Say goodbye to knee pain and hello to ROAM™ OA: the latest innovation in OA braces from DonJoy®

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a painful condition that affects over 650 million people worldwide1. Occurring predominantly in those aged 40 and over, the barrier to activity it presents can have a debilitating effect on both the physical and mental health of sufferers. Thankfully, knee braces have been shown to have a positive effect on the symptoms of OA2, and with the release of ROAM™ OA, DonJoy® has a new way to help OA patients reduce knee pain and stay active and healthy.

Comfortable, easy to use, and effective

Regular use of offloader knee braces has been shown to contribute to improved daily functioning, reduced pain, and enhanced mobility, ultimately leading to a better quality of life2. ROAM OA is designed to improve mobility and provide relief by unloading the pressure of moderate to severe unicompartmental osteoarthritis or other knee pain. Its lightweight, low-profile joint offloading and support system offer a high level of comfort while remaining user-friendly for both prescribers and patients.

Designed for diverse patient needs

Whether for conservative care or as a preparation for surgery, ROAM OA’s series of adjustable settings cater to a wide range of patients looking to enhance their activity levels and maintain an active lifestyle.

To address the most challenging fitting needs, ROAM OA is also available in a custom-made version. Tailored to individual measurements, this option ensures a unique fit with custom-positioned condyle and uprights, optimal height setting, and personalized cuff sizes and strap lengths.

ROAM OA knee brace

Features and benefits

With a patient-focused approach, ROAM OA’s list of features ensures ease of use and aids compliance.

Once set by a trained fitter, the “set and forget” straps provide a visual guide for patients to help make donning and removing the brace simple and worry-free.

The patented Mag-Align magnetic buckles provide an audible “snap” on connection, instilling confidence in patients, even those with eyesight or dexterity challenges.

The BOA® Fit System allows patients to easily dial in support and pain relief on demand. Simply turn the dials to increase tension in the brace, or pull them out for quick release.

And patent-pending comfort straps and a condyle harness help negate migration of the brace while enhancing comfort by leaving the popliteal fossa area behind the knee free from friction.

To learn more about ROAM OA, visit our website: https://goto.enov.is/tW0PPi

*BOA® is a registered trademark of BOA® Technology Inc.

References

  1. Cui A, Li H, Wang D, Zhong J, Chen Y, Lu H. Global, regional prevalence, incidence and risk factors of knee osteoarthritis in population-based studies. EClinicalMedicine. 2020 Nov 26;29-30:100587.
  2. Feehan NL, Trexler GS, Barringer WJ. The Effectiveness of Off-Loading Knee Orthoses in the Reduction of Pain in Medial Compartment Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review. J Prosthet Orthot 2012;24(1):39-49.

10 reasons why skiers and snowboarders should wear a DonJoy® knee brace

As winter sports enthusiasts hit the slopes, the importance of protecting vulnerable joints cannot be overstated. For skiers and snowboarders, the rigors of downhill adventures can take a toll on the knees. Thankfully DonJoy® knee braces are clinically proven to protect the knee and safeguard against ligament injuries.1 Here are ten compelling reasons why skiers and snowboarders should consider wearing a DonJoy rigid knee ligament brace.

1. Dynamic Stability

The unpredictable terrain of snowy slopes demands dynamic stability. DonJoy knee braces feature the Four-Points-of-Leverage™ system, a combination of a rigid cuff and straps that provides a constant dynamic load and is clinically proven to reduce anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) strain.2

Four points of leverage

2. Prevent Ligament Injuries

The lateral movements and sudden stops inherent in skiing and snowboarding can put stress on knee ligaments, and when it comes to ligament injuries, prevention is better than any cure. DonJoy’s patented FourcePoint® Hinge keeps the knee out of the “at risk” position, helps prevent anterior tibial translation, and dampens knee joint extension, helping to protect the knee from injury.3

FourcePoint hinge

3. Post-Injury Protection

With a re-injury rate of 5-10% for people who have suffered an ACL injury, protecting the knee is essential.4 The Four-Points-of-Leverage technology featured on DonJoy knee braces effectively reduces ACL strain, which can be crucial during rehabilitation while the graft is remodelling.2

4. Enhance confidence

The protection offered by a DonJoy brace can give skiers and snowboarders the confidence to push their limits with greater assurance.

5. Important for women and young people

Of those who suffer ligament injuries, women and young people are the most susceptible. With 50% of ACL injuries occurring in 15-25 year olds,5 and women 8x more likely to injure an ACL,6 it is even more essential for them to wear a knee brace while skiing or snowboarding.

6. Unique braces made to measure

Every Defiance and A22® knee brace is made to the specific measurements of the customer’s leg for an even closer and more comfortable fit.

7. Off-the-shelf options for a fast fix

For customers not looking for a custom option, DonJoy offers a wide choice of off-the-shelf knee braces. Armor™ comes in 7 different sizes of thigh circumference for fast and simple measuring and ordering.

8. Customise your brace to suit

DonJoy’s Defiance knee braces offer a range of customisable features to suit customers. Along with optional accessories including a sports cover and silicone condyle pads, these braces are also available in over 30 frame colours and patterns.

Defiance PRO knee braces
Defiance knee braces

9. DonJoy braces won’t get in the way

Thanks to their lightweight, low-profile design, DonJoy knee braces fit easily under ski trousers and snowboard pants. Many of the braces are also available in a short calf length to ensure boot clearance.

10. There’s more than just bracing

DonJoy knee braces are complemented by a huge range of medical devices provided by its co-brands in the Enovis™ organisation. Whether it is cold therapy products to reduce pain following injury, or electro muscle stimulation devices to aid in recovery, Enovis offers support for skiers and snowboarders throughout the continuum of care.

