If you suffer from common injuries such as low back pain or arthritis in the knee, bracing can help you recover faster. Bracing is a treatment that is often used alongside a more comprehensive rehab plan to increase joint stability and improve alignment. At Maragal Medical, we use bracing strategically to support the overall healing process.
Supportive vs. Functional Braces: What’s the Difference?
There are two main types of braces that are used for different purposes.
- Functional brace: As the name implies, with a functional brace you have the freedom to function normally. Although they can be cumbersome, you can still be active. Some functional braces come with additional mechanics called offloading braces. At Maragal Medical, we will commonly use functional braces after our regenerative injections to allow for additional healing. One of the most common functional braces is the knee brace, used for patients who suffer from chronic knee pain from arthritis. Stabilizing the knee decreases pain during common movements, like sitting down or standing up.
- Supportive brace: A supportive brace allows for less movement than a functional brace. While you can still move about, it provides more support and decompresses the area. Often, supportive braces need to be properly fit to ensure it keeps the injury location in a neutral position. A common supportive brace is a back brace, which protects the low back during a flare-up. Neck braces are another type of supportive brace and one that is typically only worn for 10-15 minutes a day to strengthen the neck and support the additional work being done in the office.
To learn more about the differences between functional and supportive braces, and to see real-life examples, check out this video by our own Dr. Marciello.
Benefits of Bracing:
Whether you are recovering from surgery or trying to deal with pain without surgery, bracing can help. Both functional and supportive braces offer many benefits, including:
- Keep the affected joint stable
- Offer extra support and keep joints moving on the correct path
- Prevent re-injury
- Stop unwanted movements
- Work in combination with other rehabilitation treatments
Plus, they are convenient as you can put them on and take them off as needed.
Call the Bracing Specialists
Remember, Maragal Medical is a full-service clinic that combines medical care, physical therapy, chiropractic care and regenerative medicine for tailored experiences and exceptional outcomes. Because we are a full-service medical clinic, braces are often covered by insurance. Contact the bracing specialists at Maragal Medical to see how we can help you use bracing to take the pressure off your joints and muscles and get you back on the path to health.