DIY Knee Braces: Are They Any Good? (2022)

Knee pain can be a frustrating issue for anyone, but especially for those who enjoy walking, running, and staying active in general. One of the most heavily researched and proven to work methods for helping knee pain is using a knee brace. Even though there are excellent knee braces on the market, it is a fun question to consider diy knee braces. Is it possible to make knee braces at home? Can do it yourself knee braces work?

Table of Contents

  • What Are Knee Braces?
  • How Do Knee Braces Work?
  • How to Make a Knee Brace or a Substitute at Home
    • Method #1: Knee Wrapping Method
    • Method #2: Cut Sock Method
  • Reasons to Make a DIY Knee Brace Instead of Buying One
    • Affordability
    • Adjustability
    • Other Reasons
  • Are Homemade Knee Braces Any Good?
  • Conclusion

In addition to soothing the pain, there are many people who believe that compression on the knees improves their performance in general. Moreover, it’s a quick remedy to help the body treat various knee disorders like inflammations.

For any reason, you might not have a knee brace lying around when you’re in dire need for one. There is nothing worse than having to go to bed with aching knees. So, is a DIY knee brace easy to make? And how effective can it be?

Read on, if you’re looking for answers to these questions and more!

What Are Knee Braces?

A knee brace is a support medical device or garment suited to relieving knee pain.

(Video) How to Choose a Knee Brace for Arthritis or Knee Pain| GUIDE

These braces are commercially made of various materials, such as plastic, foam, metal, and other elastic straps. Most models are made mostly of nylon, lycra and silicone.

There are various types of knee braces that change in size, color, and materials used to suit various functions.The price, durability, versatility of the braces can also vary. There different braces for hiking as well as braces for netball.

For example, functional braces are used to provide protection, support, and injury healing properties to an already injured knee. People recovering from patella problems and ACL injuries often benefit from knee braces.

Prophylactic, also known as “protective”, knee braces are designed to protect the knees from possible injuries while practicing a heavy-contact sport. Soccer knee braces are one of the best examples.

The last type is habilitative braces that are worn after surgeries for recovery. These ones limit the movements of the knee to protect it from worsening or relapsing.

How Do Knee Braces Work?

To understand how to make a DIY knee brace, you need to know how it works first. Ideally, most knee braces depend on compression to do its job.

By applying compression on the injured knee, the blood flow speeds up. Improved circulation brings nutrients faster to the injured ligament, allowing it to heal faster.

In fact, compression and applying mild pressure on the knee is a major part of the R.I.C.E treatment protocol, which actually stands for “Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation”.

In other words, the crucial aspect you should focus on while making a DIY knee brace is to make sure it provides decent compression on your knees.

(Video) How to Choose a Knee Brace for Arthritis or Knee Pain- Up to 6XL-size

How to Make a Knee Brace or a Substitute at Home

There are various methods you can try to make a substitute for a knee brace at home. All of these methods depend mainly on creating more pressure around the knees in a healthy way.

Method #1: Knee Wrapping Method

One of the most common substitutes that even the most experienced athletes use to this day is wrapping elastic bandage wrap around the knees.

What makes this method popular is that it’s proven to give similar results in terms of pain relief and knee support while being extremely easy to do at home.

You can also adjust it to the level of compression you’re most comfortable with and it doesn’t cost as much as some premium knee braces.

To use the knee wrapping method, you’ll only need an elastic bandage wrap. I recommend Mighty X Premium Elastic Bandage Wrap because it’s made of high quality and elastic cotton. Additionally, it comes with 8 extra clips to fully secure the makeshift brace.

While clips are better at securing the wrap, if you want a velcro closure, you can try LotFancy Cotton Elastic Bandage Wrap.

These elastic bandages are also made of soft cotton, which is both comfortable and highly breathable. Here’s how to use them as a knee brace substitute:

(Video) ✅ Best Knee Brace For Basketball Amazon In 2022 💝 Top 5 Items Tested & Reviewed

  1. Spread your leg in the most natural position without overextension with a slight bend in the knee.
  2. Start the wrapping by placing the bandage on the top of the knee with your hand over it to stabilize it.
  3. After one or two wraps, make sure you also cover above and below the knee cap to prevent the DIY knee brace from sliding or shifting.
  4. Make sure that you don’t wrap too tight (to allow blood flow) or too loose (to stabilize the knees).
  5. If you’re comfortable with the tightness of the wrapping, secure the knee brace by using the provided clips or velcro tape provided with the bandages.

