As an athletic trainer I attend numerous sporting events and the number one question I get from parents, coaches, and athletes is “Do ankle braces weaken the ankle?” In some sports with a very high incidence of ankle injuries such as volleyball, basketball, and football many players wear ankle braces every game and practice to help prevent ankle sprains or lessen the severity should an injury occur. By wearing ankle braces on both ankles throughout an entire season, it makes sense that parents, coaches, and players would wonder if there was any negative impact on ankle strength.
Ankle injuries are the second most prevalent injury in soccer, only behind head/facial injuries. With so much emphasis on the foot and ankle in soccer, it’s no wonder the ankle takes a beating.
Most ankle sprains in soccer occur during running, cutting or tackling. A high percentage of ankle injuries occur from direct side to side contact, as opposed to a front or back contact. Regardless of the mechanism of injury, the result is usually the ankle turning excessively inward, stretching the ankle ligaments. How much the ligaments stretch or tear will determine the extent of the ankle injury.
Did you get much education in college about the different ankle bracing technologies available? Many athletic trainers tell me they received little or no formal education about bracing of any sort.
Can you believe it's almost time for another season to get started? It always seems that no matter how many years you play, the excitement for a new season never fades and then it’s over before you know it! Because practice time is so limited during volleyball season, it’s important to make the most of the time with your teammates and coaches while you can. By prepping for the season before it arrives you are not only bettering yourself as a player, but also doing your part in helping your team. As a college coach, here are the top three things I expect my players to do to prep for an upcoming season.
As an AT I work a lot of tournaments where I hear “Why am I injuring my ankle even though I wear an ankle brace?” As all AT’s know, braces are designed to lessen the severity should an injury occur, but are you recommending the most effective ankle brace to help prevent those injuries?
Evaluating the most effective ankle brace starts with taking a look at it's design and ability to provide long-lasting joint support. Any ankle brace can feel supportive when you first apply it, but what happens to that brace in 30 minutes? An hour? Is there any support left? Here is a breakdown as to why some brace designs work well for long-lasting ankle support, while others fall short.
Unlike most other sports, where a player’s hands are important, choosing the right ankle brace for soccer is much more critical due to soccer players primarily utilizing their ankles and feet during play.
brace takes away his touch on the ball and/or restricts his natural range of motion. The same goes for soccer players who rely on their ankle and foot to control the soccer ball, which is what makes choosing a soccer ankle brace difficult and frustrating.
Have you ever thought about the fact that while knee bracing keeps advancing in terms of design and materials, ankle bracing advancement is stagnant? The only difference between the first lace-up (which was introduced over a century ago) and the lace-ups of today is a figure-8 strap has been added.
Ankle sprains are one of the most commons injuries seen in athletics. Although preventative exercises can reduce the risk of an ankle sprain, some sprains are inevitable. Below is a list of actions athletes can take after an initial ankle sprain to get back to the competition more quickly.
With 25,000 ankle injuries happening a day in the U.S. there are a lot of people looking for a solution for their ankle injury or chronic ankle instability. Unfortunately, ankle bracing is something that people are not well educated on or have heard misconceptions about through the grapevine over the years. The Certified Athletic Trainers here at Ultra Ankle strive to provide the best ankle bracing solution to each customer based on their specific needs and we hope to do that through education, providing research, and answering any questions about ankle bracing that athletes, parents, or coaches may have.
Athletic trainers see it all. We don’t need to read magazine articles or keep a close eye on professional sports to understand what the latest craze is among athletes. Popular products, training techniques, diets, miracle cures, and even hairstyles trickle down into every level and league imaginable. Some of the more aggravating aspects of sports culture seem to turn into annoying trends that spread from sport to sport and stick around for way too long. Listed below are a few that are slightly exasperating to me as an athletic trainer.