To Brace or Not to Brace

Four years of marching band in high school destroyed my knees.  20+ years of hauling around 300+ pounds hasn’t helped either.  One doctor told me knee surgery was a “when” and not an “if”.  I have no cartilage left in my left knee.

When I started my walking/running I knew the exercise and weight loss would help strengthen my knees and put less weight on them, but I was worried about suffering an injury so I bought a knee brace.  I got one of the elastic wrap around braces with the metal springs in the side.  The top strap is almost not big enough to go around my thigh and I have to crank it on pretty tight.  I noticed something odd though after running with the brace on my left knee.. after my run it was my RIGHT knee that was sore.  I was confused, but I think the brace caused me to limp or over-compensate and put pressure on my right knee.  Now I’ve done my last couple of runs with no brace, and now I have no pain in either knee.  So was the brace actually screwing me up? If I’m going to wear the brace then do I need to wear one on both knees? All or nothing?

Thoughts? Opinions?


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  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.