To learn more about DonJoy knee braces, visit enovis-medtech.eu

References

  1. Ackerman DR et al. Prophylactic Knee Bracing in Offensive Linemen of the National Football League: A Retrospective Analysis of Usage Trends, Player Performance, and Major Knee Injury. Orthop J Sports Med. 2023 Aug 25;11(8):23259671231191767.
  2. Fleming BC et al. The influence of functional knee bracing on the anterior cruciate ligament strain biomechanics in weightbearing and nonweightbearing knees. Am J Sports Med 2000;28(6):815-24.
  3. Yu B et al. Immediate effects of a knee brace with a constraint to knee extension on knee kinematics and ground reaction forces in a stop-jump task. Am J Sports Med 2004;32(5):1136-43.
  4. Arendt EA et al. Anterior cruciate ligament injury patterns among collegiate men and women. Journal of Athletic Training. 1999;34(2):86-92.
  5. Griffin LY et al. Understanding and Preventing Noncontact Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries: A Review of the Hunt Valley II Meeting, January 2005. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2006 34:9. 1512-1532.
  6. Mancino F et al. Anterior cruciate ligament injuries in female athletes. Bone Joint J. 2023 Oct 1;105-B(10):1033-1037.

Introducing DonJoy ActyLight®: fit-and-forget ankle support

Lateral ankle sprains are one of the most common sports-related injuries1; in the United States alone, more than 23,000 people suffer a lateral ankle sprain every day.2 To help address this situation, DonJoy® introduces the new DonJoy ActyLight®, an ankle support so comfortable and easy to fit, you’ll forget you’re even wearing it.

What is an ankle sprain, and why do they happen?

When the ligaments of the ankle are damaged, this is called a sprain. If the foot suddenly rolls inward during activity, the subsequent forceful ankle plantarflexion and inversion can result in stretching and tearing of the ankle ligament fibers. As well as causing swelling and bruising, sprains are usually painful, especially when the person attempts to put weight on the foot.

Ankle sprains are categorized into three grades of severity:

  • Grade I (Mild): This involves minor stretching and tiny tears in the ligament fibers, leading to mild tenderness and swelling around the ankle.
  • Grade II (Moderate): In this grade, there is partial tearing of the ligament, resulting in moderate tenderness and swelling around the ankle. Certain movements can cause some abnormal looseness in the ankle joint.
  • Grade III (Severe): This is the most severe grade, where the ligament is completely torn. It leads to significant tenderness and swelling around the ankle, and certain movements can cause substantial instability in the ankle joint.

What is chronic ankle instability?

Approximately 40% of individuals who suffer an ankle sprain later develop chronic ankle instability (CAI) and report persistent symptoms.3,4 This condition is marked by sensations or instances of the ankle unexpectedly giving way.5

People with CAI commonly experience ongoing symptoms such as persistent swelling, pain, weakness, restricted ankle movement, instability, reduced self-reported functionality, and recurrent ankle sprains.5,6

CAI has been recognized as a precursor to ankle osteoarthritis (OA), with its onset typically happening a decade earlier than knee or hip OA.7

Chronic ankle sprains might necessitate surgical intervention through arthroscopic ligament reconstruction. Individuals with CAI are noted to exhibit both mechanical instability, related to structural changes around the ankle, and functional instability, which is associated with decreased sensorimotor and neuromuscular control.8

Bracing for chronic ankle instability

An ankle brace is worn to support and stabilize the ankle, either as a preventive measure or after an injury has occurred. These braces come in soft or semi-rigid varieties and are intended for one or more of the following purposes:

  • Improve ankle stiffness and thus mechanical stability9
  • Improve neuromuscular control10
  • Improve grounding of the foot10
  • Decrease excessive range of motion (ROM)9
  • Enhance proprioceptive acuity (the body’s ability to sense its own location, movement, and actions)11

Numerous clinical studies have been conducted to assess the effectiveness of ankle bracing in these areas.

In 1998, Vaes et al. discovered that the Aircast® Air-Stirrup® brace significantly reduced talar tilt in unstable ankles during static and dynamic tests, and it slowed down the simulated sprain speed.12

In a study from 2000, Hals et al. demonstrated a significant enhancement in shuttle-run performance among subjects with post-acute, mechanically stable yet functionally unstable ankle sprains when using the Aircast Sport Stirrup® brace.13

A randomized controlled trial conducted by Janssen et al. in 2014, involving 384 athletes who had experienced a lateral ankle sprain, revealed that using an Aircast A60™ brace was more effective than neuromuscular training in reducing the recurrence of ankle sprains.14

Habadi et al. (2014) showed the advantages of soft and semi-rigid ankle orthoses in improving the dynamic balance of individuals with functional ankle instability.15

And a 2020 systematic review by Reyburn and Powden concluded that the current body of research strongly supports the positive impact of ankle braces on the dynamic balance of individuals with CAI.16

Introducing ActyLight by DonJoy®: fit-and-forget ankle support

The convenience and comfort of the DonJoy ActyLight® ankle support means patients will forget they’re even wearing it.

Designed to deliver stability and protection for mild to moderate lateral ankle sprains, thanks to its removable bilateral stays, quick lace-locking mechanism, and step-in design, this modular brace can also be used for the prevention of ankle injuries.

All of this means that patients can rely on ActyLight throughout their journey of activity, from healthy, active use, to support following injury, and to prevention of reinjury in the future.

DonJoy ActyLight ankle support

To find out more about DonJoy ActyLight, go to enovis-medtech.eu.

