Have you discussed with your GP, surgeon or physiotherapist if you are eligible for an Unloader One knee brace through the NHS?
If you are not eligible through the NHS for an Unloader One, already been diagnosed or would like to be seen as soon as possible through our private network, follow the steps below.
What steps should I follow to get an Unloader brace?
1. Visit your doctor to get a diagnosis/prescription
First, you will need to visit your doctor for a confirmed diagnosis of osteoarthritis (OA). Consider printing or emailing a copy of the GP downloadable, so that your doctor can check if this treatment is right for your needs.
2. Find a Clinic
Once you have decided an Unloader brace is a solution for you, the next steps are to CONTACT our customer care team on 03450 065 065 who will be able to advise you and FIND your nearest clinic. Our team will be able to book a fitting appointment for you at your chosen clinic or you can start the process now.
3. Costings and Payment Options
The Unloader One is a fixed price with a 30-day money back guarantee no matter where you are in the UK. Whether you choose to go through a fitting clinic or our customer care team you will be made aware of costs and your payment options, prior to any appointments. The Unloader One is covered by some private healthcare companies including AXA Healthcare.
4. Get Fitted Properly
The Unloader One is a bio-mechanical solution for a bio-mechanical problem, meaning the brace will unload the joint and reduce your pain. Therefore, a good fit is essential for effectiveness and comfort. The practitioner will ensure that a) the brace is fitted correctly, and b) you know how to use it to best effect before you leave.
*Note: bring a pair of shorts to the fitting so that the practitioner can fit the brace.
Ask questions, find solutions, and get on with life’s big adventure! This section takes you through a few of the more frequently-asked questions about the Unloader One from people experiencing osteoarthritis and the pain that accompanies this condition.
Braces: Why and how to use
An Unloader brace that has been correctly fit by a practitioner is easy to maintain, and when used properly can alleviate pain caused by knee and hip osteoarthritis (OA).
How many hours per day should I wear my Unloader brace initially?
It is recommended that you build up the time spent wearing the brace gradually during the first three weeks. In the first week, two hours per day is the recommended length of time. In the second week, you can start to wear your brace for up to four hours per day. By the third week, you can wear your brace for six to eight hours per day, or as needed.
Your practitioner can explain more when fitting the Unloader, and you will receive a patient guide to take home with you.
If you've been fitted with an Unloader One knee brace, please refer to the online patient guide for additional information.
Going forward, how long should I use my Unloader brace for?
This will depend on many factors. Some individuals wear their brace to remain active and delay the need for surgery as long as possible, while others wear it to become healthier surgical candidates. Talk to your doctor about your aspirations and goals for the use of your Unloader brace.
How do Unloader braces work?
Unloader braces unload the affected, painful side of the knee using a 3-Point Leverage System and are proven to reduce pain and improve function. Some patients also report a reduction in pain medication. The Unloader Hip brace is a unique approach to hip OA and proven to improve activities of daily living. Unloading can help to relieve the pain, allowing you to walk normally and more frequently.
Do the Unloader braces come in different colours?
Unloader One is available in the default gray colour. Unloader Hip brace is available in default black colour.
Unloader One Custom and Unloader Custom braces are available in 12 standard colours (see below) or a choice of various designs.
Unloader custom colours
The standard version of Rebound DUAL brace (sizes XS-3XL) comes in a default black frame with metallic silver liner. Rebound DUAL Custom is available with a choice of five frame colours and five liner colours.
Rebound DUAL custom colorus
There may be an additional fee for custom colours. Talk to your practitioner first to check your insurance cover and potential costs. Custom designs sometimes necessitate additional manufacturing time.
Can I work out in an Unloader brace?
Yes, the goal of an Unloader brace is to keep you active and help you return to the activities you enjoy. It is recommended that you wear your Unloader brace during periods of activity, whether it be sport, work or everyday activities.
Will an Unloader brace fit under my clothing?
Yes, all Unloader braces are carefully designed to sit comfortably against the skin and underneath clothing. By wearing it on the skin (i.e. not over your clothes), it stays in place and therefore works effectively.
Where do I get professionally fit, ensuring optimum fit and performance?
Talk to your doctor or find a clinic using our online search tool.
How do I get replacement accessories for an Unloader brace?
You can go through the practitioner that originally fit you for the brace to receive replacement parts for your product. You can also get in touch with a member of our customer care team to help identify what replacement parts are needed and order the accessories you need.
Treatment: Non-surgical options
Although no cure currently exists for osteoarthritis (OA) several non-surgical treatment options are available to help alleviate the pain and allow you to get on with your life.
Is bracing an option for osteoarthritis?
There are certain braces available that apply corrective forces to the affected joint where the arthritis is at its worst. In the past, these tended to be bulky devices, that were uncomfortable to wear. But now there are lightweight, easy-to-use braces that fit discreetly under clothing and are clinically proven to reduce osteoarthritis pain. Unloader One is specifically designed for knee OA and clinically proven to help with the pain.
Unloader Hip is now also available for individuals who have been diagnosed with hip osteoarthritis. Unloader Hip braces works similarly to the Unloader knee braces, by applying corrective forces on the affected area of the hip joint and improves quality of life.
Bracing can also be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment, such as exercise and weight loss programs, injections and physiotherapy, for better outcomes.
Can physio or occupational therapy help?
If your doctor thinks that massages and/or exercises may help soothe your osteoarthritis, they may refer you to a physiotherapist, who will work with you on an exercise program tailored to your needs. If you would benefit from things like a higher chair or adjustable toilet seat, to avoid bending your knees or at your waist significantly, or to give you a better angle to stand up, you may find it useful to talk to an occupational therapist, who will know all about special devices to make home and work life easier and less painful.
What about medication and injections?
Medication is used primarily to control the symptoms of knee and hip OA, especially the pain. There are a number of prescription drugs and common over-the-counter-medicines that can help. These include aspirin-free pain relievers (paracetamol), anti-inflammatory drugs and creams (Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Diclofenac), corticosteroids (steroids may help control inflammation) and sleeping pills.
Pain can gradually get worse as the OA progresses, so sometimes stronger drugs are prescribed. However, the long-term nature of OA means that taking stronger medication over a long period of time may lead to unwanted side-effects, something that needs consideration. Injections of hyaluronic acid (found naturally in healthy joints) can also be used to provide temporary relief, while anaesthetics with an anti-inflammatory ingredient (commonly cortisone) may help to relieve the pain by numbing the knee or hip. These kinds of injections are well-established treatments, but the results can vary from patient to patient.
Should I exercise and manage my weight?
If you can lose any surplus body weight, you will help to ease the pain because the stress on your joints, as well as inflammation, can be reduced. Regular exercise can help. It can also improve your strength and joint flexibility, which will help to increase movement and potentially reduce the pain. It's important to include joint and muscle exercises, but AVOID high-impact activities that increase the load on your joints as much as possible - climbing lots of stairs for example. Avoid activities that involve twisting or rapid stop/start movements. Try not to kneel down too much, or lift heavy objects. Don't sit down too often on low chairs or sofas. And if you do have to do any of these things, remember to take a break and give your joints a rest.