Joint supports play a role in both injury recovery and injury prevention and hence why there are different types. I’ll explain the difference and when and why you might need a joint support.
Rehabilitation supports or braces limit movement of a joint to allow for optimum healing of muscle or ligament for injury recovery.
Functional supports or braces allow for full movement while providing support for muscles and ligaments at high risk of injury for injury prevention.
Throughout the recovery process, it is common to start off with a more supportive rehabilitation style brace while you work through your rehab by strengthening the muscles and ligaments around the injured area. Then weaning onto a less restrictive and more functional option for return to activity, which you can continue wearing for long-term injury prevention.
Functional braces can also work to unload or reduce pressure on key areas that may be painful due to more chronic or long-term conditions such as osteoarthritis, allowing you to complete activities with less pain or discomfort which may help you participate for longer.
You don’t have to currently be in pain or have a past injury to benefit. A functional brace such as the LP Support X-tremus range is also a great option to be proactive and help protect yourself from injury. But remember this should go hand in hand with a strength and conditioning program as well as making sure you have proper technique and equipment.
To help you work out what products are appropriate for you, I have developed a product selection guide with LP Support where you are able to search by your body part, by either diagnosis or symptoms. It then also breaks down the common injuries for each sport and shows you which LP products would be appropriate to use. Check it out at the physio zone section of the LP Support website.