They're low-profile and can help you recover and prevent ankle sprains and other injuries, but should you run with an ankle brace?
Ankle Brace - Application
Ankle braces are widely used in the sports world and are also suitable for everyday situations. They are designed to keep the ankle joint working, prevent and reduce joint pain, and help maintain stability. However, not all ankle braces are created equal - much of their function and design depends on their intended use. Anyone can wear ankle braces, but in most cases, their function is prevention or treatment. It is common for athletes and patients recovering from joint injuries, surgery, or those seeking pain relief to wear variants of the ankle brace. So, what are the best ankle braces for running and can I wear them during activities? Read on to find out!
Ankle braces are common when it comes to sports that require constant running, jumping, and rapid movement of the feet and legs. Sports such as distance running, tennis, soccer, soccer, and lacrosse all take a toll on athlete's joints, often resulting in a variety of injuries such as ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and other acute ankle injuries. To help prevent such injuries, athletes turn to these braces. However, it is important to note that these medical devices help reduce the incidence of acute ankle injuries, but not the severity of the injury (Kurt Jacobson). Once the ankle strap or brace is open, it applies pressure to the joint and key points of the foot to keep it in place and prevent hyperextension.
Prophylactic ankle braces for running are also an ideal alternative to tape and wraps and offer the same major benefits, including ankle pain relief and prevention of soreness. Since most of these ankle straps are tight-fitting, they're low-profile and easy to wear under socks (Ben Drew). Running with an ankle brace is easy - just loosen the straps and slide your foot into the opening. It is important that your brace is chosen properly and that it is not too tight on your feet - check with your doctor or physical therapist about which size is right for you. The brace should be tight enough to restrict some movement of the ankle, but not cut off circulation to the foot. Now all that's left is to put on your running shoes and hit the track!
Ankle brace for recovery
Unlike preventive braces, braces used to treat injuries and help patients recover from surgery differ in application and design. In most cases, wearing them almost completely prevents the wearer from using their ankle joint to avoid additional injury and break any postoperative sutures. If you have experienced an ankle sprain or any other acute ankle injury, your doctor or physical therapist will develop a rehabilitation program, which will likely include exercise and ice. However, it all depends on the severity. Ankle fractures, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendon rupture are common injuries among athletes in a variety of sports and can be treated with non-surgical methods, but regardless of the severity of the injury, most medical professionals recommend an ankle brace to help patients recover completely. In other words, this is not an ankle brace for running, however, it will give you a quick recovery and help you get back on track or trail running as quickly as possible!
Ankle recovery braces are also designed differently from preventive braces - mainly due to their indications. These braces are designed to protect the foot and ankle, immobilize the joint after surgery, reduce ankle pain (great for those with ankle arthritis) and improve overall joint and foot comfort. These orthoses are bulkier than sports braces, so they generally cannot be worn with running shoes. They often include adjustable shoulder straps, air pockets (which can be controlled by the wearer to increase or decrease tension), durable shells, rocker soles, comfortable padding, and even ice packs to reduce soreness and inflammation. Some devices even include an inflatable ankle stabilization option that lets you control how much tension is put on the joint. These features help absorb and evenly distribute any energy throughout the foot, allowing for a normal gait without putting excessive tension on the ankle - while preventing sweat build-up and allowing good airflow. Depending on the injury or surgery, patients may need to wear ankle braces for weeks or even months.
So, should you run with an ankle brace? certainly! If it's designed to be worn when you're out running or doing any other physically demanding sport, it'll just give you extra ankle support and stability. If you wear a brace to help you recover from an injury or surgery, running is not recommended until you are fully recovered. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist to ask about your recovery process and whether it's safe for you to go back to the track or trail running.
Where to shop
Before you start shopping, ask your doctor or physical therapist which orthosis is right for your situation. Only after your ankle has been measured and a suitable size recommended, you should go ahead with your orthosis search, as choosing the wrong orthosis or the wrong size for your situation can have serious consequences. When you're ready to pick up an ankle brace for a run or recovering from an injury or surgery, be sure to visit our store! We have a wide selection of ankle braces to choose from!