References

  1. Fong, D.T.P., Hong, Y., Chan, L.K., Yung, P.S.H. and Chan, K.M., (2007). A systematic review on ankle injury and ankle sprain in sports. Sports medicine, 37(1), pp.73-94.
  2. Hubbard, T.J. and Wikstrom, E.A., (2010). Ankle sprain: pathophysiology, predisposing factors, and management strategies. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine, 1, p.115.
  3. Anandacoomarasamy, A. & Barnsley, L. (2005). Long term outcomes of inversion ankle injuries. Br J Sports Med, 39(3): e14; discussion e14.
  4. Konradsen L., Bech L., Ehrenbjerg M. & Nickelsen T. (2002). Seven years follow-up after ankle inversion trauma. Scand J Med Sci Sports, 12(3): 129-135.
  5. Hertel, J. & Corbett, R.O. (2019). An updated model of chronic ankle instability. Journal of athletic training, 54(6): 572-588.
  6. Ahn, C. S., Kim, H. S., & Kim, M. C. (2011). The Effect of the EMG Activity of the Lower Leg with Dynamic Balance of the Recreational Athletes. The Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 579–583.
  7. Saltzman, C.L., Zimmerman, M.B., O’Rourke, M., Brown, T.D., Buckwalter, J.A. & Johnston, R. (2006). Impact of comorbidities on the measurement of health in patients with ankle osteoarthritis. J Bone Joint Surg Am., 88(11): 2366-2372.
  8. Hertel, J., (2002). Functional anatomy, pathomechanics, and pathophysiology of lateral ankle instability. Journal of athletic training, 37(4): 364.
  9. Zinder, S.M., Granata, K.P., Shultz, S.J. & Gansneder, B.M. (2009). Ankle bracing and the neuromuscular factors influencing joint stiffness. Journal of Athletic Training, 44(4): 363-369.
  10. Kobayashi, T., Saka, M., Suzuki, E., Yamazaki, N., Suzukawa, M., Akaike, A., Shimizu, K. & Gamada, K. (2014). The effects of a semi-rigid brace or taping on talocrural and subtalar kinematics in chronic ankle instability. Foot & Ankle Specialist, 7(6): 471-477.
  11. Raymond, J., Nicholson, L.L., Hiller, C.E. & Refshauge, K.M. (2012). The effect of ankle taping or bracing on proprioception in functional ankle instability: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 15(5): 386-392.
  12. Vaes, P. H., Duquet, W., Casteleyn, P. P., Handelberg, F., & Opdecam, P. (1998). Static and dynamic roentgenographic analysis of ankle stability in braced and nonbraced stable and functionally unstable ankles. The American journal of sports medicine, 26(5): 692–702.
  13. Hals, T. M., Sitler, M. R., & Mattacola, C. G. (2000). Effect of a semi-rigid ankle stabilizer on performance in persons with functional ankle instability. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy, 30(9), 552–556.
  14. Janssen, K. W., van Mechelen, W., & Verhagen, E. A. (2014). Bracing superior to neuromuscular training for the prevention of self-reported recurrent ankle sprains: a three-arm randomised controlled trial. British journal of sports medicine, 48(16): 1235–1239.
  15. Hadadi, M., Mousavi, M. E., Fardipour, S., Vameghi, R., & Mazaheri, M. (2014). Effect of soft and semirigid ankle orthoses on Star Excursion Balance Test performance in patients with functional ankle instability. Journal of science and medicine in sport, 17(4): 430–433.
  16. Reyburn, R. J., & Powden, C. J. (2020). Dynamic Balance Measures in Healthy and Chronic Ankle Instability Participants While Wearing Ankle Braces: Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis. Journal of sport rehabilitation, 30(4): 660–667.

Why are there more ACL injuries in women’s football?

With the World Cup kicking off in Australia and New Zealand this year, the popularity of women’s football (soccer) is at an all-time high, with more women and girls getting involved every day. However, female football players are at a higher risk of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries compared to their male counterparts.1 Why are there more ACL injuries in women’s football, and how can knee bracing help in prevention and protection?

What is an ACL injury and how do they happen?

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the major stabilizing ligaments in the knee joint. Running diagonally in the middle of the knee, it prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur and provides rotational stability to the knee.

ACL injury

Although the ACL can be torn when the knee receives excessive external force, unlike most other ligaments it can also be injured in non-contact situations, with the latter accounting for 70% of all reported ACL injuries.2

In football and other field/court sports, non‐contact ACL injury typically involves a sharp stop, a sudden change of direction, or landing from a jump with inadequate knee and hip flexion (at or near full extension).1 The most common occurrence is from a combination of a deceleration manoeuvre with a change of direction while the foot is planted and the knee is nearly or fully extended; the excessive torsional force that results from the player trying to change direction can potentially strain or rupture the ACL.

Why ACL injuries are more common in female footballers

Studies have shown that female athletes are two- to ten-times more likely to suffer an ACL injury than male athletes.1 The phenomenon has had a noticeable impact on the 2023 Women’s World Cup, with several high-profile players missing out on the tournament as a result. There are a number of factors involved.

Differences in anatomy

The anatomy of female players predisposes them to an increased incidence of ACL injuries. Women generally have slimmer muscles, and a more considerable pelvic angle than men. The Q-angle, which refers to the angle formed between the hip and the knee, is higher in females, leading to more exertion placed on the ACL. The variance in the anatomy of the knee joint and surrounding bones results in lower overall knee stability, amplified by repetitive jumps or twists.

Hormonal predisposition

Research has suggested that the menstrual cycle poses a higher risk for ACL injuries during ovulation.3 Estrogen levels are higher during ovulation; high estrogen levels alter the collagen production, resulting in increased ligament laxity which can lead to decreased levels of overall knee stability.

Biomechanical Aspects

Studies have revealed distinct differences in landing techniques between men and women following a jump or leap.4 Females have landing mechanisms which increase the pressure placed on their knees. Furthermore, females are more likely than males to land with knee valgus position, making it harder to control the forces and positions during motions leading to tearing of the ACL.

How a knee brace can help reduce ACL injuries

Clinical studies have demonstrated that wearing a knee brace during activity can help prevent ACL injury as well as protect against reinjury.5,6,7 DonJoy® knee braces utilize patented technology that reduces ACL strain.

The Four-Points-of-Leverage™ system featured in DonJoy knee braces consists of a rigid cuff and strap configuration. Through this, a posterior force is applied to the tibia, which prevents anterior movement and reduces the strain on the ACL.8

Four points of leverage

FourcePoint® hinge technology works to enhance DonJoy’s Four-Points-of-Leverage design by damping knee joint extension, which improves the mechanical performance of the brace and reduces shear forces at the knee. Addressing the “at-risk” position, the hinge resistance engages in the last 25 degrees of knee extension.

FourcePoint hinge

The FourcePoint hinge combined with the Four-Points-of-Leverage cuff and strapping design provides a more comfortable brace that reduces anterior shear forces at the knee. The stability this provides is beneficial for both female football players looking to avoid ACL injuries during training, and those who are recovering from an existing injury, as it reduces strain on the healing ACL graft.9,10

To find out more about DonJoy knee braces, go to enovis-medtech.eu.