Method #2: Cut Sock Method

One of the limitations of the knee wrapping method is that it’s a bit time consuming, especially if you’re wearing a knee brace for protection.

Luckily, the cut sock method is much faster to put on and you won’t even need to buy a knee wrapping for it.

To make a DIY Knee Brace using the cut sock method, you’ll need the following tools:

  • Any clean andlong sports sock with a strong elastic band at the end.
  • Sharp scissors (dull scissors will create badly finished product and might tear the sock up)

As you can see, you can find these items at your house. This method is basically free.

Here are the steps to create the DIY knee brace:

  1. Measure the distance from above to below your knee, so you can determine how much to cut from the sock.
  2. Find the top elastic part of the sock, and measure the same distance to your knee (you can do that by putting it on above the knee directly to where you want it.
  3. Carefully cut the sock to the needed length.
  4. Take the nonelastic remainder of the sock and cut it from the end to make it cylindrical.

Now you can enjoy a breathable and sweat-absorbing knee brace. Keep in mind that the elastic part might be too tight at the beginning, but once you use it on a wide knee, it’ll be comfortable in no time.

If you want to retighten it, you can use the nonelastic part as a primary wrapping and then add the elastic one over it. For even more compression, you can cut another sock similarly and use its elastic part too!

Reasons to Make a DIY Knee Brace Instead of Buying One

While there is a wide range of knee braces on the market, a lot of people are trying to create their own homemade knee braces and alternatives.

Here are some of the reasons that drive these people to make their DIY versions of a knee brace or a knee sleeve.

(Video) Modvel Knee Braces unboxing and review

Affordability

You can easily spend over twenty dollars on a commercial knee brace. There are more affordable ones that come at a fraction of that price. But still, if you only need a brace for one or two night, doing it yourself can be the best tactic.

Adjustability

In both methods above, you can easily adjust the wrapping to your liking. Yet, some knee braces come at various sizes and are adjustable using velcro fasteners.

Other Reasons

In addition to the main reasons, there are other less common reasons to opt for a DIY knee brace, including:

  • Fear of toxic plastics used in making some cheap plastic knee braces.
  • Extremely mild injuries that aren’t worth the bulkiness and the investment in a commercial knee brace.

Are Homemade Knee Braces Any Good?

Of course! They’re able to provide you with the compression needed for pain relief without poking a hole in your wallet.

However, they’re only recommended in minor knee injuries, as they don’t provide the same level of intuitiveness and stabilization as a commercial knee brace. I would never use a diy knee brace if I feel severe pain, or I see that my knee is swollen.

Conclusion

With that said, you now have a simple guide that shows you how to make a DIY knee brace with simple steps.

As you can see, homemade knee braces are great at supporting and compressing your knee. However, they aren’t as good or specialized in delivering the optimum level of support when compared to commercial knee braces.

If you’re looking for an easy to use and highly affordable commercial knee brace, you should consider the Physix Gear Sport knee support brace.However on the short run diy knee braces are a viable option that give you quick relief.

FAQs

Do knee braces actually help? ›

If worn consistently, a knee brace can offer some stability and increase your confidence in your knee. Some evidence suggests that knee braces can help reduce symptoms and improve function in people who have knee osteoarthritis.

What can I use instead of a knee brace? ›

Wearable compressive equipment, including compression knee sleeves, hose, leg sleeves, and pants, are functionally comparable to neoprene sleeves.

What is the most effective knee brace? ›

Unloader braces: These braces work by shifting the load from the injured part of the knee to a more muscular area, which relieves pain. For this reason, unloaders are widely regarded as one of the best knee braces for arthritis.

How do you make a knee support at home? ›

So goes under the riding sack beer. And up to my shorts. So I'm gonna just cut the tip off tuck the

What is the difference between a knee brace and a knee support? ›

The key difference between a knee sleeve and a knee brace is that a brace is meant to protect the anterior knee and patella, while the sleeve does not provide the same ligament support.

