Sportspersons are more prone to ankle injury than other people. This is why the ankle brace plays an important part in their lives.
An injury can be very frustrating for an active sportsperson, who will be confined to rest while recuperating from an injury.
This is also important because if not taken care the injury can worsen and cause permanent damage.
However, there are many ways that a sportsperson can remain active even while recovering from an injury. The most common injury for sportspersons is an ankle twist or sprain and it can be extremely painful.
Best Ankle Brace: Our Top Picks
1. Ankle Support Brace in Breathable Neoprene Sleeve
⭐ Best Overall
2. Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabilizer
⭐ Best for Sprain
3. Adjustable Ankle Brace Breathable Nylon Material Super Elastic and Comfortable
⭐ Best for Athletics
4. TechWare Pro Ankle Brace Compression Sleeve
⭐ Best for Sleeping
5. Adjustable Compression Ankle Braces for Sports Protection
⭐ Best for Ankle Protection
6. United Ortho Short Air Cam Walker Fracture Boot
⭐ Best Ankle Boot
7. TechWare Pro Ankle Brace Compression Sleeve
⭐ Best for Running
8. SB SOX Plantar Fasciitis Compression Socks for Women & Men
⭐ Best for Arch Support
9. Adjustable Nonslip Ankle Tendon Compression Brace
⭐ Best for Kids
10. Foot Orthosis Ankle Brace Support
⭐ Best Adjustable Drop Foot Brace
Recap: Ankle Brace
How do Ankle Braces Help?
Ankle braces reduce the amount of pain that a person can suffer from a sprain of the ankle. These braces are not just for athletes and often common people wear these braces to recover from an injury fast and to be able to move around even when they are recuperating.
However, when choosing these braces you should be careful to choose the Best Ankle Brace so that you don’t end up further injuring yourself with inferior quality braces.
Like with everything else, there are some pros and cons to using ankle braces and there are some features that you should look for while choosing these braces. Let us look at them.
What are Some of The General Features?
The features that you should look for while choosing ankle braces should be according to your specific need. There are a few different types of ankle braces and each one offers different support.
There are the simple elastic straps like ankle supports which are quite simple and then there are the more complex braces with straps for tightening which may be in the form of Velcro or laces.
If you use the latter type of braces then the ability to tighten the brace with the Velcro strap or laces will allow you to apply pressure which will provide compression, support, and comfort to the ankle.
The Best Ankle Brace is that which has an inflated component built into the brace and which provides additional support and comfort.
In order to get maximum support, you should opt for braces that cover the whole ankle and wrap around the heel.
What are the Benefits of ankle braces?
These braces provide the required support to your ankle when you are indulging in the sport of your choice.
They prevent injuries to the ankle from occurring or simply provide support to an ankle that is weak or susceptible to injuries. Ankle braces are better and more advanced than using tape to support the muscles and tendons of the ankle.
The best ankle brace will provide sufficient support and do it in a safer and better manner than outdated methods like tape. Compression and support on the ankle will help to get the best out of the muscles and tendons and they will work more efficiently and effectively.
This will give you the much-needed edge as a sportsperson in the game of your choice. Ankle braces are available in different shapes and sizes and have different features and types of support.
In order to choose the right ankle brace for the type of injury or requirement you have, you can consult a physician.
Types of braces
A rigid brace literally makes the joint immobilized which can make it the best ankle brace during the initial period during an injury but later on can become a problem. However, the drawback is that it may not be possible to get a rigid brace immediately.
All designs of rigid braces provide sufficient side support, but the negative part of a rigid brace is that it may disguise a more serious injury and keep you from getting proper medical attention.
Compression braces on the other hand also restrict the mobility of the ankle joint but less than the rigid brace. It stabilizes torn or overstretched ligaments and reduces the swelling in the joint.
You should keep the brace on as much as possible during the first 48 to 72 hours of the injury.
A lacing brace is not the easiest to apply, but it gives more support than an elastic strip yet it is unwieldy and may be available in different sizes.
It is available in many drugstores, but it is not likely to be handy in your home at the time of the injury and hence is not the best ankle brace.
Why Should I Wear Ankle Braces?
Ankle braces help stabilize your foot and ankle to prevent and heal an injury.
Ankle braces are useful when you injure your ankle or if you are about to participate or do participate in activities that require fast-paced weight changes the extra support offered by the use of braces can ensure your ankle stays protected and also heals quicker.
There are a variety of ankle braces that you can choose from and you should select one based on your level of injury, the amount of support desired, and your uses for it.
As always, consult a doctor or physician, or physical therapist before using one of these braces if possible.