References

  1. Silvers, H. J., & Mandelbaum, B. R. (2007). Prevention of anterior cruciate ligament injury in the female athlete. British journal of sports medicine, 41 Suppl 1(Suppl 1), i52–i59.
  2. Arendt EA, Agel J, Dick R. Anterior cruciate ligament injury patterns among collegiate men and women. J Athl Train 1999;34(2):86-92.
  3. Yu, W. D., Liu, S. H., Hatch, J. D., Panossian, V., & Finerman, G. A. (1999). Effect of estrogen on cellular metabolism of the human anterior cruciate ligament. Clinical orthopaedics and related research, (366), 229–238.
  4. Butler, R. J., Willson, J. D., Fowler, D., & Queen, R. M. (2013). Gender differences in landing mechanics vary depending on the type of landing. Clinical journal of sport medicine : official journal of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine, 23(1), 52–57.
  5. Tuang, B.H.H., Ng, Z.Q., Li, J.Z., Sirisena D. (2023). Biomechanical Effects of Prophylactic Knee Bracing on Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Risk: A Systematic Review. Clin J Sport Med. Jan 1;33(1):78-89.
  6. Perrone, G.S., Webster, K.E., Imbriaco, C., Portilla, G.M., Vairagade, A., Murray, M.M., Kiapour, A.M. (2019). Risk of Secondary ACL Injury in Adolescents Prescribed Functional Bracing After ACL Reconstruction. Orthop J Sports Med. Nov 12;7(11):2325967119879880.
  7. Bodendorfer, B.M., Anoushiravani, A.A., Feeley, B.T., Gallo, R.A. (2013). Anterior cruciate ligament bracing: evidence in providing stability and preventing injury or graft re-rupture. Phys Sportsmed. Sep;41(3):92-102.
  8. Fleming, B. C., Renstrom, P. A., Beynnon, B. D., Engstrom, B., & Peura, G. (2000). The influence of functional knee bracing on the anterior cruciate ligament strain biomechanics in weightbearing and nonweightbearing knees. The American journal of sports medicine, 28(6), 815–824.
  9. Théoret, D., & Lamontagne, M. (2006). Study on three-dimensional kinematics and electromyography of ACL deficient knee participants wearing a functional knee brace during running. Knee surgery, sports traumatology, arthroscopy : official journal of the ESSKA, 14(6), 555–563.
  10. Stanley, C. J., Creighton, R. A., Gross, M. T., Garrett, W. E., & Yu, B. (2011). Effects of a knee extension constraint brace on lower extremity movements after ACL reconstruction. Clinical orthopaedics and related research, 469(6), 1774–1780.

How a soft brace can help improve proprioception

Proprioception is an important part of our everyday lives. It influences our balance, stability, and posture, and is essential for the motor coordination of our bodies. But what happens when proprioception is impaired, and how can wearing a soft brace help improve it?

What is proprioception?

Proprioception, also known as kinesthesia, is the body’s ability to sense its own position and movement, as well as force and heaviness.

Sensory neurons throughout the body—collectively known as proprioceptors—process stimuli and provide feedback that the body uses to coordinate its movements.

For instance, if receptors in and around a limb’s muscles and tendons sense risky levels of continuous deformation, they will “tell” the body to initiate reflexes to help stabilize and protect the limb from excessive movements.

How can injury affect proprioception?

Though proprioception is a difficult sensation for an individual to identify, its impairment or loss is far more keenly felt.

In extreme cases, such as an autoimmune response to an infection that attacks the body’s sensory neurons, the sense of position, movement, and touch can be completely lost. Without the ability to coordinate their movements, patients who experience this kind of condition can find themselves unable to stand, walk, or physically interact with their surroundings.1

In more common conditions, such as knee osteoarthritis, the proprioceptors in and around the knee joint can be negatively impacted, and the consequent reduced sensory input can compromise normal knee movement and impair postural and protective reflexes.2 This in turn can cause loss of stability and balance, leading to falling.

Acute injuries, such as sprains and strains, can damage soft tissue containing proprioceptors, thereby impairing proprioception and increasing the chance of risky movements.

How can a soft brace improve proprioception?

Studies have shown that wearing a soft brace can contribute to improvements in proprioception.2,3

Although the exact details of how this process works are unknown, researchers hypothesize that wearing a soft brace increases stimuli on proprioceptors in the skin, as well as pressure on the underlying muscles and joint capsule that it covers.4,5

The benefits of this can include improvement in physical function, better control of the involved joint, and a reduction in pain.2,3

Introducing a new range of proprioceptive soft braces from DonJoy®

Sometimes staying active means staying supported. DonJoy’s® new range of soft braces aids proprioception to help people continue their everyday activities.

The range covers all the major joints, comprising two knee supports, two ankle supports, an elbow support, and a wrist support, all of which are available in a wide range of sizes to accommodate different body types.

Each brace is made from soft 3D elastic compression fabric that stretches with the wearer’s movements while providing support and proprioceptive feedback. This means patients get the stability and control they need to help prevent injury while remaining comfortable, making these products well-suited to all kinds of activities, from tennis and jogging, to walking and gardening.

These braces also include a number of individual features to provide enhanced function. For instance, the GenuForce® Xpert knee brace’s semi-rigid polycentric hinges provide greater lateral support and stability, while ManuForce®’s adjustable strapping and malleable hand stay help offer adaptable compression, stabilization, and relief for the wrist.

