What is the right ankle brace?
There are many support bandages for the ankle, which vary in shape and size. You can buy them in sports stores, online or in a pharmacy.
Not all ankle braces are created equal. Sometimes it can be difficult to find the right one if you don’t know what to look for.
The bandage can support ligaments and muscles of the ankle joint by helping to improve the stability of the joint connection.
How does the bandage work?
The ankle brace fits and compresses the ankle joint.
This support enables movement and normal activities in everyday life by reducing the risk of trauma and sprains.
Many ankle braces are simply orthoses made of elastic material and shaped to adapt to the ankle.
They are practically cuffs that envelop the ankle.
The ankle supports improve the feeling for the ankle joint, but they do not give any real support. They can be useful for mild sprains.
The ankle brace exerts pressure and improves self-awareness, but it is not an effective structural support.
It is not decisive what type of accident occurred at the ankle joint. When buying an ankle brace, you should opt for one that completely encloses the ankle.Prevention or treatment?
Normally, the patient is not advised to wear an ankle brace unless he has recently had a sprained or seriously injured ankle.
There are no bandages to prevent sprains. Only proprioceptive re-education, which improves postural control, serves this purpose.
With a fresh and severe sprain, the orthosis is a good idea, but only for a week after the accident, because prolonged use causes stiffness and psychological dependence.
A bandage that limits the mobility of the joint is not a treatment and should not replace the rehabilitation program after ankle distortion.
Unfortunately, orthopedists in the emergency room prescribe an ankle brace for 10 or 15 days to almost everyone, even though they know that the patient will not recover with it. Quite the opposite.
What kind of ankle brace should you buy?
A good ankle brace completely surrounds the ankle joint and should be adjustable in size.
My favorite that I recommend to my patients has two different straps that embrace the heel from both sides. One band passes underneath and the other runs behind the heel.
I believe that this type of ankle brace gives excellent structural support.
Not all foot braces are equipped with adjustable straps and Velcro, but if there is a choice, this model should be preferred.
The ankle brace serves to keep the joint stable during sports.
Some orthoses do not completely surround the ankle joint, but only cover the inner and outer ankles. They can give support, but do not exert sufficient pressure. Thus, the function of proprioception of the orthosis is limited.
Ankle bandages that do not have straps or lacing to regulate width are less effective because it is not possible to keep them tight enough during a race or workout.
Bandages that can be adjusted and have straps must also be adjusted after the start of the sporting activity.
There are three types of ankle bandages: with lace straps, post-trauma bandages and rigid bandages.
Mid-range bandages can be found in shopping malls and sports shops. High-quality support supports must be ordered online or are available in sanitary stores.
In case of a serious ankle disorder, it is necessary to contact a doctor who will prescribe the most appropriate support.
Ankle braces with lacing
The semi-rigid support bandage is made of nylon or plastic.
The advantage of this ankle support is that it can be tightened according to the needs of the wearer.
The semi-rigid structure allows greater flexibility compared to the rigid orthosis.
A semi-rigid ankle support can be used preventively during the first runs after an ankle distortion.
This orthosis can be found in good sports shops, pharmacies or online.
Prices vary from 20 to 40 euros.
Post-trauma ankle braces are rigid. Inside, they are filled with air or gel and provided with two plastic struts, which are located on both sides of the leg.
There is a hinge that allows flexion to the plantar and dorsal (bending of the tips of the toes towards the body and the ground).
This ankle brace is mainly used to reduce swelling and prevent rotational movements of the ankle joint.
It is indicated for third-degree distortions of the ankle, acute contusions and chronic instability.
Rigid orthoses are not suitable for sports activities.
Post-trauma ankle braces are available in pharmacies, online or in sanitary stores.
Prices vary from $30 to $40.
There are two different types of rigid bandages, with clamps or with lacing. These orthoses can be used during rehabilitation after an injury.
The staples allow the ankle joint to move up and down. In addition, they protect the joint from excessive rotation. This bandage has a high protective function and is often used in volleyball and basketball, where jumping is frequent.
The bandage with lacing has two plastic support struts on each side of the ankle joint to prevent rotation inwards and outwards (inversion and eversion).
Some brands have straps that wrap around the ankle to give further stabilization.
The ankle bandages can be purchased in sanitary stores or online.
Prices range from $30 to $45.
Bandages for plantar tendonitis
A bandage for plantar tendonitis relieves the pain of the tendon plate or heel spur during the day and night by keeping the foot slightly under tension.
The dorsal night splint is one of the best orthoses available for plantar tendonitis.
If you wanted to use a night splint for heel pain, you had to wrap the entire ankle in an orthosis. However, this ankle support is quite different.
The orthosis remains in contact with the leg only on the upper side to stretch the Achilles tendon.
In addition, this orthosis has been shown to be much more comfortable to wear, because it is less bulky and does not press on the heel, where most patients feel pain.
After consultation with most experts, stretching is the best treatment for plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis.
The key to pain relief is stretching at the back of the leg. This bandage is one of the best in the trade, because the goal can be reached with maximum comfort.
The orthosis is only applied to the upper or dorsal side of the foot.
The heel can lie comfortably on the mattress and under the duvet instead of in a sweaty and rigid plastic orthosis.
In addition to convenience, it is also adjustable. Due to the soft Velcro straps, the desired extensor force can be adjusted and, in contrast to other orthoses, allows individual treatment.
This ankle brace is very light because it is only on the upper side of the foot. Thus, the patient is always able to wear the tutor during the day to speed up recovery.
Gel tubular bandages for the toes
Adapted to the size of the toes, the gel tube supports provide protection and comfort for calluses, hammer toes, toe injuries, ulcers and joint swelling.
The slight pressure reduces the swelling.
The gel cushions and protects the skin.
The hoses are 1.5 cm wide and 4 cm long.
The gel hoses are hand washable and reusable.
Bandage for hallux valgus
The orthosis for hallux valgus causes a slight stretching to relieve the deformation forces on the hallux. The strap with Velcro fasteners corrects the big toe both at rest and in the shoe.
The bandage for hallux valgus is designed to correctly align the big toe by correcting it in three directions: outward, up, and down.
This orthosis creates a slight traction to stabilize hallux and relieve the pain caused by rubbing against the outer bale.
The soft foam bands are thin enough to be worn in the shoe.
A removable support can be used as an additional support to straighten the big toe during the day and at night during sleep.
The orthosis can be washed by hand or in the washing machine.
It is not made of latex.
Attention: If you have diabetes or circulatory disorders, you must discuss with your attending physician whether the orthosis is suitable for the disease condition.