Monthly Archives: November 2009

Product Review – The DonJoy Boomerang Wrist Brace For Tennis & Golf Injuries

Many patients and athletes with mild to moderate wrist injuries have a difficult time finding a wrist brace that can protect their wrist, but still allow them a certain level of activity. Golfers and Tennis players primarily, have problems with playing with protection, but without the bulkiness of standard off the shelf wrist braces. These braces tend to restrict too much movement and do not allow adequate flexibility to hold the racquet or golf club. The DonJoy Boomerang Wrist Brace solves these issues.

Wrist injuries in tennis usually are due to overuse. Like the more common “tennis elbow”, these conditions develop due to chronic repetitive movements, quick wrist motions and/or poor technique.

Wrist injuries usually involve inflammation of the tendons (tendonitis), nerve irritations (carpal tunnel syndrome), and in more serious cases, stress fractures and ligament tears.

Golf injuries primarily involve tendonitis of the left hand. Overuse and poor swing technique also contribute to this condition. A tight grip of the club also causes tendon issues such as De Quervain’s Disease.

In both sports, rest, ice, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and in some instances cortisone injections are necessary to improve the condition.

If injury is not severe, and you must keep playing, applying ice for couple of days and the use of a brace like the DonJoy Boomerang may keep the condition in check and prevent further injury.

The Boomerang Wrist Support is a unique design. It is a wrap-around style that provides compression and support, without being heavy and restrictive. It is ideal for mild wrist sprains and strains in both golf and tennis. The brace allows the athlete to grip the golf club and tennis racquet with the thumb and fingers. There is no metal or plastic inserts that can impede natural movement of the wrist.

The brace is universal in size and fits left or right wrists. As a wraparound brace, the patient can adjust the tension and support level of the brace simply by wrapping it more snug around the wrist and palm of the hand. A thumb loop keeps the brace in place and prevents slippage.

Another great feature of the brace is that it comes in two different materials. Neoprene material provides excellent compression and warmth. Drytex material is a lycra nylon material that is breathable and durable, without sweat retention.

Whichever material you choose, The DonJoy Boomerang Wrist Support is an excellent choice for those mild wrist injuries, and great for golf and all racket type sports. For more information on this brace and sizing information CLICK HERE.

It is always recommended to consult with your treating doctor to determine the correct brace for your orthopedic condition.  For information  go to www.braceshop.com or call us at (866) 325-8045.

Product Review – The New Swede-O Thermoskin Heel-Rite

Anybody who has been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis is very familiar with the sometimes disabling pain on the bottom of the foot when they get up in the morning, or after sitting for a prolonged period of time. There is a wide range of treatment options available from taping, pain medication, arch supports, night splints and cortisone injections. A new treatment option is now available from Swede-O Inc. called the Heel-Rite Ankle Support.

The plantar fascia is a band of fibrous tissue that originates on the inner portion of the heel bone and fans out under the arch to the balls of the feet and inserts into the toes. It forms the longitudinal arch of the foot and functions as a shock-absorber when you walk or run. Irritation or inflammation of the plantar fascia occurs primarily at its attachment to the heel bone or calcaneus.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis usually occur in the morning when the patient gets out of bed. The pain usually subsides after a couple of minutes, but returns with prolonged sitting. This is due to a tightening or contracture of the plantar fascia at rest. When standing the fascia stretches “suddenly” causing pain at the insertion. As the fascia “stretches out”, the pain subsides. If untreated, the pain worsens and increases in duration. Plantar fasciitis is further aggravated by poor fitting shoes, barefoot ambulation, and aggressive sports activities.

Treatment for plantar fasciitis is usually conservative in nature. Rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, padding, alternative shoe gear, arch supports, orthotics, stretching exercises usually improve the condition. Cortisone injections are sometimes necessary to reduce severe pain, and if conservative treatment and time have not improved the condition, surgery is sometimes indicated.

Arch supports and orthotics (custom made arch supports) are a very popular treatment modality among Podiatrists, Chiropractors and Therapists and have proven very successful in controlling abnormal gait, excessive pronation and support of the plantar fascia. In many instances, these devices cannot be worn due to shoegear restrictions. Since most of the damage and irritation of the plantar fascia occurs during the day, with prolonged standing, walking and physical activity, an alternative to orthotics and arch supports was limited. Until Swede-O developed a unique and supportive brace called The Heel-Rite.

The Heel-Rite is a combination ankle brace and arch support. The patented Heel-Rite provides effective daytime treatment for Plantar Fasciitis. The Heel-Rite is comfortable to wear and low profile in design.

The brace contains a support strap that lifts the arch and provide compression to the plantar fascia and stabilization of the longitudinal arch.

