfully crafted, semi-rigid knee brace with a compression sleeve that gives you a snug fit to provide maximum support for your knee instabilities and optimum motion performance. The structure of this brace offers an adaptive Flex-Fit that gives you the type of comfort that feels like the brace was designed for you.
It has dual-axis hinges that are made of aluminum which give you the natural fluidity of movement. With the advanced over-molded design, this brace offers a grip that conforms to the anatomy of your leg. This works in tandem with the adjustable anti-migration strap which gives you a precise fit. With this, you won’t need to bother about your brace slipping out of place and getting you distracted.
You need to be aware that this knee brace is anatomically designed specifically for a particular knee (left or right). So, you cannot use the same brace for either knee. This has the advantage of precision and extra comfort. Wearing this brace does not stop you from playing sports or going for training. It will fit in perfectly, offering you the support and protection you need.
This knee brace comes with a compression sleeve which you can decide to wear with the brace or not. Whichever your choice is, the brace will still do a fine job of protecting and supporting your knee. This knee brace also offers therapeutic blood flow, soft tissue support, and joint alignment.
The manufacturer says that this product is not meant to be a substitute for medical treatment. If you get injured, it is important that you first see a doctor for examination. If they prescribe a knee brace, this is one option that will help your recovery.
- It is made of tough and durable materials so you can use it repeatedly for long
- It is designed to prevent and heal ligament sprains and injuries
- Its dual-axis hinges offer you quick and fluid movements
- It uses an anti-migration and adjustable strap to keep the brace in place
- It is anatomically designed for a particular knee
You have been through our buying guide and the best knee brace for osteoarthritis reviews. We believe that you now have sufficient information to let you confidently decide on which knee brace is best for your needs.