According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, approximately 25,000 people sprain their ankle each day. With pain that subsides in just a few moments and swelling that can go away in just a day with proper icing, most sprains go untreated which leads to permanent damage. The common consequence of neglecting even minor sprains results in lasting weakness and unstable joints which results in repeated sprains of compounding severity.
A sprain doesn't necessarily mean spending countless dollars at a doctor's office only get to the same old advice to ice and elevate it. Minor sprains can be properly taken care of right at home through the use of an immobilizing ankle brace. There are a wide variety of Sports Medicine Braces and Supports out there specifically for treating otherwise debilitating injuries and getting you back out there doing what you love.
How it Works
While taping up a sprained ankle is a popular choice and provides a better alternative to just walking it off, an ankle brace is an assistive and protective device that is designed to keep the joint stable and protected from outside damage that could aggravate the injury further. Some braces combine Velcro straps to provide a snug fit around the joint while others feature two protective pads on each side of the joint to keep it from rolling. The immobilization provided by either design of brace allows the ligaments to rest and new tissues to be laid down over the torn elastic fibers.
- Compressions socks or bandages will help treat the swelling of a sprain, but after it subsides, a brace will help prevent any lasting weakness or stability of the joint.
- Ankle braces are adjustable and easy to use regardless of foot size or shape.
- For minor sprains, braces have the advantage over medical tape for athletes that can't afford to be out of the game by providing a more solid and confidence-building protective structure.
- There is no need to buy a new ankle brace for every ankle-related injury. It is a onetime purchase that will always be waiting in your first aid kit.
When to Remove the Brace
For either minor or major sprains, an ankle brace should never be worn continuously for more than a week. After a week of immobilization, new tissues have formed in the ligaments and they will need to be lightly exercised to align them with the ankle joint, prevent muscle atrophy, and ease any stiffness.
Need help choosing which ankle brace is right for your injury? Contact us!