There are many different kinds of braces. You can find braces for teeth, braces for work pants, and braces for various parts of your body.

Braces can help to fix numerous problems, from crooked teeth to steel-framed buildings. Similarly, knee braces are an essential tool to address certain leg problems. If you’ve got chronic or just a one-time problem with your knee, you might need to find out if health insurance covers knee braces.

Are there different types of knee braces?

Just like other types of braces, knee braces have diverse functions and come in many different sizes, materials, and colors. It is best to consult a physician to establish whether your knee pain requires a brace and to recommend the ideal brace for your condition.  In addition, your doctor can ensure that you have the correct size knee brace and that it is worn correctly.

Knee braces are most commonly seen on athletes. They often wear braces that help guard the knees from damage. These are called prophylactic braces, which are typically hinged for more stability. They are sturdy but light enough to allow running and other vigorous movement.

Doctors may also prescribe knee braces for people who are recovering from an injury or surgery. In these cases, the rehabilitative brace is designed to position your knee in a specific way or restrict its movement to prevent you from hurting it again while it is being repaired.

Those who have joint problems, such as arthritis or bursitis, might also be helped by wearing knee braces. Sometimes they can actually make it easier for sufferers to move by reducing a little of the pressure that causes pain.

Some knee braces look like a simple strap, less than four inches wide, which is worn just below the kneecap. Others are more elaborate contraptions that stretch from the thigh to the shin. Less-expensive versions do not require a special fitting.

Are knee braces covered by health insurance?

If you require a knee brace, they are fairly easy to obtain. They are sold in most major drug stores and can even be purchased online straight from the companies that make them. You can also try to find a medical supply store in your area that may have them in stock.

The cost for knee braces varies depending on the type and material. They generally range from less than $10 all the way up to approximately $1,000.

Whether your health insurance will cover the cost of knee braces is basically determined by your individual policy, the reason you require a knee brace, and what type of brace you need. Most major insurance companies will pay for all or part of the cost if the brace has been recommended by your physician and you have a prescription to prove it.

Your particular condition is also a factor in health insurance coverage. Knee braces that are prescribed to help with therapy after an operation or injury are more likely to be covered than those purchased inexpensively to prevent damage or provide a bit of extra support. People who use knee braces to alleviate pain from osteoarthritis are also usually covered as long as you have a documented history of arthritis problems and approval from your doctor.

Are knee braces necessary?

When asked whether knee braces help, most users answer yes, but medical research has not been able to conclusively determine their effectiveness. This is mainly due to the fact that it is difficult to test them under real life duress. For example, in order to assess whether a knee brace truly protects an injured athlete from further damage, you would have to put him in a risky situation and, if he didn’t get hurt, prove that he avoided harm because of the brace. Knee braces can also give a person a false sense of security.

Athletes who are already injury-free might benefit from knee braces to guard against any damage in the first place. Perhaps a better treatment regimen should include sufficient rest of the knee and professional, rehabilitative therapy. Experts suggest that it is more important to engage in activities that are right for you only when you are healthy and your body is prepared for the potential stress.

Overall, there is no proven harm in wearing knee braces. However, knee brace wearers should take precautions to ensure that any uncovered metal on their brace does not injure others who come into close contact.

Are there ways to reduce knee pain without using a brace?

It is best to stop knee pain from occurring in the first place. Avoid over-exerting yourself when you lift something and make sure your body is appropriately warmed up before you exercise.

Another way to prevent knee pain is to use protective gear when doing anything that could cause you to fall on your knees such as skating, skiing, or volleyball. Equipment can also be worn when performing tasks that require repetitive bending of your knees like running, gardening, or constant work-related duties.