Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Osteoarthritis Health Center

Font Size

Knee Braces Ease Osteoarthritis Pain

Researchers Say OA Patients Report Relief From Pain and Stiffness After Wearing Knee Brace

Benefits of a Brace continued...

But so far, so good. "The less knee misalignment the patient had, the less disability they experienced, and they saw an improvement in pain, stiffness, and function," said study researcher J. Richard Steadman, MD, founder of the Steadman Phillipon Research Institute in Vail, Colo., at the media briefing.

Not everyone with knee OA is a candidate for bracing, he says. Braces may not fit individuals who weigh too much or too little.

"Knee bracing is one of a number of things you can do for knee OA, including weight loss and strengthening of the muscle in the thigh," he says. "It's a noninvasive way to enhance performance in conjunction with a program to make your lifestyle better," he says. "A brace can add some level of increased activity and stability, but all other things are just as important."

Margot Putukian, MD, the director of athletic medicine and head team physician at Princeton University, agrees. "Exercise, physical therapy, weight loss, and disease education are the most important things we can do for our patients," she says. For every 1-pound loss, there is a 4-pound decrease in knee load, she says.

"There is an issue with putting a brace on because people think that that means 'I am old,'" Putukian says. "It's a barrier."

Robert A Stanton, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon in Fairfield, Conn., tries to break down this barrier by telling his patients that it is basically the same brace he uses for National Football League players who hurt their knee ligaments. "This is not an old-age thing," he says. "You just can't say 'here is a brace,' you have to explain it to them." Stanton usually recommends a 30-day-trial.

"We can stop this disease with medication, injections, weight loss, physical activity, and bracing," he says. Injections of corticosteroids are another way to reduce inflammation and pain in knees with OA.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

elderly hands
Even with arthritis pain.
woman exercising
Here are 7 easy tips.
acupuncture needles in woman's back
How it helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain.
chronic pain
Get personalized tips to reduce discomfort.
Keep Joints Healthy
Chronic Pain Healthcheck
close up of man with gut
man knee support
woman with cold compress
Man doing tai chi
hand gripping green rubber ball
person walking with assistance