Ankle injuries are common occurrences among athletes. These injuries could happen when you twist your ankle or step awkwardly on an uneven surface, like a rock or the stairs. But it doesn't mean you can't prevent injuries from happening.
Using braces help support and stabilize your ankles to prevent re-injury. You can purchase different types of ankle braces off-the-shelf or online, but it's important to know which type will best suit your needs before making a purchase.
In this article, we'll discuss five tips for preventing ankle injury and then go into detail about the different types of braces available today.
The Need for Ankle Braces
Suffering from ankle pain can happen to anyone, especially athletes and other individuals involved in strenuous activities. About 40% of ankle injuries occur during athletic activities, thus, putting the highlight of greater risks for athletes. However, with the use of ankle braces, it doesn't have to be daunting.
An ankle brace is made of top-quality materials and provides the right amount of compression for pain relief. Additionally, using this ensures ankle support and prevents ankle instability. It helps get you back on the field even with an ankle injury or under rehabilitation.
Different Types of Ankle Braces
Many companies have manufactured innovative ankle braces to provide optimum support and pain relief to their wearers throughout the decades. However, a wide variety of ankle braces will make it hard for you to choose. So, we'll discuss the different types of ankle braces for you below.
Rigid Ankle Brace
The rigid ankle brace is one of the most commonly prescribed ankle support by doctors for post-injuries. It gives a steady hold to keep your ankles in place and restrict movements. Additionally, this ankle brace is made of hard plastic and held in place by Velcro straps.
Hinged Ankle Brace
A hinged ankle brace has a semi-rigid touch with its hard plastic support case. The only difference is that it allows up-and-down movement with its hinges. This ankle brace prevents inversion and eversion injuries from occurring.
Lace-Up Ankle Brace
A lace-up ankle brace is a combination of semi-rigid and a compression sleeve. Its laces provide better support and lesser movement to avoid aggravating ankle injuries. Furthermore, a lace-up ankle brace can fit inside your shoes and be worn on either the right or left ankle.
Strap Ankle Brace
A strap ankle brace is commonly used as external support to limit motions further. It can be wrapped around your ankle up to your calf while wearing a compression sleeve or socks. Additionally, it has a Velcro strap to keep it secure.
You can ensure almost instant pain relief and ankle support to promote better foot and ankle health with these ankle braces. But, of course, everybody has different cases when it comes to an ankle injury. So, you may choose which type you think is best or seek professional advice from your podiatrist.
5 Tips to Prevent Ankle Sprains
Although experiencing ankle pain is inevitable, especially for physically active individuals, you can still do several things to prevent it from occurring. In this section, we've prepared these helpful tips to prevent ankle injury in the future.
1. Wear shoes that are best-fitting for your feet.
Make sure you wear appropriate shoes for your optimal foot and ankle comfort. Doing this will prevent instability in your ankle joint.
2. Stretch before and after exercising to avoid overstretching your muscles.
You must do warm-up exercises to prep your muscles before engaging in strenuous activities for a safe workout or practice session.
3. Avoid running when going downhill.
Since going downhill gives you a faster pace, it's best if you don't contribute more than the pace you get when running downhill. Additionally, if you are not used to exercising, start slow, then gradually increase intensity over time.
4. Perform R.I.C.E. on your ankle if you have an injury to prevent swelling and pain.
Performing the R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation) procedure is your first aid when experiencing ankle pain. Furthermore, you can apply an anti-inflammatory ointment or cream to help reduce pain and inflammation.
5. Take care of your health and well-being.
Of course, taking proper care of yourself is one of the primary keys to achieving better health. So, eat healthily, get enough sleep, and spare some time out for self-care (e.g., meditation, journaling).
Conclusively, an ankle brace helps with pain relief and ankle stability. Thus, it's important to know what you need in an ankle brace, which can be difficult without the right information.
We hope this blog post has helped you understand the different types of ankle braces and how to prevent ankle sprains. If you're looking for a great, comfortable brace that provides all-around support and protection against injury, we recommend any one of our top picks—they are sure to meet your needs!