Did you know knee bracing can actually improve muscle strength?
That’s a pretty bold statement but a dose-response study of 24 patients with Valgus knee deformities showed that the more each patient wore their brace the less pain they experienced and the more physically active they were, hence an increase in hamstring muscle strength! The same study showed that over a six month period the longer duration of wearing a knee brace was not associated with decreased strength during follow up assessments.
You may have grown up hearing “don’t wear a brace too long or you’ll lose muscle strength.” In some cases this can be true and it’s important to balance rehabilitative restorative care, like physical therapy, with the use of bracing for optimal results. However we’ve seen some people almost fear bracing as the specter of ‘losing muscle mass’ looms in their ingrained beliefs.
Trust the brace. Trust the process. Wearing the brace is like taking an umbrella with you if you think it might rain. You have it just in case and it doesn’t hurt to use it.