TO BRACE OR TAPE?
Prevention of recurring injury in ankle ligaments is a big part of successful treatment. We know that even after the pain and swelling has settled, many people are susceptible to re-injury, so it’s important to offer additional stability when they return to sport.
There are two main methods of reinforcing ankle ligaments, each with their own pros and cons.
The first: rigid sports tape. It is not to be confused with the new craze of stretchy k-tapes, and is a beige or white colour and hand tear able. Applied correctly, sports tape supplements the ankle ligaments.
Ankle taping is a great way to give the ankle more stability when returning to sport from an ankle injury and to prevent ankle ligament sprains in the first place. There are several different techniques which can be used depending on what ligaments have been injured and the type of activity, so it is strongly suggested you consult one of our physiotherapists to learn the best approach for you.
MORE COSTLY OVER LONG TERM
SHORT TERM COMFORT
CHEAPER IN SHORT TERM
NEEDS SOMEONE ELSE TO APPLY IT
REQUIRES GOOD TECHNIQUE
The second method is ankle bracing: the use of a pre-fabricated ankle sleeve with adjustable straps. Good braces mimic the effect of taping and are easily applied yourself.
These are especially good when there is chronic ankle instability and the use of tape over and over again can become uncomfortable and expensive. We supply a high quality ankle brace which does a great job at preventing injury and stabilising the ankle joints. It is also relatively less bulky in the shoes than other brands.
CHEAPER IN LONG TERM
CAN BE UNCOMFORTABLE
NO ASSISTANCE REQUIRED
ADJUSTABLE ONCE ON
HIGHER INITIAL COST
LESS SKIN IRRITATION
Studies either have found no difference or a superior effect from bracing compared with taping.
Our expert opinion and experience would suggest:
Ankle bracing is the only option for people with a tape allergy or frail skin at risk of damage from the strong adhesive.
If tape is well tolerated, there’s someone to help you apply it properly, and you are only likely to need extra support in the short term, tape is probably the most comfortable and cost effective option for you.
If you need the additional support over a longer period (e.g. a whole netball season, or every day for a month at work) ankle bracing will be a more comfortable and cost effective option.
Ankle rehabilitation is not just about bracing or taping. It’s important to see your physio and get an individual rehabilitation program to help you get back to your regular activity successfully.
CALL WINSTON HILLS PHYSIO ON 9838 8449 FOR YOU ANKLE REHAB AND BRACING NEEDS.