Another unique feature of the Heel-Rite is the brace material. Swede-O utilizes a Thermoskin Thermal fabric that has been clinically proven to increase subcutaneous skin temperature 2-3°F for optimal level of heat therapy. Thermoskin’s patented Trioxon® lining creates a micro-climate that maintains elevated skin temperature while still allowing the skin to ventilate for long-term user comfort. The spiral structure of the Trioxon lining lifts moisture away from the skin and traps air within the lining to help prevent excessive perspiration.

This combination of ankle and foot stability, heat therapy, and arch support with compression makes this a great alternative to bulky arch supports and orthotic inserts. The Heel-Rite fits into most shoes and is very adjustable, coming in just two sizes. It is universal for left or right ankles. More more information CLICK HERE.

It is always recommended that you consult with your treating doctor to determine the cause of your orthopedic condition and the appropriate treatment. For more information on this and other similar braces go to www.braceshop.com or call us at (866) 325-8045.

Product Review – The Ossur Exoform Wrist Brace

The choice between the myriad of wrist braces and supports on the market is difficult and confusing. The Ossur Exoform Wrist Brace Ossur’s 21st Century breakthrough technology creates the new standard of ergonomic precision. If someone is looking for one of the best fitting, contoured wrist brace, the Ossur Exoform has set the standard.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that exerts pressure on the median nerve (a sensory nerve) at the wrist. The medium nerve extends from the arm into the hand and gives you feeling in your thumb, index, middle and ring fingers.

The name derives from the carpal bones that make up the wrist joint. The “carpal tunnel” is a narrow passageway where the nerve travels into the hand. It is composed of a combination of ligaments and bones.

When the soft tissue around the carpal tunnel becomes swollen or inflamed, it presses on the nerve in the tunnel and causes pain and numbness.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is usually caused by repetitive hand movements, or jobs that causes constant pressure on the wrist. Carpenters, computer operators and musicians are prone to develop this condition. Women who retain fluid (pregnancy, menopause), patients that are obese or with diabetes and arthritis are also known to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.

Patients with carpal tunnel syndrome usually feel numbness and tingling initially. As the condition becomes chronic, the patient may experience pain when gripping or with repetitive activities. Some patients notice an increase in pain and numbness in bed due to swelling and inflammation of the tissue and hand/wrist position when sleeping.

Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome depends on the cause of the condition and the severity of the pain and numbness.

Treatment usually includes rest, ice and immobilization in a wrist splint. If the cause of the disorder is due to a medical condition, then your doctor will determine the treatment(s) for those conditions in an attempt to reduce the symptoms.

In more advanced cases, cortisone injections, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and oral steroids have been used. Surgical correction is used as a last resort, when it is determined that persistent numbness and weakness may become permanent.

Surgery involves severing the ligament around the wrist to reduce pressure on the median nerve. This surgical procedure is called “carpal tunnel release.”

Used as a preventative brace or post-surgical support, the Ossur Exoform Wrist Brace has proven to be one of the most supportive and comfortable braces on the market.

It is ergonomically contoured on the inside of the brace, providing the most comfort and best fit. The contoured padding mirrors the shape of the patients body and the injected molded plastic supports surrounding the brace produce the highest degree of durability and immobilization.

An adjustable aluminum palmar stay allows for fine-tuning of the brace when needed. Providing this combination of comfort and support, ensures patient compliance and ease of use. The brace can be used both as a preventative or post-surgical brace.

It is available in an 8″ length for both day and nighttime use. It is also available in an extra small size for small wrist sizes. You can find more information and sizing instruction for this brace by Clicking Here.  A hot/cold gel pad is an available accessory for the brace for added benefit.

It is always recommended that you consult with your treating doctor to determine the cause of your orthopedic condition and the appropriate treatment.  Go to www.braceshop.com or call us today at (866)325-8045 for more information on the Ossue Exoform wrist brace.

Knee Braces for Osteoarthritis

What is osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee and why use knee braces?

Osteoarthritis is a painful degenerative condition that develops as the meniscus (cushioning cartilage in the knee joint) and/or the articular cartilage (soft, outer lining of the bones) begin to wear away. OA usually appears on one side of the knee joint, and affects both men and women across a broad age range.

What causes Knee Osteoarthritis?

A variety of conditions can lead to Knee Osteoarthritis. A previous knee injury or surgery that partially or entirely removed the meniscus from the knee is a common cause. Simple wear and tear of the knee joint occurring from years of activity can also be a factor.

What causes Osteoarthritis Knee Pain?

Osteoarthritis pain results from a deterioration or loss of cartilage. Pain is generally localized on the inside of the knee joint. Depending on the progression of the disease, the joint space may become small enough to allow the two bones to touch, causing pain.

Do I need Knee Surgery or a Knee Brace?