DonJoy ManuForce wrist brace
ManuForce in action

To learn more about these products and others, visit enovis-medtech.eu

References

  1. Tuthill, J. C., & Azim, E. (2018). Proprioception. Current biology : CB, 28(5): R194–R203.
  2. Hassan, B.S., Mockett, S., Doherty, M. (2002). Influence of elastic bandage on knee pain, proprioception, and postural sway in subjects with knee osteoarthritis. Ann Rheum Dis, 61: 24-28.
  3. Cudejko, T., van der Esch, M., van den Noort, J. C., Rijnhart, J. J. M., van der Leeden, M., Roorda, L. D., Lems, W., Waddington, G., Harlaar, J., & Dekker, J. (2019). Decreased Pain and Improved Dynamic Knee Instability Mediate the Beneficial Effect of Wearing a Soft Knee Brace on Activity Limitations in Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis. Arthritis care & research, 71(8): 1036–1043.
  4. Perlau, R., Frank, C., Fick, G. (1995). The effect of elastic bandages on human knee proprioception in the uninjured population. Am J Sports Med 23:251–255.
  5. Simoneau, G.G., Degner, R.M., Kramper, C.A., Kittleson, K.H. (1997). Changes in ankle joint proprioception resulting from strips of athletic tape applied over the skin. J Atl Train 32:141–147.

Low back pain relief, from DonJoy®

As one of the most common health problems, low back pain is a significant problem not just for individuals, but also their families and communities.1 The condition is defined as “activity-limiting low back pain (+/- pain referred into 1 or both lower limbs) that lasts for at least 1 day”.1

As the population ages, the number of people around the world suffering from low back pain is only going to increase.1 Thankfully, back supports such as Lumbostrap 35 and Dorsostrap 55 from DonJoy® can help relieve low back pain.

What are the causes of lower back pain?

There are many potential causes of low back pain:

  • Muscle or ligament strain from over-stretching (pulling), heavy lifting, twisting the spine while lifting, vigorous exercise at the gym, or a sudden awkward movement
  • Sciatica happens when a weakened and bulging disc is pressed against the sciatic nerve. This can cause intense pain which goes down one leg. This cause can be confirmed through imaging techniques
  • Spinal stenosis happens when the space around the spinal cord narrows and puts pressure on the spinal nerves
  • Prolonged periods of time incorrectly sitting at your desk (poor posture) can also cause lower back pain
  • A herniated disc occurs when an intervertebral disc slides out of position, and spondylolisthesis is when a vertebra slides out of position

Bracing for low back pain relief

A conservative treatment option for low back pain is to wear a back brace. As well as improving postural control,2 the support these devices provide can help to alleviate symptoms associated with low back pain through mechanisms such as activation of the trunk muscles and stabilizing the spine.3,4 They can also help to reduce the use of medication for the condition.5

In patients with low-back pain, walking with abdominal bracing activates the trunk muscles more than walking without an abdominal brace, particularly at slower speeds.3 This means patients incapable of walking faster might possibly benefit from abdominal bracing during walking exercise.3

Patients suffering from low back pain may find that the process of sitting down or standing up can be painful. A study by Im et al. (2021) found that wearing an extensible or a non-extensible lumbar brace has beneficial effects on the biomechanical factors of the sit-to-stand movement in office workers with low back pain.6 It also resulted in immediate reduction of pain intensity and pain-related anxiety.6

Do lumbar braces cause muscle weakness?

One concern about using bracing for low back pain is that it can weaken the trunk muscles. This comes from the assumption that the brace partly replaces the stabilizing function of the trunk muscles.

However, a number of contemporary studies show that back braces do not cause weakness in trunk muscles.7 There is no evidence to the contrary.7

Get low back pain relief with Lumbostrap 35 and Dorsostrap 55 back supports from DonJoy

Lumbostrap 35 and Dorsostrap 55 are two new back supports from DonJoy. These semi-rigid unisex corsets are designed for support and stabilization of the spine and relief of low back pain.

With a height of 35 cm, Lumbostrap 35 provides support and stability for the lumbar spine from S1-T10. At 55 cm high, Dorsostrap 55 covers the dorsal-lumbar spine from S1-T4.

Lumbostrap 35 is anatomically contoured to help provide a comfortable fit and improved patient compliance. Application is made easy through the use of a front closure with a hand loop.

The support’s double bilateral elastic straps are configured in a pulley system, providing independent superior and inferior adjustment of compression level. Conveniently placed within reach, they are easily affixed using hook-and-loop closures.

DonJoy Lumbostrap 35 and Dorsostrap 55
DonJoy Lumbostrap 35 (Left) and Dorsostrap 55 (Right)

And four semi-rigid pre-shaped dorsal stays help provide adjustable back support. Two of the stays can be removed and replaced with a more rigid pair for additional stability, and all of them can be reshaped by hand to achieve optimal comfort and fit.

Dorsostrap 55 includes all of the above features, as well as a pair of reverse shoulder straps. Using a traction pulley system, these straps provide adjustable tension to pull the shoulders back and straighten the back, thereby helping to improve kyphotic posture.

Both supports are lightweight, low profile, and breathable, allowing them to be worn comfortably for extended periods, and to fit more easily under clothing. To aid hygiene, they are made from odor-resistant materials which do not include natural rubber latex and are easy to clean.

Intended use and indications

DonJoy Lumbostrap 35 is designed for support and stabilization of the lumbar spine from S1-T10 and relief of low back pain.

  • Results of vertebral collapse (most common indication), that requires a very long usage (up to 12 months)
  • Outcomes of vertebral fractures of the lower dorso-lumbar tract
  • Post-operation period
  • Lumbalgia
  • Sciatic lumbalgia and lumbar cruralgia
  • Spondylarthrosis and lumbar discopathies
  • Slight traumas to the lumbosacral column and paravertebral lumbar contractures
  • Treatment of fracture of transverse processes
  • Degenerative lumbar scoliosis
  • Spondylosis with or without vertebral listhesis

DonJoy Dorsostrap 55 is designed for support and stabilization of the dorsal-lumbar spine from S1-T4 and relief of low back pain.

