The right equipment will help prevent injury
Shoes: If you run a lot, buy great shoes. Shoes that cost $150 is a small price to pay since the alternative could cost you more financially and the pain simply is not worth it. Basically, buy the best shoes for whatever sport you are doing. Try to find a store that watches how you perform in the shoes than offers recommendations. Are you a pronater? A supinater? Finding this out will help you find shoes that compensate for any instability thus alleviating potential stress on your knees. Shoes can be deceptive. Don’t buy a shoe because it looks stylish. Purchase for function rather than fashion.
Knee Braces: Knee braces serve different purposes. Some improve you kneecap stability while others prevent lateral movement in the knee. Overall, the knee brace mostly supports only a side-to-side movement as opposed to a rotational movement. Mentally, the knee brace serves as a reminder that the knee is not fully healed and to be careful not to hurt it further.
On the flip side, while the brace certainly provides support, it can also prevent the leg from strengthening crucial muscles. This ultimately can prevent the leg from healing and strengthening and sometimes even retard the healing process.
Certain types of braces are needed for specific injuries. For ACL tears that are treated without surgery, a ‘derotation’ brace customized for the individual should be used. For kneecap stability, a special brace needs to be used. Also, for the arthritic knee, a basic Neoprine brace can be helpful. Be sure to consult a physician to find out what type of brace (if one is needed at all) you should use.
Knee Pads: Over the past decade roller blades have become quite popular. Kids are constantly trying to improve on a jump or learn a new trick. To keep safe it is important to wear knee pads in addition to a helmet for overall protection from falls. Although not as “fashionable” knee pads could help prevent a serious injury such as breaking the patella during a hard fall.