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Different Types of Ankle Supports

TennisFollowing any injury it is important to adopt the RICE principles to act fast. Rest is essential, allowing the body time to heal and recover whilst ice, compression and elevating the affected area if the body can help to reduce inflammation and any pain experienced.

Early management of an injury is essential as continuing with an injury can cause further damage and an even longer period of recovery. If you are unsure as to the nature of the injury you have sustained then you should seek a professional diagnosis.

Ankle Injuries

We are all susceptible to incurring ankle injuries, regardless of age, fitness or profession. It is also worth noting that no two sprained ankles are the same as our bodies react differently to injury with varying recovery times.

There are over 1.5 million admissions to A&E each year following a sprained ankle, making it one of the most common ankle injuries sustained. This occurs where there is a sudden and unnatural movement of the joint which stretches the ligaments beyond their normal range of motion resulting in inflammation and reduced mobility.

Injuries can be graded by their severity, from grades 1 to 3. A grade 1 is the least serious and is largely self-limiting in that you should expect to recover following a few days of rest, whilst a grade 3 may require further examination and even surgery to remedy. Where a ligament ruptures there is a lack of stability in the joint and surgery is often used to repair the damage, followed by a period of physiotherapy in order to regain strength in the joint.

Ankle Support

An ankle support is a post injury device, worn to offer a degree of protection and support in order to enhance mobility during a patient's recovery. It also serves to improve proprioception since you are more aware of your movement when wearing a brace. There are a variety of options available depending on the nature of the condition you wish to manage which is why diagnosis is essential.

A compressive ankle skin is normally worn following a minor sprain, where the key objective is in controlling inflammation in order to enhance mobility. Materials vary with neoprene one of the more popular, however BioSkin offer a more breathable and compressive material.

Where there is instability in the joint then a ligament based ankle support can be used to offer stability in conjunction with compression. These braces use strapping to act as external ligaments and minimise the risk of the ankle rolling and causing further damage.

Following initial recovery from a broken ankle then a rigid ankle support or stirrup may be used. A stirrup is typically two rigid pieces of plastic sitting at either side of the joint to prevent sideways movement and is designed for support since any rolling of the joint can cause further damage on an already weakened joint.