As you probably well know by now, living with chronic pain isn’t easy. It can drastically affect your quality of life and interrupt most (if not all) daily activities. Given that, you’ve probably already tried dozens of different methods to help you manage your condition - with varying success. So, to help you build your pain management arsenal, here’s how Bauerfeind braces and supports can relieve pain.
Anatomy of chronic pain
The human body is a complex system comprising thousands of moving and supporting parts. While this certainly makes it an evolutionary marvel, it also means there are many, many things that can go wrong to cause pain. These include (but aren't limited to):
- Medical conditions like arthritis, where bone-on-bone contact causes friction and pain.
- Injuries like tendonitis, which, if not treated properly, can become chronic conditions.
- Misalignment, where some malformation in the body starts irritating nerve fibres.
- Surgery, where a nerve can accidentally get nicked.
- And sometimes, there’s no discernible cause.
Long story short, when something damages your tissues, your nerves send pain signals to the brain to start healing. But because some causes of pain can’t be healed (OA), or the process of recovery gets repeatedly interrupted, or even the nerve fibres start miscommunicating with the brain, those pain signals keep getting sent up to the brain, leading to chronic pain.
How Bauerfeind braces help
As noted by Health Direct, those who actively manage their chronic pain generally do better than those relying on passive methods like medications. And according to recent studies published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, PLOS ONE, and PLOS ONE again, bracing helps improve biomechanics and relieves pain. So, to provide active solutions for as many cases as possible, we’ve researched, developed, tested, and manufactured dozens of brace variants over the years to combat pain in a few key ways.
Chronic pain is sometimes the result of pressure. Arthritis, for example, causes constant, painful friction when you put pressure on the joint or move it, prompting your nerves to send ‘heal this’ pain signals. A bulging disk or an overuse injury like carpal tunnel may pinch a nerve directly.
Either way, relieving that pressure can help reduce the pain. In some cases, a compression brace can help. The GenuTrain knee brace, for instance, works with your muscles to adjust the adduction and abduction of your knee (the inward or outward tilt), taking some pressure off damaged cartilage. The LumboTrain back brace works similarly, helping your muscles work better and taking pressure off injured disks and pinched nerves.
In other cases (such as when arthritis has progressed to a more severe stage), you may need a more ‘intense’ brace to compensate. For knee osteoarthritis, we’d recommend the GenuTrain OA or SecuTec OA. These orthoses have external supports and adjustable offloading mechanisms to take pressure off either side of the knee.
As we mentioned, chronic pain means your nerves have gone haywire. And unfortunately, these ‘pain’ signals often interrupt other signals that activate and control muscle movements. The pain signals in your knee may affect your gait or even how well your leg muscles support your ligaments and tendons. They may lead to premature muscle fatigue in your back, putting even more pressure on slipped disks and pinched nerves.
But compression knit fabric can help. As well as relieving pain in the first place, this fabric has thousands of different meshes, providing pressure with pinpoint accuracy. These pressure points communicate with your muscles as you move, helping your nerves carry messages across to the brain.
Massage painful areas
EpiTrain Elbow Brace
Many Bauerfeind compression supports come with sewn-in viscoelastic pads. These pads work together with the compression knit to massage painful areas as you move, reducing muscle tension, boosting circulation, and working to relax frayed nerves.
Our technicians sew these pads into key problem areas. For example, the EpiTrain elbow brace houses them around the epicondyle tendons, helping combat pain associated with chronic Golfer’s Elbow and Tennis Elbow. The AchilloTrain ankle brace, meanwhile, has pads near the Achilles tendon and a gel cushion under the heel to relieve pressure.
Keep you active
The support, muscle retraining, and pain relief offered by braces can help you stay active. Because while rest is good for acute injuries, specialists recommend getting back on your feet as soon as possible. Long periods of immobility are the last thing your body needs - even if it seems your pain signals are telling you otherwise.
Our bodies are made for movement. If we don’t do enough of it, muscles get stiff and grow weaker, and this process can start negatively affecting other bodily tissues and structures as they’ll need to compensate for the lack of support. In short, you’ll likely experience more injuries and pain down the line.
MalleoTrain Ankle Brace
To sum up
Chronic pain is a difficult condition to manage. But through muscle-activating compression knit, supportive stays, and pain-relieving gel pads, bracing can make it easier.
If you require assistance selecting the right product for your needs or wearing the brace, call us on 1300 668 466 or contact us via live chat.
Do you have private health? Most private health extras will cover Bauerfeind Products. Check to see if yours is included. Bauerfeind Private Health Insurance Inquiry.