How tight should a knee brace be? ›

It's important that the brace is snug, but not too snug. If the brace is too tightly strapped to your leg, it can cut off circulation. Having the right length for your height and your injury is also important. This brace comes in different lengths ranging from 12 to 24 inches.

Should I wrap my knee if it hurts? ›

Wrap an elastic bandage around your knee to help control swelling. Make the bandage fit snugly around your knee, but not tight enough to cause pain or leg swelling. Elevation. Lying down with your knee propped up on pillows may help control pain and swelling.

Can you use a sock as a knee brace? ›

Rocky Mountain Full Length Motocross Knee Brace Socks

Should you wear a knee brace while sitting? ›

It is best to try and remain sitting or lying down whilst wearing the brace. Avoid the brace getting wet by removing it before showering or swimming. Speak to your doctor about the appropriate times for your knee to be unsupported and for how long.

How do you get rid of knee pain fast? ›

Self-care measures for an injured knee include:
  1. Rest. Take a break from your normal activities to reduce repetitive strain on your knee, give the injury time to heal and help prevent further damage. ...
  2. Ice. Ice reduces both pain and inflammation. ...
  3. Heat. ...
  4. Compression. ...
  5. Elevation.
11 May 2021

How do I strengthen my knees? ›

How to strengthen your knee
  1. Benefits.
  2. Leg lifts.
  3. Standing hamstring curls.
  4. Hamstring curls on a weight bench.
  5. Step exercises.
  6. Single-leg dip.
  7. Wall squats.
  8. Post-exercise stretching.

When should you wear a knee brace? ›

Knee braces are commonly prescribed by physicians for patients who have an ACL tear or some type of knee injury. The knee brace can provide added support during the recovery process.

Do Copper knee braces work? ›

There are also no reliable studies supporting the healing powers of copper-infused fabrics,” says Consumer Reports medical director Orly Avitzur, M.D. “It's extremely unlikely that these fabrics would provide any therapeutic benefit beyond compression for arthritis or pain,” Avitzur says.

What does osteoarthritis in the knee feel like? ›

Your knee feels stiff, particularly when you first get up or when you've been sitting for a long time. Your knee looks swollen or feels puffy. You hear a cracking or grinding noise when you move your knee. Your knee feels wobbly, as if it could buckle or “give out."

Do knee compression sleeves really work? ›

Knee compression sleeves have been proven in many studies to be effective in managing knee pain from osteoarthritis.

What are the 3 different types of knee braces? ›

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons,5 knee braces fit into several categories: (1) prophylactic—braces intended to prevent or reduce the severity of knee injuries in contact sports; (2) functional—braces designed to provide stability for unstable knees; and (3) rehabilitative—braces designed to ...

Can a knee brace help with knee pain? ›

Many people also report relief from knee pain with a neoprene sleeve-style brace, also available at pharmacies and sporting goods stores. Experts believe these braces may help by providing warmth and compression, which may relieve swelling. It's possible that the main benefit is psychological, says Holland.

Can I wear a knee brace over jeans? ›

Yes, you can, but you have to make sure that the knee brace remains secure and in position at all times. This means that you can wear them over pants made of thinner or snugger fabrics. These include skinny jeans, tights, leggings, yoga pants, and even some running pants.

How do I know what size knee brace I need? ›

Knee Sizing: How to Measure for Knee Sleeves and Braces - YouTube

What is a simple home remedy for knee pain? ›

Get off your feet and apply a cold compress or bag of ice to the knee. Frozen vegetables, such as peas, will also work if you have no ice handy. Wrap your knee with a compression bandage to prevent swelling, but not so tightly it cuts off circulation. While you're resting, keep your foot elevated.

What is better for knee pain heat or cold? ›

Heat helps loosen tight muscles and joints and relieves pain and muscle spasms. If you have swelling, it's best to use ice for 24 hours, then switch to heat. If swelling isn't a problem, it's fine to use heat when you first notice knee pain.

What is the fastest way to reduce inflammation in the knee? ›

To control pain and swelling, apply ice to your knee for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 to 4 hours. When you ice your knee, be sure to raise your knee higher than the level of your heart. Place pillows under your knee for comfort. Compression.

