Active people spend lots of time on their feet: it has always been that way. Ever since humans evolved to walk upright the foot has taken on added importance. It is our foot and ankle that must provide both stability and mobility to support the body and handle the forces associated with jumping, landing, walking, and running. Ankle and foot injuries are found in a variety of sport activities. Injuries to the foot represent about 7.1% of all sports injuries. The ankle sprain is one of the single most common injuries in all of sport and physical activity. Most ankle injuries occur in sports that require jumping, landing, and sudden starts and stops (e.g. basketball and soccer). Consider that in the United States alone, 4.8 million grade school and 1.7 million high school athletes participate in supervised soccer and basketball programs and, on average, 15% (1 million) of these athletes sustain ankle sprains each year. Making matters worse is the fact that people who suffer from ankle sprains are more likely to reinjure the same ankle in the future. Preventing new injuries as well as preventing reinjury is the key to avoiding chronic pain, instability, and long term ankle disability not to mention health care costs associated with rehab and recovery. Given these costs and potential long term physical consequence using a Mueller ankle brace to help prevent and ankle injury or lessen the impact of an existing injury is a wise decision. The use of ankle braces is associated with decreases in injury rates as well as reducing the re-injuring of previously sprained ankles.
Prevention in athletics is an important part of Mueller Sports Medicine focus. Properly applied external ankle supports (tape, semi-rigid, and rigid braces depending on the activity) and exercise training can reduce the risk of ankle re-injury by more than 50%. External ankle supports do not adversely affect athletic performance. Semi-rigid and rigid ankle supports are most effective, widely available, and cost less than athletic tape.