Ankle bracing is commonly used in conjunction with many activities, leisurely or sport specific, with the goal of providing additional support following an injury or to prevent an ankle sprain from occurring or reoccurring.
How does an ankle brace help?
- An ankle brace serves as the external support to reduce certain motions, such as excessive inversion (a movement where the foot tips outward).
- It can improve joint proprioception, which is the awareness of where your ankle joint is in space/surroundings while moving, providing the feel of stability.
- Offers mild compression for swelling and edema that can create joint stiffness.
The ligaments of the ankle hold bone to bone while the muscle and tendons assist in joint motion and moderate stability. Together, they create the internal support to keep your ankle safe. However, sustaining an injury can disrupt these structures/supports and create instability which can lead to more frequent injuries.
Ankle bracing offers external support to limit certain unwanted motions, and reduce the chances of re-injury.
It is worthwhile to note after experiencing an ankle injury (even a minor one!) it is important to consider rehabilitation (physiotherapy, chiropractic care) as part of your treatment plan.
Balance, range of motion, strength and endurance are important factors for recovery. A brace can help ensure a safe return to activity and lessen the likelihood for re-injury.