  • Outcomes of vertebral fractures of the dorso-lumbar tract
  • Dorsal vertebral collapses on an osteoporotic or metastatic basis (most common indication), that requires a very long usage (up to 12 months)
  • Post-operation period
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteomalacia
  • Dorsal kyphosis
  • Osteolysis
  • Kyphosis with chronic back pain
  • Muscular insufficiency

To learn more about these products and others, visit enovis-medtech.eu

References

  1. Hoy, D., Bain, C., Williams, G., et al. (2012). A systematic review of the global prevalence of low back pain. Arthritis Rheum., 64(6): 2028-2037.
  2. Mi, J., Ye, J., Zhao, X., Zhao, J. (2018). Effects of lumbosacral orthoses on postural control in individuals with or without non-specific low back pain. Eur Spine J., 27(1): 180-186.
  3. Soo Choi, J., Kim, H., Lim, J., Seok Ryu, J. (2022). The facilitation of trunk muscles by abdominal bracing during walking in chronic low back pain patients. J Biomech, 143: 111299.
  4. Ludvig, D., Preuss, R., Larivière, C. (2019). The effect of extensible and non-extensible lumbar belts on trunk muscle activity and lumbar stiffness in subjects with and without low-back pain. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon), 67: 45-51.
  5. Calmels, P., Queneau, P., Hamonet, C., et al. (2009). Effectiveness of a lumbar belt in subacute low back pain: an open, multicentric, and randomized clinical study. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 34(3): 215-220.
  6. Im, S.C., Cho, H.Y., Lee, J.H., Kim, K. (2021). Analysis of the Effect of Wearing Extensible and Non-Extensible Lumbar Belts on Biomechanical Factors of the Sit-to-Stand Movement and Pain-Related Psychological Factors Affecting Office Workers with Low Back Pain. Healthcare (Basel), 9(11) :1601. Published 2021 Nov 22.
  7. Anders, C., Hübner, A. (2019). Influence of elastic lumbar support belts on trunk muscle function in patients with non-specific acute lumbar back pain. PLoS One, 14(1): e0211042. Published 2019 Jan 24.

Does a back brace help with kyphosis?

In some people, kyphosis can be a debilitating spine condition that left untreated can have a severe impact on people’s lives. For older people in particular, if severe, the consequences can be life-threatening. However, evidence suggests that wearing a back brace can help address the symptoms of kyphosis.

What is kyphosis?

Kyphosis is defined as excessive curvature of the spine in the sagittal (front to back) plane. Normally there is 20° to 45° of curvature in the upper back, but anything in excess of 45° is called kyphosis (Website Source).

The condition gives the top of the back a more rounded appearance. The back may be painful, flexibility of the spine is reduced, and tiredness may also be experienced (Website Source).

What causes kyphosis?

In addition to spinal injuries, there are a number of different ways in which the upper back can become overly curved (Website Source):

  • Postural kyphosis—bad posture from slouching or carrying heavy bags can affect the muscles and ligaments supporting the spine and increase spinal curvature
  • Scheuermann’s kyphosis—vertebrae that do not develop properly can become abnormally shaped and out of position
  • Congenital kyphosis—when a child’s spine does not develop correctly in the womb, the vertebrae can become fused together
  • Age-related kyphosis—as people grow older, the spine can become increasingly curved
Kyphosis
Typical and kyphotic spines. Image credit: The Mayo Foundation.

Why is kyphosis a problem for older people?

Among the elderly population, the most commonly reported symptoms are weak back extensor muscle strength, loss of spinal mobility, and pain, along with the general degenerative components such as disc dehydration and changes in vertebral shape/wedging1.

For older people, kyphosis can have significant impact on function, quality of life, and mortality. Because it has a negative effect on gait and balance, older kyphosis sufferers are at increased risk of falls and fractures. Furthermore, severe kyphosis reduces the amount of space in the chest, mobility of the rib cage, and expansion of the lungs, which may lead to breathing problems, particularly in women2.

Older women with kyphosis are 70% more likely to suffer a fracture, regardless of age or prior fracture, and this risk increases as the condition progresses3.

How is kyphosis treated?

According to the NHS, it is usually only severe cases of kyphosis that require surgical treatment (Website Source). The condition can usually be improved by correcting posture through exercise and physiotherapy, while over-the-counter analgesics can be used to manage pain.

For children with mild to moderate kyphosis, bracing is recommended to minimize the progression of the curve whilst the spine is still growing (Website Source). In adolescents, bracing using an orthosis has been seen to reduce kyphosis ranging from 55 to 80°1.

In patients over the age of 60, bracing improves the balance score, and reduces spinal deformity and pain. If there is lumbar spine involvement, bracing and exercises should be prescribed for patients with kyphosis. Bracing becomes more of an attractive option for elderly patients when considering that the high risk of surgery for this age group means that surgical intervention is less likely to be recommended1.

What is a TLSO brace?

A thoracolumbosacral orthosis (TLSO) is a brace worn over the whole or part of the thoracic, lumbar, and sacral portions of the spinal column. TLSOs are prescribed to control motion, correct deformity, and/or compensate for weakness3.

Get customizable back support for kyphosis with IsoFORM™ TLSO

The IsoFORM™ TLSO back brace from DonJoy® is designed to provide motion restriction, creating a dynamic environment for healing within the thoracolumbar and lumbar spine.

It is intended for acute pain relief by thoracic postural extension alignment, compression fractures of the thoracic spine, osteoporosis, thoracic mechanical back pain, and kyphosis.

IsoFORM TLSO’s customizable lumbar belt encompasses the torso and restricts flexion and rotation, thereby providing stability for the trunk. Along with the posterior extending straps, this promotes postural correction for the upper spine, helping to relieve the symptoms of kyphosis.

The brace’s many customizable features allow it to be modified to suit the patient and achieve the optimum performance. The malleable telescoping sternal bar can be shaped for a custom fit, while the straps can be positioned in over-the-shoulder or underarm configurations to aid comfort.

Targeted compression and support are provided by a dual pulley system and an overlapping panel system consisting of anterior, posterior, and lateral extension panels.

Comfortable to wear and easy to don and doff, IsoFORM TLSO is available in two sizes (Small/medium and large/extra-large), and fits hips from 71 to 152 cm in circumference.

Supplemental aid is available in the form of a reusable hot/cold pack accessory sold separately for use with the brace. Simply warm up or freeze the pack before placing it into the brace’s purpose-built pocket to deliver heat or cooling therapy. It can be used for common aches, pains, swelling, and bruising, and provides fast relief for sore and stiff joints, muscle aches and pain, and muscle tension and cramps.

