The taping vs bracing debate has been going on for a while now. Ankle taping and bracing are popular treatment options for ankle injuries such as sprains and tendonitis. Ankle sprains often involve partial or complete tearing of ligaments. These can cause discomfort and a slew of other problems, sometimes even afterthey have healed.
Many doctors prefer bracing or taping an ankle for support. It is an almost 60-year-old practice. Taping or bracing the ankle following an injury helps keep the ankle stable. But what is ankle taping and bracing? How is it done? And most importantly, which is best?
Ankle taping is a common procedure used in sports and rehabilitation. It provides support and stability to the ankle joint. Taping involves applying adhesive tape to the ankle and foot in a way that limits excessive movement, prevents injury, and aids in healing.
Ankle bracing involves using a supportive device like a brace or splint. Ankle bracing limits excessive ankle movement supports weakened or injured ligaments, and reduces the risk of ankle sprains or other related injuries.
Studies have found taping and bracing effectively heal ankle injuries by reducing range of motion which further prevents the risk of injury. Experts suggest that wearing high-top shoes and taping led to more than 50% fewer injuries.
Studies have found braces slightly more effective than taping. Ankle taping is a time-intensive procedure, and it may take a few minutes to tape your ankle. Additionally, it may take a few attempts to get it right.
Ankle tape can reinforce the ankle, but ankle braces are more rigid and thicker and offer better support and protection. Ankle braces have prefabricated sleeves with adjustable straps that emulate the benefits of ankle tape. Subsequently, an ankle brace stays in place even during physical activity, which makes it a better option for supporting an ankle.
Now that we have arrived at a conclusion let’s talk about how to brace or tape an ankle.
For ankle taping, you will need -
Remember to tape and monitor the ankle during physical activity. Adjust the ankle tape if it feels too loose or tight. Please note that the following instructions are for general ankle taping. For more specific guidance, consult your healthcare professional.
To wear an ankle brace -
Before applying the brace, make sure your ankle is relaxed and elevated to reduce swelling. This will make the bracing more comfortable and effective.
It's important to note these steps only provide general guidelines. Your doctor may prescribe a more elaborate method to address your issue.
Ankle braces come in various forms, including lace-up, strap-style, and rigid or semi-rigid braces. Which one would suit your needs best will depend on the purpose of the brace and the recommendation of your doctor.
For instance, if you are looking for a brace for an ankle sprain consider going with an ankle compression sleeves. These offer graduated compression to the targeted area and allow the ankle to move freely. Similarly, if you are looking for a foot brace for a stress fracture, look for a rigid brace made with hard plastic and Velcro straps. Rigid braces limit movement and let the ankle heal properly.
HPFY has been your health and wellness partner since 2002. We carry a wide range of rehab and orthopedic supplies including ankle braces and KT tapes for sprained ankles. Explore our catalog today and find the one that suits your needs the best.
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Shweta Chaubey, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. An advocate-turned-writer, her desire to create meaningful and positive content has brought her to HPFY and what better than writing ...
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