Does compression help knee pain? ›

One common treatment for knee and elbow joint injuries is to apply a compression brace. The compression brace worn over your knee or elbow can help stabilize the joint, decrease swelling to your joint, and allow you to painlessly engage in otherwise painful activities.

How do I keep my knee brace from slipping down my leg? ›

One video blogger suggests using sticky-back, hook velcro and attaching a thin rubber material to the back of it. The velcro part can then be attached to the inside of the knee brace, while the rubber will have more grasp on your pants or skin, preventing the brace from migrating.

Why does my knee brace slips down? ›

If your knee brace is slipping and sliding down your leg, and you have determined that it is on correctly, you may need to tighten it. Ensure the straps around the knee are the tightest. Be sure you do not over-tighten the brace closures to the point that circulation to your leg is cutoff or causing pain.

How long should you wear a knee brace? ›

Typically, a complex knee brace is worn for the first year. After that, a brace usually isn't needed for low-level activities. Keep in mind it can take up to two years to return to baseline stability. Once you're returned to full function, you can stop wearing a brace.

Is it OK to wear a knee sleeve all day? ›

Can you wear knee sleeves all day? A person should only wear a knee sleeve when they need extra knee support for physical activity. An individual may be at risk of developing issues with the knee joint if they wear a knee compression sleeve that restricts their movement for long periods.

When should you not ignore knee pain? ›

Sudden, severe pain in the knee. Pain that persists while walking. The knee abruptly giving out, causing you to fall and feel unstable while walking. Swelling within 24 hours after the initial injury.

How can I stop my arthritis knee pain getting worse? ›

Management and Treatment
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise using low-impact activities (swimming, cycling) instead of high-impact activities (jogging, tennis). ...
  • Wear shock-absorbing inserts in your shoes.
  • Apply heat or ice to the area.
  • Wear a knee sleeve or brace.
18 Oct 2021

How do I get rid of arthritis in my knees? ›

Knee Arthritis Treatment
  1. Activity modifications that may keep joint pain and inflammation from flaring. ...
  2. Physical therapy to improve strength and range of motion.
  3. Weight loss (if applicable) to reduce stress placed on the joint.
  4. Bracing to provide more stability to the joint.

What are 3 exercises to strengthen your knee? ›

5 Exercises to Help Strengthen Your Knees
  • Exercise 1: Knee Extension.
  • Exercise 2: Knee Flexion (Standing)
  • Exercise 3: Heel and Calf Raises.
  • Exercise 4: Wall Squats.
  • Exercise 5: Swimming.
1 Jun 2022

Does walking strengthen knees? ›

Walking is a low-impact activity that doesn't put too much stress on your knees and can help strengthen the muscles in that area. Start slow and try to work up to a half-hour walk three to five times a week.

How can seniors strengthen their knees? ›

Exercises for Seniors with Knee Pain - YouTube

Is cycling good for knees? ›

Cycling makes knee joint bend and stretch gently and helps to ease the movement of the joint. Cycling also improves the muscle strength around the knee joint, which ultimately protects the knee joint if there are any impact actions. So it's wise to say that cycling promotes knee joint health in many ways.

How long should you wear a knee brace? ›

Typically, a complex knee brace is worn for the first year. After that, a brace usually isn't needed for low-level activities. Keep in mind it can take up to two years to return to baseline stability. Once you're returned to full function, you can stop wearing a brace.

How do I know if I need a knee brace? ›

In general, braces should be worn if you're having knee pain or you wish to prevent injuries during high contact sports where there is a higher likelihood of knee injury. Knee braces can also be used for rehabilitative purposes, for example, following an ACL injury.

Is it OK to run with a knee brace on? ›

Should I Wear a Knee Brace While Running? Whether or not you've had a knee injury in the past, in most cases it is ideal to use a knee brace while running. The primary reason being – while you're running, your knees absorb a lot of the impact, which can lead to damage over time.

Do knee braces help with instability? ›

Knee braces may be worn to provide knee stability, prevent injury and protect the knee while healing from an injury or surgery. But are they really effective? There are studies that suggest wearing a knee brace can help reduce knee pain and instability.

