November 20, 2019
Neoprene supports are one of the most popular orthopaedic braces available online, but with the plethora of brands and types it’s common to read exaggerated promises and/or misleading claims. Here is a quick guide to help buyers understand how neoprene functions in general and if this type of support is suitable for specific medical needs:
- Neoprene Properties
- Suitable Medical Conditions
- Extra Features
As a synthetic rubber, neoprene is an inert material that is unlikely to cause dermatological allergies. Always check that the product is 100% latex-free and conforms to ISO 14385 & ISO 9001 standards.
The high insulating properties of neoprene foam make it ideal for increasing blood circulation, which helps with managing chronic inflammation, promoting increased muscle oxygenation during exercise, or accelerating the natural healing process of injury recovery.
As a composite bonded to fabrics that have a high modulus of elasticity, e.g. elastane, neoprene supports can stretch comfortably in 4 directions around virtually any body contour.
Often referred by the trademark Airprene® or Orthoprene®, microperforated open-cel structures draw away perspiration. This enables a support to be worn for up to 3 hours and reduces potential skin irritation.
TIP: Neoprene supports can be worn all day IF you remove them periodically to allow the skin to ‘breathe’ for 30 minutes.
Suitable Medical Conditions
Protection Against Reinjury
External muscle stabilisation
Guided tracking (pad/stabilisers)
Post-cast muscle atrophy recovery
Joint instability (stabilisers)
Basic neoprene supports are pull-on sleeves that come in a specific size with a fixed degree of support. Universal size wrap-around designs offer a more customised fit, variable compression, and should feature high-grip fasteners to maintain proper alignment during movement.
Simple foam padding around the joint helps with tracking or sensitive cartilage. Advanced ergonomic silicone-gel inserts provide premium comfort and vibration dampening.
Complete hemming costs more initially, but long term it ensures durability and the material won’t easily tear or split.
Neoprene supports are not suitable for overnight wear, infected skin/unhealed lacerations, or with skin ointments/creams. If unsure, always consult your doctor/physician.