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Why might I use an off-the-shelf knee brace?

Functional or off-the-shelf knee braces have many uses, but primarily stabilize the knee during rotational movement. The knee can have many different forces acting on the joint, especially during physical activity. Sometimes a brace can be used to stabilize your knee joint. Knee braces are mainly used for the treatment and rehabilitation of knee joint instability (like an ACL, PCL, or MCL injury).
 
Athletes with knee joint instability may consider using a functional knee brace if they perform actions that include fast rotation or changes in direction and have had previous injury to that area. Knee braces help with knee joint instability, so if you have had a previous ligament injury to the knee joint area or feel that your knee joint is unstable, try using a knee brace (and doing leg exercises) to see if the stability improves or pain goes away during physical activity. (This answer provided for NATA by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.