Do Soft Knee Sleeve Help Knee Pain? – Yes

I was always suspicious that soft knee sleeves just cover up the pain area without helping.  However multiple studies show benefit and presence of “stay” supports does not add any benefit.

Effect of Soft Braces on Pain and Physical Function in Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis:  Systematic Review With Meta-Analyses
Tomasz Cudejko et al
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2018;99:153-63

various study results:

  • All studies favor use of brace
  • Brace with heat retaining properties no extra benefit
  • no difference “was also found between the soft brace with the patellar realigning
    strap intact and the soft brace with the patellar realigning strap removed”

With knee instability, effect of brace can be seen immediately:

Arthritis Res Ther. 2017 Dec 1;19(1):260. doi: 10.1186/s13075-017-1456-0.
The immediate effect of a soft knee brace on pain, activity limitations, self-reported knee instability, and self-reported knee confidence in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
Cudejko T et al

  • cases >50 years old
  • morning stiffness 30 min;
  • acquired knee instability for 3 months+

effect of various braces with walking :


Comment – There is a lot of soft tissues irritati0on about the knee – particularly in saphenous nerve distribution – wonder if bracing helps soothe this irritation… Certainly seems helpful especially if any instability

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