This is a commonly asked question in the clinic when sporting clubs are in full swing. Here are our Physiotherapist's opinions;
When you tape or brace an ankle during sport you slow down the injury speed and hence decrease the amount of ligament damage. This is a good example - "If I shot a bullet out of a gun, I would create a lot of damage. If I took a bullet and threw it at something the damage would be far less." This is the reason for taping or bracing during sport as a preventative or post injury.
Tape has also been shown to heighten the awareness of receptors around the joint or area being taped and hence may increase reaction time in muscles to correct the ankle before it is too late.
Should I tape or buy a brace?? They each have pro's and con's; TAPE Pro's - Necessary for some sports that a brace will not fit into the shoe e.g. ballet dancer, gymnast, swimmer Con's - Need to do it yourself or find someone qualified to tape for you. - Cheaper, I don't think so in the long run. - Skin irritation can occur when you sweat under the tape in this nice, hot North QLD weather conditions.
BRACE Pro's - One off cost approx. $80 - $90 ( May be eligible for a health fund rebate) - Can apply anywhere, anytime, just before going on the field - A good brace will fit in all sports shoes Con's - Expensive up front cost
In summary, we feel a good ankle brace is a good investment for prevention and management of ankle sprains. We stock a customised fitted ankle brace in the clinic and you may be eligible for a health fund rebate when a brace is prescribed by a physiotherapist. Come in and see us for a fitting and find out more.