In the early stages of symptoms, a conservative approach is thought to be best. However, based on your history, symptoms, and the amount of degenerative change in your joint, your physician will determine the optimal treatment for you.

What are some non-surgical options?

An off-loading knee brace is considered one of the best treatment options. Injections, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), supplements, strength and conditioning, including weight loss, and heel wedge insoles may also help reduce OA pain, especially when used in conjunction with bracing.

How effective are Osteoarthritis knee braces in treating pain?

Knee bracing is proven highly effective in relieving OA symptoms. Studies suggest that the majority of OA patients using braces report significantly reduced pain, increased activity levels, and a substantial reduction in the use of oral pain medications.

Studies available upon request.

A healthy knee joint without osteoarthritis
Healthy Knee
Healthy knee showing adequate space between bones
Osteoarthritis or OA of the knee

OA Knee
Osteoarthritic knee showing reduced space and contact between bones.

WHAT CAN AN OSTEOARTHRITIS KNEE BRACE DO FOR YOU?

How does a knee brace work to relieve pain?

 

Off-loading knee braces, such as FUSION OA, and the new Solus OA aid in pain relief by gently applying pressure to the unaffected side of the knee to relieve the compressive force in the affected
side.

 

Are knee braces comfortable?

 


Not all braces are comfortable, but FUSION OA provides exceptional comfort even during all-day use. It is designed to offer the best combination of pain relief, comfort and fit, and unlike other functional braces, FUSION OA won’t migrate or slip.

 

Will a knee brace fit under my clothes?

 


Many knee braces are heavy and bulky, but FUSION OA & Solus OA is sleek and lightweight and fits discreetly under clothing.

 

How often do I need to wear the brace?

 


Your physician will direct you as to the frequency of use. Generally, you should expect to wear the brace during activities that would otherwise result in knee pain.

 

Will my health insurance pay for an OA knee brace?

 


Since The Brace Shop is a wholesale company, we do not participate in any insurance plants. Please check with your insurance carrier to determine coverage for OA knee braces. To see our full line of OA Braces,

 

For more information, visit is at www.braceshop.com or call us at (866) 325-8045.

Why Should I Wear A Knee Brace?

Knee Brace

Types of Knee Braces

There are basically three types of braces: Post-operative, functional and preventative/prophylactic knee braces. Post-op braces are usually prescribed following surgery or an injury when the knee requires complete immobilization.

There are basically three types of braces: Post-operative, functional and preventative/prophylactic knee braces.

Post-op braces are usually prescribed following surgery or an injury when the knee requires complete immobilization. These braces are usually long braces that may extend from the upper thigh to the lower leg. After surgery or a severe knee injury, mild to moderate pain and edema of the knee occurs. Your doctor may prescribe a knee immobilizer which prevents the knee from bending. These devices are used as an alternative to cast immobilization.

The doctor may also prescribe a post-operative brace that has hinges that offer range of motion capabilities. These post-operative braces are innovative, easy-to-use braces that can adjust the range of motion with the click of a button. These braces can immobilize the knee and then allow controlled increases in range-of-motion as the knee heals and the patient begins physical therapy.

There is no controversy with these types of braces, as they have proven effective and efficient as an alternative to cast immobilization.

Functional braces are hinged supports that support and take over the function of damaged knee ligaments in and around the knee. These braces can be fabric style with hinges, or complete metal frames or carbon fiber. These braces are designed to protect the MCL (Medial Collateral Ligaments), LCL (Lateral Collateral Ligament), Meniscus, ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) and PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament). You may have noticed some professional football players using these types of braces.

Prophylactic or preventative braces are supports that are used by some athletes that do not have an injury, but prefer to wear a brace to prevent injury, especially in high impact and contact sports like football, rugby, skiing and water sports. This is where we get some controversy.

Many doctors feel it is not only unnecessary to wear a brace to support a normal joint, but may cause harm, as it may affect the biomechanics of the patients gait. Some doctors are also concerned about weakness in the knee joint from prolonged use of knee braces. The more rigid braces will remove stress away from the knee and the surrounding muscles and ligaments and may cause atrophy and loss of bone density.

Many doctors however feel that given the right circumstances, these braces, when used properly, can provide a level of protection for athletes, especially in high impact sports. Some patients with inherited unstable knees can benefit from this type of brace.

It is important that you consult with your physician and therapist before deciding on a knee brace. There are hundreds of manufacturers and thousands of knee braces to choose from, so it can be very confusing. There are braces specific for ACL tears, and ones for patella tracking. If you purchase the wrong brace for your condition, you may not only risk further injury, but may cause other problems.  Feel free to browse www.braceshop.com and Shop By Condition to see which type of brace you should be looking for or feel free to call our technical department at (866)325-8045.