As well as kyphosis, IsoFORM TLSO is suitable for people with compression fractures of the thoracic spine, osteoporosis, and thoracic mechanical back pain.

You can learn more about IsoFORM TLSO by downloading our brochure

Or by visiting enovis-medtech.eu

References

  1. Bettany-Saltikov, J., Turnbull, D., Ng, S.Y., Webb, R. (2017). Management of Spinal Deformities and Evidence of Treatment Effectiveness. Open Orthop J. Dec 29(11), 1521-1547.
  2. Lorbergs, A. L., O’Connor, G. T., Zhou, Y., Travison, T. G., Kiel, D. P., Cupples, L. A., Rosen, H., & Samelson, E. J. (2017). Severity of Kyphosis and Decline in Lung Function: The Framingham Study. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences, 72(5), 689–694.
  3. Huang, M. H., Barrett-Connor, E., Greendale, G. A., & Kado, D. M. (2006). Hyperkyphotic posture and risk of future osteoporotic fractures: the Rancho Bernardo study. Journal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, 21(3), 419–423.

Website

Kyphosis – Treatment – NHS (www.nhs.uk) accessed 07 May 2021

The experts striving to improve anterior knee pain treatment

One in three patients of sports medicine clinics seek treatment for anterior knee pain1,2. The pain caused by this condition can prevent exercise or participation in sports, and can even lead to chronic disability and inability to work.

But a group of world experts is on a mission to improve the understanding and treatment of anterior knee pain. Along with knee brace manufacturers like DonJoy, their goal is to get people moving again.

What is anterior knee pain?

Anterior knee pain is another name for Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), a term used to refer to pain originating from the patellofemoral joint or its surrounding soft tissues. Due to the pain being felt in all parts of the knee, anterior knee pain is actually a misleading name, though its use remains popular.

This chronic condition usually worsens with activities such as running, squatting, and climbing stairs, as well as sitting. 

What is The Patellofemoral Foundation?

Founded in 2003 by Dr John Fulkerson, The Patellofemoral Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the care of individuals with anterior knee problems through targeted education and research.

The author of many articles and books on patellofemoral pain, Dr Fulkerson is Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Yale University. As well as sitting on the boards of a range of orthopedic associations, he has also been team doctor for the U.S. Olympic Ice Hockey team, the NHL Hartford Whalers, and the AHL Hartford Wolfpack.

Over the past two decades, The Patellofemoral Foundation has made progress in the understanding of anterior knee pain. Anatomic and clinical studies funded by it or carried out by its members have revealed previously unrecognized sources of pain leading to specific pain treatments around the front of the knee3.

During this time, technological advancements in radiology such as computerized tomography and MRI have also allowed greater understanding of the mechanical behavior of the patella.

The Patellofemoral Foundation

Yet despite this progress, much remains to be done to improve things for patients suffering from anterior knee pain. Among the objectives the foundation still seeks to achieve are to refine the indications for anterior knee pain management and surgery, improve bracing and non-operative measures, standardize operative approaches, and develop an educational network that reaches deep into the sports medicine and orthopedic communities.

One of the companies supporting the foundation in its efforts is Enovis. With its DonJoy brand offering a full range of patellofemoral knee braces, the orthopedics manufacturer has an important role to play in the conservative management of patients with anterior knee pain.

Tru-Pull® and the role of bracing in anterior knee pain treatment

A conservative aspect of anterior knee pain treatment is knee bracing. Wearing a patellofemoral knee brace can increase stability of the patella to reduce anterior knee pain4.

Developed in partnership with Dr Fulkerson, DonJoy’s Tru-Pull Advanced® knee brace is designed to place a dynamic pull on the patella during knee extension to improve alignment and reduce anterior pain.

Available in sleeve or hinged versions, the Tru-Pull Advanced provides support for patients with patellofemoral malalignment, subluxation, and dislocations.

Also available is the Tru-Pull Lite™, a shorter, more slimline version for enhanced comfort and ease of use. It is recommended for acute mild to moderate anterior knee pain, support for patella instability, lateral subluxation, and maltracking.

Tru-Pull Lite knee brace

DonJoy PateLax™ – flexible support for anterior knee pain

DonJoy PateLax™ is a new knitted elastic support that protects and supports the patella and is used to address overuse injuries such as anterior knee pain.

The brace offers targeted compression and a comfortable fit with its soft, breathable, elastic materials in a 3D-knit design.

DonJoy PateLax offers the following features:

  • Its anatomically contoured knee pad provides a massaging effect and helps improve proprioception by aiding stability and guidance of the patella
  • The patellar tendon pad with strap helps relieve tension at the tip of the patella and the tibial tuberosity (the bump on the top of the tibia where the patellar tendon connects)
  • Medial and lateral support of the knee are provided by a pair of flexible bilateral stays
  • Compression-reduced edges help provide a comfortable fit by diverting pressure at the ends of the support
  • Breathability, comfort, and freedom of movement are aided by stretch zones over the patella and the back of the knee
  • Non-slip silicone-coated bands help keep the brace in place

Stylish, modern, and easy to wash, DonJoy PateLax is a comfortable and convenient way for people to address anterior knee pain.

References

  1. Chesworth, B. M., Culham, E., Tata, G. E., & Peat, M. (1989). Validation of outcome measures in patients with patellofemoral syndrome. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy, 10(8), 302–308.
  2. Boling, M., Padua, D., Marshall, S., Guskiewicz, K., Pyne, S., & Beutler, A. (2010). Gender differences in the incidence and prevalence of patellofemoral pain syndrome. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 20(5), 725–730.
  3. Fulkerson J. P. (2002). Diagnosis and treatment of patients with patellofemoral pain. The American journal of sports medicine, 30(3), 447–456.
  4. Selfe, J., Thewlis, D., Hill, S., Whitaker, J., Sutton, C., & Richards, J. (2011). A clinical study of the biomechanics of step descent using different treatment modalities for patellofemoral pain. Gait & posture, 34(1), 92–96.

