How To Choose The Best Ankle Brace
An ankle brace isn’t a cure for injuries, but it is a great thing to use to help treat a sprain. Athletes are the most common people to use braces, but finding the best ankle brace is useful for more than just athletics. If you have need for an ankle brace, it’s time to learn how to find an option that will work well for you, so you can get on your road to recovery.
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How To Use An Ankle Brace
Bracing your ankle will not cure a sprain or an injury, but it can help you to avoid hurting yourself further and to recover more quickly. Ankle braces do help to support your muscles and joints after an injury, which is an essential part of healing and recovering after a sprain or any other type of injury. BUT, do not expect your brace to heal your injury! Physical therapy is one of the best ways to ensure your ankle will heal properly. Bracing alone will not heal you; it is just a piece of the treatment.
Benefits Of Choosing The Best Ankle Brace
Here is what you can gain from finding the best ankle brace to suit you:
- Enhanced Support
Depending on the style of the brace you choose, you can get great added support for your ankle. This is a great asset if you’re exercising, playing sports, or even working on your feet. Different braces have different levels of support, depending on the design and materials used.
- Help prevent further injuries
One of the best benefits of bracing your ankle is to help prevent injuries. This is especially important while you’re recovering from a previous injury already, such as a sprain. If you overpronate or if you tend to roll your ankles a lot, you may find a brace useful to assist with those problems before they cause you an injury.
- Delay Surgical Treatment
Many athletes use ankle braces to give intermediate support until the end of the season, when permanent treatment can be done. If you read ankle brace reviews, you’ll see that many serious athletes have taken to using strong support to help them make it through to a few more moniths.
Types Of Ankles Braces Available To You
These braces provide maximum support and rigidity. You will lace and tie them like shoes. Lace-ups resemble support boots, but are generally more flexible.
Providing minimal support, sleeve braces do help you to feel more comfortable if you suffer from many different pain conditions for your feet and ankles. They can also be worn in place of socks under athletic shoes.
This type isn’t as common, but it’s also a very supportive design for your ankle.
Strap-style braces usually give medium support levels compared to other types. They can move more freely, but won’t be able to give rigid support when needed. This is one step above a compression brace in most cases.
This can honestly be defined as any type of brace that combines multiple styles listed above. The point of a hybrid design is to add a higher level of support or to make a brace more versatile. For example, a brace with compression and straps will be much more effective than just one or the other separately.
What To Look At Searching For An Ankle Brace
Here are the main characteristics to look for when you’re searching for the best ankle brace:
In many cases, some level of compression is desirable for an ankle brace. There are braces solely made for compression, but a lot of other styles of braces also incorporate some sort of compression material into the design. This helps you to fit it to your foot more snugly and also gives better stability and support.
- Strap Design
When you’re looking at a brace with straps, you should look at how the straps are placed and the design of the support system. Straps can be made in a figure-6 or figure-8 style for the most useful level of support. If you want a strap brace that will most closely resemble the effects of athletic taping, a figure-8 strap brace should work well for you.The other thing to look at is the material and type of strap. Most straps use Velcro with soft undersides to prevent rubbing or chafing.
- Materials And Shape
When it comes to comfort, the materials and the shape of the brace make a huge difference. Braces that aren’t shaped well for your feet will cause a lot of aches. Some companies make braces that fit either left or right feet exclusively, so that they can tailor it more exactly to the fit and function it needs to have. Also, sizing is different for each brand, so it’s important to completely read through the sizing chart to get the right fit.
Materials need to be considered if you want to be comfortable in your brace. Thick or heavy materials won’t be comfortable for wearing during activity, while thin materials may not give the right support. It’s all about finding a good balance between comfort and support, since without these things a brace is not useful at all!
Read about the different styles I mentioned above and see which one will accomplish your goal most easily. Each type of brace is different when it comes to support and purpose. Not all braces are equal for each and every application. If you’re in doubt of what type you’ll need, ask your doctor for a recommendation and go from there. That’s the best way to make sure you get the best type of brace for your real needs.
Based on your situation, you may need more or less support than others looking for a brace. Search for a brace that gives you the level of support you need, and don’t settle for something that won’t give enough support. Remember that each brace will be able to give different types of support, depending entirely on the design and materials of the brace.
Rigid support isn’t possible with every type of brace either, unless it specifically has a solid piece built into the design. Soft braces won’t offer the same level of rigid support as braces with hard plastic or metal built into them.
Top 5 Recommended Ankle Brace Reviews
I would suggest the ASO Ankle Stabilizer as the best ankle brace on our list. In my opinion, it’s got the right balance of support and movement to keep you active while helping to protect your ankle after an injury. The multiple strap design helps you adjust it when you need to fit your foot more easily.
Hopefully you’re not more prepared to go out and choose the best ankle brace you can for your situation. Remember that it’s not going to be a cure for your injuries, but a good brace will help you recover and help to prevent further issues.