Bracelayer Compression Gear fits comfortably under custom knee braces, stops them from sliding down the leg during activity and limits skin trauma caused by knee brace straps.
A Major Frustration for Athletes with Severe Knee Instability
When you’re an athlete who is already dealing with the frustration of having a knee injury, the last thing you want to be doing is constantly tugging up a custom knee brace. Even if you’re not back in the gym yet, struggling to keep your knee brace where it belongs — around your knee, stabilizing it — can be a real problem.
As is so often done nowadays, you have probably gone online to find some sort of solution — anything but duct tape to keep your knee brace in place while you go about your daily life or physical therapy.
Let’s look at how to actually keep your knee brace from slipping down.
Why is Your Knee Brace Slipping?
To understand how to stop your knee brace from slipping, it’s a good idea to understand why your knee brace is falling down in the first place. Even when you are wearing your knee brace correctly, more often than not, there will be distal migration or sliding of the knee brace down the leg. This is a very common problem.
Fundamentally, you’re fighting gravity. All the straps on your knee brace are desperately battling against that constant force that only those who have experienced outer space-like environments have escaped. All-day, every day, gravity is doing its best to pull your knee brace down.
Another major issue that causes knee braces to slip is that the circumference of your thigh is greater than the circumference of your calf. If you think of strapping your knee brace to an upside-down traffic cone, it’s pretty easy to imagine why it’s prone to slip down.
Thankfully, when it comes to your conical-shaped legs, there is the gastrocnemius muscle. This muscle is what creates that little “shelf” on the back of your calf. Ensuring that your brace fits correctly and a strap can be snugged down right above the gastrocnemius muscle is essential in your battle against a migrating brace.
Another major and fundamental issue you face with your brace is the hinge. Many companies use a polycentric hinge, which centers the hinge over the knee. Unfortunately, this hinge does not allow for the roll and glide movement of the knee. If you’ve not gotten your brace yet, or are looking for a new brace, make sure you talk to your physical therapist, orthopedic specialist, and doctor about the exact kind of hinge in the brace — push to get a roll and glide hinge.
How do I put on a hinged knee brace properly?
Knowing how to put on a custom hinged knee brace the right way is the first step to prevent the brace from sliding down the leg. Most custom braces will have 4 straps and the order in which you put them on does affect how the knee support will fit on your leg. When you are being fitted for a brace, the technician will show you the proper way to put it on, but you can also always refer to the manufacturer guidelines for a refresher. For example, here are the manufacturer directions on how to put on your DonJoy knee brace the right way.
So, How Do Bracelayer® Knee Stabilizing Compression Pants Stop my Knee Brace From Sliding Down?
Bracelayer® Tri-Tech compression is constructed with an internal layer of thin, medical-grade, perforated neoprene. The pliable and textured nature of this layer helps 'lock' hard shell knee braces into place and the anti-bacterial, moisture-wicking Stabiluxe™ base ensures maximum comfort. It draws moisture away from the skin to help stop the distal migration (or sliding) of the knee brace down the leg.
Can a Knee Brace be Worn Over Your Bracelayer® Compression Pants?
Not the best advice from the internet...
“I have tightened it so much that I have pressure ridges all up and down my leg--and I can't even walk from the bedroom to the living room before the things fall down around my ankle and the opening for the patella is on my shin!”
Ideas started tumbling in, with people suggesting everything from an ace wrap under the brace to self-adhesive tape. In other places on the internet, you’ll find people building makeshift solutions. 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 grip on your pants or skin, preventing the brace from migrating.
Another suggestion floating around out there is the idea of wearing a compression sleeve over the top of your knee brace, with the hope of pressing it tighter against your skin or clothing to cause more friction and prevent gravity from tugging it down. There is also the idea of combining several of these options. Though everyone seems to be trying to develop a solution, nobody seems particularly happy with what they were doing.
Yes, adding a compression wrap is much better than wearing a knee brace around one’s ankle, but it's still far from ideal. It might seem inevitable that a knee brace will start slipping down your leg as you go through physical therapy or when you are back out on the field, but it’s not.
The Real Solution to Distal Migration
There are companies that sell knee brace undersleeves, but these can also roll down and move independently from each other.
The right compression pants mean that it will no longer be necessary to tug up your brace mid-stride on your morning jog. Additionally, the right compression pants can limit skin trauma caused by the friction of knee brace straps.
The innovative Bracelayer® compression pants are designed with a supportive layer around the knee, which also insulates your IT bands, hips, and lumbar. The layer is made from compression fabric and has a thin layer of medical-grade perforated neoprene on top, which is then covered with a compression mesh.
The pants are also thin enough to comfortably sift under DonJoy, Ossur, Generation II, CTI, and any other custom knee brace.
With the mission “to improve athletic performance, speed recovery, and reduce pain through the targeted compression and stabilization of key muscles and joints,” Bracelayer® has designed exactly those compression pants. Pants that provide support for your knee, while also preventing your knee brace from slipping.
Final Thoughts: how to keep knee brace from slipping down
The solution for how to keep knee braces from slipping down is simple. Before Bracelayer® was founded in 2015, things might have been more complicated. You might have had to use a compression wrap below your brace or pulled sleeves over the top. Now, the variety of styles of Bracelayer® knee sleeve compression pants mean that you can save your wraps and etc. for another occasion.
Bracelayer® Compression Pants with built-in knee sleeve are the ultimate solution to stop your custom knee brace from migrating down your leg.