What are ankle support braces?
Ankle braces are devices used as external supports to limit certain motions, including plantar inversion or flexion. As well as this, they provide awareness of where the joints of your ankles are in space. Limiting your ankles helps avoid the chances of further injuries, decreasing the recovery time following an injury. However, bracing your ankles also limits the development of scar tissues and arthritis and reduces the chances of acute and chronic pain.
Types of ankle support braces
The primary function of ankle braces is to provide your ankles with different levels of support, comfortability, and stability. Usually, experts classify ankle support braces into different categories. Below are the common categories of ankle support braces used to wear for several purposes:
Ankle sleeves: Ankle sleeves are more comfortable but least stable. These are usually used to wear under a more stable brace to enhance comfortability.
Adjustable ankle support: These types of ankle support braces are designed with hook and loop straps. They are typically wrapped around the ankle. However, experts suggest not wearing too tight these ankle support braces as they can bring you other problems.
Ankle Stirrups: Ankle stirrup braces are specifically designed to limit the lateral motions. As well as this, they are often prescribed as an alternative to a boot or splint.
Adjustable ankle stabilizers: Ankle stabilizers are usually designed with rigid materials, helping provide more stability. However, the newer designs of adjustable ankle stabilizers are often combined with loop straps, hooks, and laces to improve comfortability.
Hinged or hinged cuff braces: hinged braces are designed with semi-rigid plastic shells that are wrap-around straps. On the other hand, hinged cuff braces are designed with flexible or semi-rigid shells with straps.
Benefits of ankle support braces
Ankle support braces help in a variety of ways. However, they are best for the following conditions:
- Support weak ankle joints
Ankle support braces are designed to provide your ankles or feet with enough support, helping avoid injuries. People involved in high-contact sports and other occupations requiring repetitive movements of the ankles are more vulnerable to ankle injuries. However, wearing ankle support braces keep your ankle joints aligned and reduce the impacts of the pressure resulting from repetitive movements. Consequently, your ankles stay active and injury-free throughout the sports session or occupational activities. However, there are different types of ankle braces, as mentioned above, so you need select the best ankle braces according to your need. For this purpose, you should consult your professional coaches or GP and let them decide what option is better for you.
- Help reduce pain and swelling
There are several conditions causing your ankles to experience pain and swelling. For example, prolonged sitting, prolonged standing, being overweight, pregnancy, being overaged, or eating non-healthy food (too much salty) can cause pain and swelling to your ankles. As well as this, engaging in activities requiring repetitive movements of the ankles or putting extra pressure on the ankles can also cause pain and swelling to your ankles. Whenever you suffer from ankle pain or swelling due to the abovementioned conditions, you need to consult your GP to diagnose the causes. However, most healthcare professionals suggest wearing ankle braces to help manage pain and swelling resulting from such conditions.
- Speed up the recovery process
Ankle braces are also helpful to speed up the recovery following an injury. For example, wearing ankle support braces help limit the extra motion and keeps your ankle joints aligned and immobile, preventing further damage and speeding up the recovery process. Many healthcare professionals also suggest wearing ankle braces following ankle surgery, providing enough support and compression to promote blood flow. Consequently, they help promote healing after surgery.
- Avoid future injuries
Once you recover from an ankle injury, the chances of injury recurring may be high. Healthcare professionals suggest wearing ankle support braces in certain conditions to avoid the risk of injuries. It is advisable to wear an ankle brace when you are involved in high-contact sports and other strenuous activities, preventing the risks of injury from recurring.
- Boost your confidence
If you are not injured and even not susceptible to getting an injury, an ankle brace can still be a good option for you. As ankle support braces provide external support, they make you more confident to participate in strenuous activities without any fear. Consequently, you perform better.
Are there any side effects of ankle support braces?
The primary function of ankle braces is to provide your ankles or feet with extra protection, support, and comfortability. Consequently, you feel more confident and protected to perform several sports, workouts, and occupational activities. But there are certain conditions that can bring you vulnerability to face problems. For example, wearing too much tight braces can restrict blood circulation, causing problems. At the same time, wearing too loose braces can cause irritations and won’t be able to provide needed support and compression. As well as this, wearing a worn type of brace won’t affect you or may disturb you. Additionally, wearing an ankle brace for a prolonged time can cause numbness, skin irritation, stiffness, sweating, and pain.
However, to get maximum benefits from ankle bracing, it is advisable to choose the best type of brace and always wear them according to your healthcare professionals’ instructions.
Buy the best ankle support braces
Throughout our discussion, we came to know that ankle support braces help in a variety of ways when used appropriately. If you need ankle braces or are recommended by your GP to wear them, you must wear them because when left untreated, the symptoms of an ankle injury may worsen and take longer to recover. At 360 relief, we provide you with a range of ankle support braces to help manage your ankle problems.