In December 2017 researchers from The Netherlands and the UK assessed the effect of a soft knee brace on pain, level of activity, knee instability, and self-reported knee confidence in 44 individuals with knee osteoarthritis. The individuals were assessed without a brace, and then with a non-tight and tight soft knee brace and the results compared. Results showed that a soft knee brace significantly reduced pain during walking, reduced the time to complete a 10m walk and “get-up-and-go” tests, and reduced knee instability, which in turn improved their confidence in the knees during walking. No difference was seen between a non-tight and tight knee brace, except during the 10m walk when wearing a tight brace significantly reduced the time to complete the walk.
Cudejko T et al. The immediate effect of a soft knee brace on pain, activity limitations, self-reported knee instability, and self-reported knee confidence in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Arthritis Res Ther. 2017 Dec 1;19(1):260