Ankle sprains are one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries. They often occur in sports and activities such as netball, basketball, soccer and gymnastics. Taping and bracing are used to either protect the ankle joint during healing and rehabilitation or as a preventative measure to minimise future injuries. They essentially do this by restricting undesired, potentially harmful motion and allowing desired movement.
There are three main questions I often get asked when I see someone that has recently sprained their ankle. The first is “should I strap or brace it for sports?” The second is “how long should I be doing this for?” The third is “which works better: taping or using a brace?”
Athletes vs. Weekend Warriors
The answers depend on the severity of the injury in addition to the individuals needs and preferences. For example, an athlete competing at a high level compared to a “weekend warrior”. It is also important to mention that studies including high level runners have shown that strapping your ankle will not have a negative impact in your ability to run.
History & Treatment
Another significant factor that may influence an athletes recovery is any previous ankle sprains and if they received adequate treatment. For these reasons, having a Physiotherapist accurately assess and treat your injury may help you return to sport quicker. A Physiotherapist can also work with you to prevent it happening again in the future.
Overall, both bracing or taping are positive strategies to be used after an ankle sprain. However, in some situations there are circumstances that prevent athletes from wearing an ankle brace. These include tight soccer boots or rules of the sport. Regardless, current literature has revealed that ankle bracing is the best tool to prevent future ankle sprains. Your Physiotherapist will be able to assist you with both taping and bracing, depending on what you prefer.
I’m confident I can help you improve your pain and function and would love to chat with you personally about your ankle injury. I’ll be more than happy to discuss with you how we can help find the best management program for you. Send an email with your details to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact you shortly.
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(Please keep in mind – these are general guidelines for the majority of our patients. However, it is important to consult with your doctor or physiotherapist first to make sure you have a plan tailored specifically for you).