Orthopedic braces are a fantastic way to manage chronic muscle pain, but they require proper care to last. Neglecting to clean or care for your brace can wear it down more, and the cost of frequently replacing orthopedic equipment adds up. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your brace, and help it last as long as possible:
Washing Your Brace
When wearing a brace that goes directly on the skin, it is bound to get dirty from sweat. Hand braces, too, are bound to get dirty from everyday life as well. Cleaning your brace will not only extend its life, but make it more comfortable to wear everyday as well. The first thing to keep in mind when cleaning your brace is to never put it in the washing machine.
Instead, it is best to follow the washing instructions that come with your brace. If there aren’t any washing instructions, your brace will be fine with gentle dish soap or laundry detergent, and some cold water. Using a washcloth, wipe down the brace with the soapy water to clean it. Make sure to clean any detachable parts separately, and rinse each piece thoroughly with a soap-free cloth as well. Any metal parts need to be cleaned and then dried immediately.
Drying Your Brace
Just like washing, do not put your brace in the drier. Since it is recommended to remove the brace so your skin can breathe, let the brace air dry when it’s out of use. You can also use a blow dryer on a low setting to help speed up the process. Any detachable parts should be dried separately as well to prevent mold and bacteria from growing.
Other Care Tips
Other tips to help make your brace include:
- Wash or rinse your brace if it gets touched by saltwater to prevent rusting.
- If your brace has hinges, lubricate them if they start to squeak.
- Avoid wearing your brace for extended periods if it is extremely hot or cold. This could damage your skin.
- Braces are meant to fit snugly around the skin, but not cause any pain or blistering. Always make sure you can fit a finger in between the brace and your skin.
- Make sure you run routine inspections of your brace for signs of wear and tear. It is recommended to do so around once a week.
Regardless of how well you may care for your brace, it will eventually wear down. For affordable replacement orthopedic braces and equipment, visit Medical Supply Depot.