Ankle injuries commonly occur during running or any activity that requires a fast-paced transference of weight from one foot to the other. Ankle support products can provide extra stability when you’re engaging in running or other sports. There are a variety of ankle supports available to match your individual needs. If you have an existing or recurring injury, you should speak to your doctor or physiotherapist for advice on which ankle brace to choose.
Ankle braces are support devices made from stretchy fabric and sometimes feature metal or plastic supports. Some are tied in place with laces or Velcro straps whilst others are pulled on. Pull-on braces don’t offer quite as much protection as the reinforced braces with straps and supports, but they are useful for managing mild swelling and inflammation. If you have an existing injury, it’s advisable to choose an ankle brace that is reinforced at the sides.
If your ankle sprain is as a result of your ankle rolling inwards or “pronating”, you should choose an ankle support with metal or plastic supports on either side of the ankle. This will hold the ligaments in place on the inside and the outside of the ankle which become injured and painful during pronation.
How long you will have to wear a brace for will depend on the severity and type of injury. You may need to keep using a brace for anything from ten days through to six weeks. Occasionally it may even be necessary to keep a brace on longer than this if you are experiencing persistent inflammation. It’s advised that you keep wearing your ankle brace for as long as you are noticing pain, swelling or instability in your ankles. Rather than simply wearing your ankle brace for running, keep it on throughout the day if possible.
If you suffer from recurring ankle sprains or injuries, you may wish to consider wearing an ankle support as a means of preventing injury. Wearing a brace is more cost-effective than regular taping, so this is a good option if you know you’re prone to injury in this area. If you decide to go down this route, make sure you wear your brace each time you run or perform strenuous activity. Make certain that the brace is tight enough to stabilise your ankle and prevent it from pronating inwards. However, bear in mind that if it is too tight, it could become uncomfortable or restrict circulation. Your skin should not spill over the top or sides of the brace and should not lose colour or turn red. You should aim for comfort but firmness. Ankle braces can be a useful thing for a runner to keep in his or her kit bag. Whether you’re looking to prevent injury or provide comfort and support for an existing injury, you’ll find an ankle brace to suit your needs.