An ankle brace should be seen as an assistive and protective device they can be made out of stretchy or stiff fabric that is plastic, nylon, or even sometimes has metal.
some ankle braces are pulled on while others are lace-up or use Velcro straps or must be wrapped in a figure 8 pattern similar to taping offering the least protection are the on braces as they do not feature reinforcement.
However, they do offer compression hoping to minimalize inflammation following an injury. They also provide muscle compression and will help prevent injuries.
What to do after an Injury?
if you experience an injury where a highly supportive ankle brace that has metal or plastic supports on the outside of the ankle.
This will support the injured ligaments and portion of the foot and in more rare situations you might need some for that is on the inside and the outside.
Depending on the severity of the injury you can wear the brace anywhere from five days to six weeks, although you can continue wearing the brace even after an injury.
You should continue to wear it as long as you experience swelling, pain, or instability in the ankle. You can wear them over your socks
Bracing serves as a less expensive option than regular taping. Wear the brace each time you participate in athletic activities to stabilize the ankle and provide support to prevent the ankle from rolling over.
The ankle brace should be tight enough to support your foot, but your skin should not spill over the brace or be so tight that you lose circulation or your skin turns color.
Ankle pain and swelling relief
When an ankle injury occurs, such as a sprain or strain, ankle pain, and swelling (edema) begin. Ankle pain and swelling in the injured area is caused by the accumulation of blood and fluids blocking circulation and blood flow.
Inflammation of the affected area begins due to being part of the natural healing process and this is what causes swelling to begin. The swelling starts due to inflammatory processes within the body taking place so that healing can occur properly.
Inflammation begins when a natural hormone substance called prostaglandin is released into the bloodstream. This enzyme does not travel to the site like most other natural chemicals, they act directly at the site.
When an ankle injury occurs the body produces this enzyme to minimize tissue destruction as well as begin the healing process. Most of the time inflammation is a good process; however, inflammation must be controlled. This is where ankle pain and swelling treatment must be a priority.
The natural type of treatment for ankle pain
A natural type of treatment for ankle pain and swelling is herbal supplements. Chinese warriors and Shaolin fighting monks have used herbal formulas to treat injuries so they could return to combat as quickly as possible.
Particular herbal supplements and home remedies are great natural ways to assist a sprain or ankle injury. One of the best natural remedies for ankle pain and swelling is herbal ice. Wrapping the herbs around the injury will reduce the inflammation just like ice, which decreases the swelling around the ankle injury, but the herbs also increase blood flow to the area.
Some of the other home remedies would be to take turmeric powder with warm water twice daily. Turmeric powder is classified as a natural anti-inflammatory.
This powder soluble in warm water assists in decreasing the natural prostaglandin in the bloodstream which in turn decreases the swelling of an injury.
Ankle sprains may occur in almost every type of event related to sports and adventure. In order to identify with ankle sprains, it is recommended to first evaluate the anatomy of the ankle.
In contrast to earlier beliefs, rapid cross movement of the body accounts for relatively fewer ankle sprains. The majority of ankle sprains happen when the foot lands in an inverted position in a jump.
Eversion(turning inside out) ankle sprains are often not connected to inadequate proprioception (a sensory nerve ending in muscles, tendons, and joints) but are caused by outside forces (E.g. collision in the field).
Better Than Taping?
An ankle brace is an advanced form of ankle taping. Braces are mostly used instead of conventional taping by athletes at different competition levels.
They offer several plus points and are reusable, self-applied, and also re-adjustable. Braces have proved to be cost-effective when compared to taping.
Estimates in the past have shown that ankle taping is roughly 3 times more expensive than the brace over a course of a competitive season.
Some athletes may feel more uncomfortable or steady while wearing an ankle brace compared to that of a taped ankle. Braces can also tear or become lost and require replacement.
Taping vs. Bracing
Research has been done comparing taping versus lace-up ankle brace. Most of these studies have proven that braces are better than taping but one must use either of them in case of requirement.
One interesting study shows that wearing a high-top shoe prevented many an ankle injury and that high-top shoes plus taping, had far fewer instances of injuries resulting than low-top shoes plus taping.
Ankle taping or bracing are the equipment of both athletic pieces of training as well as sports medicine. It’s clear that bracing and ankle taping will be a regular feature in the pre-practice and pre-competition routine.
The sports medicine physician should keep in mind the concepts and techniques of ankle brace for running and taping so that advice and guidance may be offered to athletes and athletic training staff.
Bracing and taping are used mainly for the prevention of ankle injuries. The best ankle brace or sometimes quality neoprene knee sleeve is applied preceding practice or competition. These ankle braces have proven to be a savior for many athletes.
It is part of the kit bag for almost all the sportsmen. Ankle brace has its application for senior citizens who have weak ankles or for obese.