Give us a Call
480-272-7140
Send us a Message
info@tstaz.com

Are Ankle Braces Bad For You?

Are ankle braces bad for you?

We often get asked, should I wear an ankle brace?  So, are ankle braces bad for you or good for you?  The right answer is that “It depends”. It depends on the history of your ankle, the type of activity you are doing, the type of terrain you are on, and the type of shoe wear.

For years ankle braces were provided to athletes and people who had pre-existing ankle sprains to help provide for the support that has been lost.  Recently a study from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health showed that high school basketball players who wore stabilizing lace-up ankle braces had 68 percent fewer injuries than athletes who did not.  This group included athletes that had both pre-existing ankle injuries and athletes that did not.  Evidence supports that a healthy un-injured ankle can benefit from ankle bracing.

When it comes to activity, you need to consider if you even need to brace.  Going for a walk on flat pavement, riding a bike, working out in the gym, are not activities that an ankle brace would necessarily be needed.  Sports and activities that require quick lateral movements, the ankle brace can help provide more support and help prevent injuries.

Walking on flat pavement the foot has good contact with the ground.  Trail hiking often exposes you to very unstable and uneven surfaces where an ankle brace can help protect you from injury.  Consider this also when playing field sports.  Often there are hidden holes and loose ground that your foot might come in contact with, so brace accordingly.

Wearing proper footwear is important for ankle to do its job.  Proper grip in shoe wear helps establish the proper base for the ankle to support the body.  Like, wearing an ankle brace while wearing flat bottom tennis shoes on a wet field.  You are still going to slip and lose balance putting extra strain on your ankle, that even the brace may not be able to support.

Ankle bracing is a very good preventative accessory to many people who are active.  Overuse of an ankle brace can be bad for you because it can affect your ankle strength and balance.  If the ankle doesn’t have to do the work for balance and support, then it gets weaker, increasing the risk of injury.   Make sure that when there is minimal risk of injury to your ankle that you allow the ankle to do the work without the support so that you have strong supportive ankles for a lifetime.

5 comments

  1. An ankle brace is important when one leg is shorter then the other. The ankle on the short leg will often pronate and a bad sprain or even break will occur A Futuro brand ankle brace will alleviate this problem.

    1. Thank you Michael, we agree this is also another good reason to wear an ankle brace.

  2. I have been wearing a brace everyday to school for 4 weeks and It doesn’t hurt anymore should I take my brace off? I’m worried that I will hurt it again and I do not want to go through the pain. It was injured and sprained with no brace for 5 months before I started to wear one.

  3. I have been wearing a brace everyday to school for 4 weeks and It doesn’t hurt anymore should I take my brace off? I’m worried that I will hurt it again and I do not want to go through the pain. It was injured and sprained with no brace for 5 months before I started to wear one. If really like to know.

    1. Hello Mary Ann,
      There are a lot of factors for when to wear a brace and when not to. If you had a severe ankle sprain then we would recommend seeking a physician to take a look at it and make sure that it has properly healed. Often a person can have recurring ankle sprains due the sprain injury destabilizing the ankle. In general if the ankle is healed and there is no pain or swelling, you can probably no wear the ankle brace in normal walking conditions. It would be recommended that you continue to wear a brace while playing sports or walking/hiking on unstable surfaces. You should also spend time strengthening the ankle in order to improve the stability and reduce the risk of re-injury. Consult with a local physical therapy provider to assist you in proper exercises to strengthen your ankle. Hope this helps!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.