Knee Brace for Skiing
Why is a Knee Brace for Skiing needed?
Extreme weather conditions, high-speed descents and the long lever point on skis are all factors which place a large amount of pressure on skiers’ knees. Using a knee brace for skiing will help the knee to contain these extreme internal forces and protect the ligaments.
Many clients come to us to ask about Knee Braces for Skiing because they have fallen and need to protect a knee from further injury. Injuries can so easily occur on the slopes or as a result of simple accidents, such as sitting down between your skis or catching your ski toe on an ice lump, should the bindings fail to release. Knee ligaments aren’t made to resist such highly levered forces and can strain or rupture on impact.
When combined with firm ankle controlling footwear on the slopes, a properly fitted knee brace for skiing will provide support, protection and improvement to overall knee stability. A Knee Brace for Skiing is used to increase control of the knee that has a repaired ligament whether this is immediately post-operation or after several years.
Knee Braces for Skiing are designed to:
- Stabilise functional deficits. A brace is designed to stabilise dysfunctional joints and aid the recovery process following a sports-related injury.
- Re-introduce controlling forces to replace the effect of deficient ligamentous structures. The structure of a brace imposes control on poor performing ligaments to help regain full flexibility.
- Aid anatomical alignment and rehabilitation of wasted muscles. A brace can allow unused muscles to work without fear of risk and promote rehabilitation of neglected joints and movement. It also protects and aids your body’s natural alignment.
- Protect tendon repairs. Following injury, the recovery process is key in ensuring tendons and muscles return to full health and mobility. Do you know that a repaired tendon is at its weakest 3 months after surgery and takes over a year to come fully back to strength. A repaired ligament is never as strong as the original.
- Strengthen musculature. A brace can protect and strengthen the arrangement of all the muscles in your knee, keeping them in their correct position for full mobility.
- Increase proprioception. Proprioception is a sense of how are bodies should be positioned using stimuli to recover balance and equilibrium when in an upright position. There are strain nerve sensors in all ligaments which automatically let your nervous system know that your leg is fully straight. These never recover following an ACL rupture or repair.
- Stabilise joint and ligament laxity. Otherwise known as “loose ligaments”, the condition is a common result of a trauma or sports-related injury and can cause chronic pain until the ligaments can be stabilised.
- Realign and offload unstable joint. A brace can create stability and structure in an unstable joint to help the joint repair itself quicker and more effectively.
Using a Knee Brace for Skiing will also help to protect you from:
- Cartilage Damage. This is a relatively common type of injury with the highest level of cases occurring in the knee joint. The cartilage around the knee is a tough, flexible tissue which acts a ‘shock absorber’ and a mould to keep your knee in the correct position and support your weight at all times. If it is damaged it can result in swelling, joint pain and decreased mobility.
- Medial or Lateral Meniscus Tears. The medial and lateral menisci are two large ‘C’ shaped cartilages which are situated at the top of the tibia. A tear can usually occur from a high impact or extreme sport which creates a forceful twisting of the knee. Symptoms include immediate swelling, a ‘popping’ sound and your knee giving way when trying to put weight on it.
- Bone Injury. Fractures or dislocation of the knee. The most commonly broken bone in the knee is the patella, however the end of the femur or tibia can also be fractured. Most fractures are caused by high energy trauma such as falls or extreme impact. Sports-related contact can also cause a knee dislocation.
- A Tibial Plateau Fracture. The tibial plateau is the upper surface of the tibia and is prone to fracture in high impact sports. This causes extreme stiffness in the knee and the inability to bear weight on the injury until fully recovered. Tibial plateau fractures can be disastrous, causing life-long pain and disability.
Knee Bracing can be used for other sporting activities such as:
- Extreme sports which are high energy, high risk and are played at the highest energy level. Extreme sports include snowboarding, motocross racing and wakeboarding.
- High impact sports. Although they are relatively low level energy activities, they are contact sports which mean a high impact risk. These sports include football and basketball where the foot is planted and the body rotates un-naturally on the leg causing extreme forces to act through the knee.
- Racquet sports which are low energy but high torsion meaning increased rotational force on muscles. These sports include tennis and squash.
- Daily and more general use to increase stability and provide continued protection from further injury. The use of a knee brace also increases control of the knee after injury or surgery.
For more information on our Knee Brace for Skiing and the TiM treatment plan of your knee injury, visit our ski knee brace page.