In athletes, sportspeople or people with pre-osteoporosis, one of the areas most prone to injury is the ankle joint. In fact one of the most common injuries among athletes is the ankle twist or sprain, resulting in making them sit out their own games or making their lives inactive, not to mention extremely stressful. In order to reduce the risks of such injuries the method of prophylactic ankle wrapping was introduced more than 60 years ago. The concept of ankle bracing has evolved from ankle taping. Nowadays ankle bracing is more popular among athletes than traditional taping and can be commonly found on the biggest sport and athletic arenas.
An ankle brace operates by keeping a sprained or broken ankle from moving in a way that would prevent the injury from healing or re-injure the joints or bones of the ankle. In other words it supports the ankle joint during its healing process. To avoid further damage to the ankle during a game or any other activity that may put a lot of stress on the ankle, it may be protected by wearing ankle brace. Not only this but ankle braces are also helpful in preventing edema and swelling by compressing the area around the Achilles tendon and joint.
Ankle braces are generally preferred over the outdated taping method that uses only an ordinary tape to support muscles and tendons of the ankle. Ankle brace is specially designed to aid the rehabilitation of an ankle injury or simply provide much needed support to weak or injury susceptible ankle. For instance, one of the various types of ankle braces that are available is the ASO or Ankle Stabilizing Orthosis brace which is made from ballistic nylon. Its unique support system decreases pressure on the ankle joint and provides compression resulting in reduced swelling in just the right places. The adjustable nylon straps apply right amount of tension required by the ankle, rendering it more comfortable to wear. Moreover, ankle braces are being used instead of simple taping because they are self-applied, re adjustable and reusable. Financially, ankle braces are more cost-effective than taping in the long run. According to the estimates of the past, ankle taping is three or four times more expensive than ankle bracing over the course of a competitive session.
Another advantage of ankle braces is that they are available in market with different levels of support. Some companies even rate their braces with numbers, one that provides the mildest support is rated as no. 1 while no. 4 provides range-of-motion limitation for those who require maximum protection from re-injury. Other companies use words like mild, moderate or intense for rating levels of support of their ankle braces.
It is obvious that wrapping of the ankle, may it be bracing or taping, will continue to be a mainstay in the pre-practice or pre-competition routine, regardless of the fact that the effectiveness and technique of wrapping the ankle are not all in agreement. The benefits of ankle brace cannot be denied as it provides that much needed edge to any sports person by providing compression, support and comfort to the muscles, making them work more efficiently and effectively. These braces are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and with different features and levels of comforts. Selecting the right ankle brace that is apt to your ankle structure or type of injury is the key to experiencing all the benefits that ankle bracing has to offer.