Ankle Brace or Tape, which is safer?
If you are an athlete or play sports, you have probably had a few ankle sprains that benched you for a few weeks. Ankle sprains are the most common type of sports-related injury that significantly reduces productivity in the field, even missing out on monumental games that players wouldn’t otherwise miss.
As a safety precaution, players opt to use ankle braces and tapes to help a sprained ankle heal faster or prevent an injury before it happens. Using either the braces or tapes can significantly help reduce the risks of an ankle injury. Sports medicine doctors advise braces are slightly more effective than taping, but both are better than no support. You are advised to support your ankles by bracing or taping during sporting activities following an injury.
Ankle tapes can provide support, stability, and comfortable compression for your ankle, providing a custom tie for every user, compared to an ankle brace where you can purchase a smaller or bigger size. Ankle tapes can help reduce inflammation after an ankle injury or reduce the likelihood of additional injuries.
The main benefit of using ankle tape is to bind an injury with a custom fit to the person’s body, and they also come in different strengths to provide the utmost support to your ankles. Using ankle tapes is usually a short-term solution to a long-term problem unless you reinforce a previous injury that may still be healing.
Ankle braces differ from tapes in several ways, starting from the time it takes to wear each of them. For a brace, you simply have to slip your foot inside the predetermined firm support. In contrast, ankle tapes take a lot of time to wrap around the ankle, and you still need to get just the right amount of pressure to perfectly support your ankle – not too tight and not too loose.
When using a tape in the field, it might get loose and fail to provide enough ankle support and has been found to loosen up to 40% of its support in only 10 minutes of exercise. On the other hand, ankle braces are more rigid and thicker and better support the ankle. They can also get loose during exercise but can quickly be readjusted compared to tapes.
Which one is safer–ankle braces or tapes?
Depending on the type of injury you have, the type of reinforcement you need, and the size of your ankle joint region, choosing which is the better one to use is completely upon you. Most research has shown that ankle braces are slightly more effective ankle supporters than tapes, but both are better than no support at all. Go for braces if you need something quick, works well, and fits you perfectly depending on your injury. Select tapes if you’re supporting a healing sprain or preventing injury during exercise.
If you are not currently nursing an injury or using braces or tapes for temporary support during exercises, then avoid using tape or braces because prolonged use may lead to weak ankles that are dependent upon support. If you currently have an ankle injury, give us a call on 9303 9952 (Roxburgh Park) or 9746 3977 (Sunbury), and let us help you work out what support and treatment is best for your situation.