How do I strengthen my knees? ›

How to strengthen your knee
  1. Benefits.
  2. Leg lifts.
  3. Standing hamstring curls.
  4. Hamstring curls on a weight bench.
  5. Step exercises.
  6. Single-leg dip.
  7. Wall squats.
  8. Post-exercise stretching.

Can wearing a knee brace hurt your knee? ›

What are the risks of knee braces? Knee braces may cause pain or further injury to the knee if they are not worn properly. If your doctor recommends a knee brace, be sure to check its fit and placement regularly after you put it on. A knee brace is not a substitute for professional medical care.

Does a knee brace help with pain? ›

Support Proper Knee Alignment

An unloader brace won't cure arthritis, but it can help relieve pain and prevent the knee from giving out.

What are the 3 different types of knee braces? ›

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons,5 knee braces fit into several categories: (1) prophylactic—braces intended to prevent or reduce the severity of knee injuries in contact sports; (2) functional—braces designed to provide stability for unstable knees; and (3) rehabilitative—braces designed to ...

Does wearing a knee brace help with arthritis? ›

A knee brace can help with arthritis pain and stiffness by providing support to the joint as you walk. A brace may also give you more confidence in your stability as you complete your daily activities. Many knee braces are available, but not all of them will work well for arthritis.

What does osteoarthritis in the knee feel like? ›

Your knee feels stiff, particularly when you first get up or when you've been sitting for a long time. Your knee looks swollen or feels puffy. You hear a cracking or grinding noise when you move your knee. Your knee feels wobbly, as if it could buckle or “give out."

How do I know what size knee brace I need? ›

Knee Sizing: How to Measure for Knee Sleeves and Braces - YouTube

How do knee braces work? ›

These are designed to “unload” stress that is caused by arthritis in the inner knee. This type of brace is custom-designed and made of molded plastic, foam and steel struts to limit side movement. It is designed to put three points of pressure on the thigh bone, which forces the knee to bend away from the painful area.

What does a knee strap do? ›

Straps are band-like devices that wrap around the bottom or top of your knee. The strap helps take stress — and therefore pain — off of the patellar tendon at the bottom of the knee. Straps placed above the knee can reduce stress where the IT band becomes tight and creates friction around the knee.

What is the best support for an arthritic knee? ›

“The most effective brace for arthritis is the unloader-style brace.” But, she says, they're expensive (insurance may cover part of the cost with preauthorization) and available only through a physician. In addition, Dr. Hogan says they work best on thinner people with arthritis on only one side of the knee.

Do Copper knee braces work? ›

There are also no reliable studies supporting the healing powers of copper-infused fabrics,” says Consumer Reports medical director Orly Avitzur, M.D. “It's extremely unlikely that these fabrics would provide any therapeutic benefit beyond compression for arthritis or pain,” Avitzur says.

Why does my knee buckle when I walk? ›

Why does my knee buckle? Buckling in the knee caused due to a number of different reasons including; meniscal damage, weak muscles, arthritis, ligament damage and more.

Videos

1. 93 - DIY Wooden Architectural Knee Braces, or Wood Corbels
(Kings Fine Woodworking)
2. Easy Treatment for Jumper's Knee (Patellar Tendonitis) | Solving Pain With Strength
(Solving Pain With Strength)
3. The Making of a Truly Custom Össur Knee Brace
(ÖSSUR)
4. Knee Brace 1
(RWU SECCM Labs)
5. Doc Talk On Knee Braces
(Texan Live)
6. Ascend is a wearable robot designed to end knee pain
(CNET)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Jeremiah Abshire

Last Updated: 10/04/2022

Views: 5824

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jeremiah Abshire

Birthday: 1993-09-14

Address: Apt. 425 92748 Jannie Centers, Port Nikitaville, VT 82110

Phone: +8096210939894

Job: Lead Healthcare Manager

Hobby: Watching movies, Watching movies, Knapping, LARPing, Coffee roasting, Lacemaking, Gaming

Introduction: My name is Jeremiah Abshire, I am a outstanding, kind, clever, hilarious, curious, hilarious, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.