The most common sports injury in the US is the ankle injury. In almost every sport across the board, from basketball to tennis, about 30% of injuries involve the ankle. Typically, the injury involves some forced lateral movement, most often when landing from a jump or when strafing. Proper ankle supports are useful in both preventing injuries like these and in allowing athletes to perform while recovering from an ankle injury.
There are two major types of ankle support, each with its pros and cons: the ankle wrap, and the ankle brace.
Ankle wraps are the original ankle support system. Rolling long bandages and athletic tape around the arch of the foot, around the back of the achilles tendon, and about half way toward the knee adds compression to the ankle, helping to prevent dangerous lateral extension.
Ankle wraps have been shown to be highly effective in protecting and preventing injury. The drawback is that wraps are only at their most effective when applied an experienced individual. For ankle wraps to combat ankle injuries on the grand scale, proper wrapping techniques should be readily available to athletes, coaches, and trainers of every sport.
Ankle braces are relatively new and becoming increasingly popular. Braces are typically laced and tied on the foot around the ankle and arch, and most often fit comfortably within a shoe. Because they are easy to apply, anyone can benefit from a brace as opposed to a wrap.
Another positive aspect of braces is that should they begin to loosen during activity, they are easy to tighten, whereas wraps need to be removed and reapplied. The downside of the prefabricated nature of the brace is that “one size fits all” is rarely ever true. Wraps, on the other hand, are always a true custom fit.
Mueller Sports Medicine is a manufacturer of high-quality sports braces and supports. Whether wraps or braces are right for you, for ankles, knees, wrists, and more, Mueller has the perfect support, no matter the sport.