Thirty years ago, ankle brace started to become more popular for sports, athletic events, and exercise. Designs improved at a rapid pace, and braces became less expensive. Athletes also discovered that braces were sometimes more effective and always more convenient than strapping up before training or competition.
Today, you can see braces used throughout the sports world. They are sometimes used as part of a treatment program. Braces can also be used as a preventative measure for high-risk sports and leisure activities.
If you’re wondering about the benefit of an ankle brace, and whether or not you should use one, this information from a Boynton Beach foot and ankle doctor will help.
Stability and Support – The Benefits of an Ankle Brace for Sports and Exercise
If you’ve visited a podiatrist in your area or in Boynton Beach and have been prescribed treatment that includes wearing an ankle brace, then it’s essential that you follow the doctor’s recommendation. However, if you’re one of a growing number of high-performance sportspeople and athletes, you probably have some questions about how a brace could potentially improve performance or limit risk.
The basic function of an ankle brace is to provide support. However, this support comes at the cost of mobility. If your ankle can’t adequately move within a normal range, your knee will try to take on some of the responsibility. This can put extra strain on the knee and potentially lead to injury.
As you can imagine, wearing an ankle brace inappropriately could lead to more harm than good.
To understand when you should wear an ankle brace, consider the following:
You Need Extra Support Following an Injury
This is one of the most common reasons for wearing an ankle brace during sports or exercise. If you have suffered a sprain, fracture, tendon rupture, or other injuries, your podiatrist may recommend that you wear an ankle brace as part of your rehabilitation. You may be able to engage in some limited training with the help of a brace.
Keep in mind that a brace isn’t a complete replacement for normal conditioning and strength. If you have been injured, you won’t be at peak performance, and a brace won’t change this. It will simply help to limit the pain and the aggravation of an existing injury.
Ankle sprains are caused when the ankle rolls inwards towards the sole of the foot. These are extremely painful and can seriously limit mobility. Swelling usually occurs, which can be treated with a compression stocking or brace. If you have suffered a sprain, Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus, foot and ankle specialist at our facility in Boynton Beach may recommend that you wear a brace during normal activity. If a sprain has healed but your ankle is not back to peak condition, then it may be recommended that you wear a brace to prevent new damage.
As a Preventative Measure for Multiple Sprains
Some athletes, particularly those that run, jump, and pivot a lot, are at increased risk of developing ankle injuries. Some people are plagued by ankle sprains, and it can feel like the ligaments never go back to their original condition. In this case, taping is often recommended to provide extra support without significantly limiting mobility. However, taping is expensive, time-consuming, and can become frustrating with regular competition or physical activity.
A brace is an effective alternative to stabilize the ankle and prevent it from rolling.
Should You Simply Purchase an Ankle Brace From a Sports Outlet?
An experienced personal trainer or professional coach may recommend an ankle brace depending on the type of activity you do and any previous injuries that you have suffered. Braces are widely available online and in local sports outlets, but there is some risk in simply buying something off the shelf.
As we have covered, a brace that is poorly fitted could limit ankle mobility to a degree where your knee will start to suffer unnecessary stress. It’s critical that you have a brace that is suited to your unique physiology and needs.
Don’t purchase an ankle brace if you suspect that you have an injury or an underlying condition. If you are experiencing frequent pain, a loss of mobility, or difficulty walking, only an experienced foot doctor will be able to diagnose the issue and make an informed medical recommendation. Looking for an experienced foot doctor in Boynton Beach? Click here.
Your ankle pain or lack of performance could be caused by:
- An old sprain that hasn’t properly healed.
- A new sprain that hasn’t been diagnosed.
- A stress fracture that has developed from repetitive pressure and overuse.
- Other medical conditions of the foot and ankle.
If you want to protect your health and your future performance, it’s critical that you seek advice from a podiatrist that is experienced in sports medicine.
Braces should be combined with proper training and technique, rehabilitation, and sometimes surgery depending on the condition that exists.
Booking Appointments With Podiatrists in Boynton Beach
If you are suffering pain, loss of mobility, or other issues of the foot and ankle that limit your performance, you can seek treatment at the Foot, Ankle & Leg Vein Center. Our experienced podiatrists will ensure that you get the diagnosis and care that you need, whether that’s with the help of an ankle brace or other forms of proven treatment.
Schedule your appointment today and enjoy the expert care that only a Boynton Beach foot and ankle doctor can provide.