Knee Braces for Football – Do You Need to Wear Them?
As school winds down and as the summer approaches, high school football players prepare for the upcoming year. Many of these athletes participate in summer sports camps to maintain physical shape, hone in on their skills and improve endurance and flexibility.
Knee injuries, particularly ACL knee sprains and tears are a common occurrence during this time, and require medical attention and protection as competition to make the football squad becomes more aggressive.
There is much controversy concerning the effectiveness of wearing braces for protection following a knee injury or used as a preventative piece of equipment just like shoulder pads, helmets and chest protectors.
New knee braces like the Bledsoe NZONE have been designed specifically for football, addressing both the functional aspect of a knee brace and as a shock absorbing knee protector.
Thigh and knee pads have been mandatory equipment in high schools and colleges. On May 22, 2012, the NFL made thigh and knee pads mandatory equipment for the 2013 season.
DonJoy has had much success with its DonJoy Armor Extreme, providing a rigid framed brace for ACL protection. The DonJoy custom Defiance is worn by a number of all-pro and super bowl quarterbacks in the NFL, to protect past ACL surgeries or simply for protection.
The Breg Fusion XT has provided superior support for a number of professional athletes in football and other sports.Although the functional mechanisms of all of these braces from the different manufacturers are the same, there are certain differences between the brands that differentiate one over the other.A healthcare professional, coach or trainer that is experienced with many of the most popular brands can help make the determination for which brace is best for a particular football player.
Some knee braces are more effective and wearable for wide receivers vs. ones that are better for defensive backs.An experienced company whether brick and mortar or online company can assist the athlete, coach or trainer in choosing the right brace for his player.
Whichever brace is chosen, it is up to the player to determine its comfort and fit, and if there are issues with the brace during activity. If the brace slides down the leg while running, that can pose a serious issue during a game.
The ultimate decision on wearing a knee brace should come down to the physician’s recommendation with the cooperation and support of the coaches and trainers. They understand the anatomy, the injury type and support level needed to protect the football player. This will ensure that the athlete receives the best knee brace for their particular injury.
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