How wearing a soft brace can help jumper’s knee pain

One of the risks of regular participation in sports and physical activity is the potential for incurring overuse injuries such as jumper’s knee or Osgood-Schlatter disease. Painful conditions like these can be a barrier to further participation, but evidence shows that wearing a soft brace can help prevent or reduce knee pain,1,2 and a new elastic knee support from DonJoy could offer just the solution.

What is jumper’s knee?

The tendon which connects the kneecap (patella) to the shin bone (tibia) is called the patellar tendon. Inflammation of this tendon is called patellar tendonitis – more commonly known as “jumper’s knee.”

Jumper’s knee is an overuse injury often sustained from sporting activities involving repeated jumping on hard surfaces. The repetitive stress placed on the patella tendon from jumping and landing puts strain on the tendon which can leave it inflamed.

As well as causing swelling, jumper’s knee also causes pain below the patella, which can be felt more acutely when jumping, running, walking, or when bending and straightening the leg.

What is Osgood-Schlatter disease?

Another potential source of knee pain is Osgood-Schlatter disease. This condition causes painful swelling where the patella tendon connects to the top of the tibia. The most common sufferers of Osgood-Schlatter disease are young athletes – particularly boys aged 10-15 – who take part in sports or activities involving lots of running and/or jumping.

While they are still growing, the ends of children’s bones have not yet hardened, making them more susceptible to stress. Activities that put stress on the knee, such as running, bending, or squatting, can irritate these areas of cartilage and lead to painful swelling.

How to help jumper’s knee pain or Osgood-Schlatter disease

There are a number of ways to help prevent or reduce jumper’s knee pain or Osgood-Schlatter disease:

  • Follow the RICE protocol. REST the knee where possible. Apply an ICE pack to the knee for up to 30 minutes. Wear an elastic support on the knee for COMPRESSION. And use a pillow for ELEVATION to raise the foot and reduce swelling
  • Anti-inflammatories can help with the pain and swelling
  • Wear a soft brace. The support that soft braces provide can help to prevent jumpers’s knee, or aid recovery

Try DonJoy PateLax™ – flexible support for the patella

DonJoy PateLax™ is a new knitted elastic support designed to protect and support the patella, as well as provide relief at the patellar tendon insertion. It can be used to address overuse injuries such as jumper’s knee and Osgood-Schlatter disease.

Made from soft, breathable, elastic materials in a 3D-knit design, the brace offers a comfortable way to support the knee with targeted compression.

DonJoy PateLax offers the wearer a range of beneficial features:

  • An anatomically contoured knee pad aids stability and guidance of the patella, provides a massaging effect, and helps improve proprioception
  • A patellar tendon pad with strap helps relieve tension at the tip of the patella and the tibial tuberosity (the bump on the top of the tibia where the patellar tendon connects)
  • A pair of flexible bilateral stays help provide medial and lateral support to the knee
  • Compression-reduced edges help divert pressure at the ends of the support to provide a comfortable fit
  • Stretch zones over the patella and the back of the knee aid breathability, comfort, and freedom of movement
  • Non-slip silicone-coated bands help provide extra secure hold under stress
DonJoy PateLax elastic knitted knee brace

DonJoy PateLax is indicated for the following uses:

  • Support and compression following injury to the patellar tendon
  • Proprioceptive and neuromuscular stimulation through compression
  • Overuse injuries such as Osgood-Schlatter disease
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome
  • Patellar tendinitis
  • Patellar maltracking

Easy to wash and with a stylish, modern design, DonJoy PateLax is a great option for people wanting to help prevent or protect their knees from painful overuse injuries.

References

  1. Sinclair JK, Selfe J, Taylor PJ, Shore HF, Richards JD. Influence of a knee brace intervention on perceived pain and patellofemoral loading in recreational athletes. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2016 Aug;37:7-12.
  2. Phillips R, Choo S, Nuelle CW. Bracing for the Patellofemoral Joint. J Knee Surg. 2022 Feb;35(3):232-241.

DonJoy® LadyStrap – back relief, precisely for women

When it comes to choosing a back support, one of the most important considerations is finding the best fit possible. Male and female spines are fundamentally different in shape; the female spine features a greater curvature, a caudally located lordotic peak, and greater cranial peak height.1

Many back supports are designed for unisex use, meaning they aren’t always made to accommodate the natural differences in shape between men and women.

DonJoy® LadyStrap is made specifically for the female body. Fitted at the waist, with a more pronounced lumbar curvature, it’s shaped to fit a woman’s natural curves. This means women can now get the same support and targeted pain relief they expect from a DonJoy back support, but with improved comfort. And with a host of adjustable features, DonJoy LadyStrap helps provide even more precise back support.

DonJoy LadyStrap’s features

The support’s height-adjustable back pad provides additional support and compression in the back area, and can be placed at different heights to help target low back pain.

A pair of bilateral straps enables the wearer to adjust the level of compression to suit their needs; increased for activity and reduced for periods of relaxation.

Its four semi-rigid dorsal stays are curved for optimal anatomical fit and improved comfort.

The ergonomic front closure with finger loop allows for fast and simple application and adjustment. And lace fabrics create a feminine look.

These features are in addition to those that come as standard with DonJoy back supports. A lightweight, low-profile design helps make extended periods of wear

comfortable, ideal during the acute phase. Optimal thermoregulation allows air circulation under the support for enhanced breathability. And soft and comfortable materials help prevent skin irritation.

Intended use and indications

DonJoy LadyStrap is designed to provide support and stabilization of the lumbar spine and relief of low back pain. It is indicated for:

  • Acute lower back pain
  • Back pain prevention, return to activities
  • Back sprain
  • Muscular weakness
  • Lumbar disc diseases (conservative treatment)

Available in two heights and five sizes, DonJoy LadyStrap fits waists from 56 to 136 cm.

References

  1. Hay, O., Dar, G., Abbas, J., Stein, D., May, H., Masharawi, Y., Peled, N., & Hershkovitz, I. (2015). The Lumbar Lordosis in Males and Females, Revisited. PloS one, 10(8), e0133685.