When visiting a sporting goods store, you have likely seen many different ankle braces and tapes. While it may seem wise to have your young athlete wear an ankle brace, it may not help.
Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of having your young athlete wear an ankle brace, according to our expert team at Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center.
Pros of wearing an ankle brace
Ankle injuries are common in many sports, and using an ankle brace can be a helpful tool in the recovery process.
Additional support after an injury
After an ankle injury, ankle braces can provide additional joint support, preventing further injuries. During the recovery period, our team may recommend your young athlete wears a brace, though that may not always be the case.
You should only have your child wear ankle braces if our team or other medical professional has recommended it. Wearing an unnecessary ankle brace can increase the risk of a knee injury.
Readily available and often inexpensive
Ankle braces are inexpensive and available at nearly every major retail or sports store. However, listening to our team's recommendations is important, as an improper ankle brace can do more harm than good.
Possible pain relief
Ankle braces can provide pain relief by stabilizing an injured or weakened joint. If your child has had an ankle injury, and anle brace may reduce the pain and speed up recovery.
Reduce stress on the joint
Ankle braces provide extra support, minimizing the stress on an injured joint so the tissues can repair themselves. After an ankle injury, an ankle brace could be a key factor in the healing process.
Ankle braces are a removable option
Ankle braces are convenient and easily removable; you can take them off to sleep or for certain activities cleared by our team. It also means your child can easily get new ankle braces or adjustments to accommodate their healing as needed.
Cons of wearing an ankle brace
While ankle braces can provide additional support and stability after an injury, their use has potential drawbacks.
Braces don’t replace rehabilitation programs
Ankle braces can be helpful for your young athlete and provide additional stability while recovering from an injury, but it is important that they still receive proper medical care and rehabilitation.
While ankle braces don’t replace rehabilitation programs, they can supplement treatment.
Wearing an ankle brace can cause reliance
Wearing an ankle brace for too long can cause a reliance on it instead of the natural strength of the ankle. If your young athlete only wears an ankle brace after an injury and does not undergo rehabilitation, the ankle may remain weak, even after healing.
That weakness can increase the chances of a secondary injury and potentially make it difficult for them to continue with sports.
Changes in gait and muscle atrophy
Prolonged use of ankle braces may lead to changes in your child’s natural gait pattern and weaken the muscles surrounding the ankle joint. Weaker muscles increase their risk for repeat injuries.
If your child has suffered an ankle injury, or you want to know if an ankle brace is right for them, our Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center team is here to help. Contact us today or schedule an appointment online at our Henderson or Las Vegas, Nevada, office.