- Exploring the art galleries in the River Arts District and throughout downtown
- Shopping at the Asheville mall and premiere Asheville Outlets
- Walking or biking on one of the many greenways, such as the French Broad Greenway
- Seeing the restaurants, shops, and sights throughout downtown
- Hiking or biking on thousands of miles of trails
- Camping or backpacking in the many state and national forests surrounding the Asheville area
- Picking apples and strawberries at area U-Pick farms
In this time of social distancing, it is important to follow guidelines from local authorities; however, there is still plenty of ways to get outdoors without making contact with others. If you are currently using a knee brace or other lower extremity orthotic device, exercise and movement are vital for your recovery and mental health. In this article, we want to help you work through how much activity you can do with your brace and what you need to know regarding getting out and about in Asheville with your brace.
1) Do Not Overdo It
Whether you are wearing a brace to recover from an injury, overuse, or another reason, it is important to stay active for your overall health. Nagging pain and the potential frustration of not being able to move as well and freely as you once did may be discouraging. Outdoor activity may be the last thing you want to do, but it may also be the best thing for your recovery.
For some, the tendency may be to see your brace as a means by which to carry on with your normal amount of intense exercise and physical activity. You may need to prepare to reduce the amount of activity in which you typically participate to avoid overdoing it. The best thing you can do is talk to your physical and physical therapists about how much activity you can do and when to stop. Some questions to ask:
- What are some exercises I should do?
- What is the duration of activity I should perform?
- Are there stretches that will help relieve pain?
- Should I use inflammation-reducing medication?
- What are some creative solutions?
2) What You Can Expect with a Brace
Your orthotic device is meant to help you recover from injury, usually by stabilizing your foot, hip, ankle, or knee. The goal is to give the overused or injured joint and muscle time to heal while allowing you to retain a version of your mobility. However, it is possible you will not be as mobile as you are normally, so you will need to prepare yourself for a reduction in activities.
- High Impact Sports: Tennis, basketball, and other high impact sports are probably a no-go while recovering from your injury and wearing a brace.
- Walking: It is easy to control the impact walking has on your injury. You may need to walk on softer surfaces like grass, dirt, or a rubber track.
- Water: When the weather warms up, or when indoor pools reopen, exercising in water is a great way to get moving with low impact on your joints.
- Running and Jogging: Depending on the nature of your injury, you may need to take a break from running or jogging.
- Hiking and biking: Before you hit the more difficult trails on foot or your mountain bike, check with your physician or physical therapist.
You may be able to continue some activities with little interruption, while other forms of exercise may need to tack a backseat to your recovery. Your medical team will be your best resource for determining what you should and should not do. The good news is that you can most likely enjoy the weather and season outside, even with your brace. For the highest quality orthotic devices, Orthopedic Appliance Company has been serving the residents of western North Carolina for sixty years. Contact us, we are here to help make sure you have the best brace for the quickest recovery.