Why wear an ankle brace? There are several benefits that come with wearing ankle braces, particularly following injury to the ankle, or while playing certain sports. Ankle injuries are the most common sports-related injuries, with many athletes injuring their ankles every year. Many ankle related injuries are a result of over extension of the ankle, movements outside of the ankle’s natural range, which injure the ligaments, while others are a result of sustained stress to the ankle. Ankle braces are a valuable tool, related to these causes, that can help prevent painful injury and long rehabilitation processes.
While some athletes simply “tape” their ankles before games or after injury, using sports tape, an ankle brace can be more beneficial. Ankle braces are specially designed for the ankle, unlike tape; they are also available in materials that are less harsh on your skin, transpire, and are washable and reusable, versus constantly buying and throwing away tape.
Often after an ankle injury, ligaments don’t heal properly, leaving an unstable ankle, prone to “giving out” during sports. This instability leads to an increased risk of re-injuring the ankle. While the ankle can be strengthened over time, those who are walking on uneven terrain or who have been cleared for sports, may want to consider an ankle brace. The ankle brace, worn during exercise, helps accelerate the healing of the ankle. Another benefit of an ankle brace is that it helps decrease the risk of re-injury, by both supporting the ankle and holding it in its neutral position. A benefit of an ankle brace is that it can prevent unwanted movements and over extension of the ankle, or the ankle “giving out”, while allowing the natural movements of the ankle, which help strengthen it. By prevening unnatural movements, your ankle brace helps you play the sports you love after an injury.
Ankle braces also benefit those who haven’t been injured. When it comes to prevention, you will see the benefits of an ankle brace more in sports with a lot of ankle movements or risk of ankle injury. Sports such as tennis, basketball, volleyball, soccer, football, and rugby are all examples of sports with a high rate of ankle injuries, where ankle braces as prevention can be beneficial. By restricting the motion of the ankle many injuries can be prevented. They also work to increase the stability of the ankle, again helping to prevent injuring it. It is not a coincidence that a lot of elite sports people and athletes around the world are now wearing ankle braces, and physicians and physiotherapists recommend them all the time.
For those who have suffered a lot with joint problems, you may even decide that an ankle brace is helpful every day, and not purely for sports activities.
Other benefits of ankle braces include the diversity available. Far from being sold in one standard model for all types of injuries, ankle braces come in a variety of levels of support, sizes, and functions. They also come in many different materials, so for those who are allergic to say, neoprene, there are other options available. Ankle braces are small, easy to transport and keep in your sports bag, and are washable.