Whoops, well it’s safe to say I am extraordinarily bad at blogging. Some of that has to do with changes that have been going on with the channel. Since I only write posts about the videos that are talks, not routines, and those are now only going up every other week (ish), I may be writing less posts. I may also just update you on other things in my life as well. Would you like that?
Anyway, we have something serious to talk about. Braces. Not the kind for straightening your teeth, though those probably would get a similar blog title, but the kind for your joints. Like a knee brace! I am a firm believer that we overuse braces on our joints, or rely too much on them. Let me tell you why!
First of, if your doctor has told you to wear a brace, WEAR IT. There are reasons not to wear braces, but there are also a lot of reasons TO wear braces. So, let me reiterate, if you have been told to wear a brace by your doctor, wear that brace.
If your doctor never told you to wear a braces, then this is for you. We experience pain, a brace relieves it, whatever. Something like that. It’s great! Or is it?
So what a braces does is hold your joint in place and support it. It does what the muscles in that joint are supposed to be doing. That’s where the problems also happen though. While a brace can help your muscles work, your muscles can also atrophy because they’re not being used as much, your body starts to rely on the brace, not your muscles. This could eventually lead you to being dependent on a brace in fact.
You know when someone breaks their arm, then they get their cast taken off a long time after and their arm is smaller than it was before? That’s the same thing, except in a cast there’s even less use of the muscles, so you lose strength faster.
This is where it turns into a viscous cycle. A lot of injuries are caused because of weak muscles, so if you’ve injured your knee, your muscles might already be weak. Now, you’ve put a brace on, which may weaken the muscles further while eliminating your pain. What happens when you take the brace off? You’ll probably start hurting again or hurt yourself again.
If a brace is helping you, there’s nothing wrong with wearing one, but it’s important to continue strengthening that joint. That’s why most doctor’s will give you a brace and tell you to go to physical therapy.
So generally, try not to use a brace too much. I will wear mine only when my knees and hips super hurt, and that will be for one or two days, then not for weeks. Obviously if you’re in a lot of pain, wear it! If you’re struggling, wear it! It’s a lot easier to heal if you’re not in pain. Plus, you may lose muscle, but once your pain is gone, you can also slowly work to get the strength back. Just don’t abuse a brace.
If you think you need a brace, talk to your doctor or get a second opinion. Also, consider physical therapy or see if your doctor recommends anything like yoga to help you heal.