What is ankle taping and bracing?
Ankle taping and bracing provides stability to the ankle joint during athletic activity; whether to protect the joint from injury or to stabilize and existing injury.
Ankle sprains are one of the most common sports-related injuries in the United States which can result in significant breaks from sports, training and other physical activities. Ankle sprains tend to involve partial or complete ligament tears.
The concept of prophylactic (preventative) ankle wrapping was introduced more than 60 years ago to prevent or reduce the severity of ankle injuries. It may be applied before practice or a competition.
Ankle bracing and taping should be done under the guidance of a sports medicine physician or a training athletic staff.
What is the difference between ankle taping and bracing?
The concept of ankle bracing evolved from ankle taping.
Braces are presently being used instead of traditional taping by many athletes at all levels of competition. Ankle braces are self-applied, reusable, and re-adjustable. In the long run, braces are likely more cost-effective than taping. Disadvantages of bracing include the fact that many athletes feel less comfortable or stable when wearing braces than they do when the ankle is taped. Braces also may tear and require replacement.
Another disadvantage to ankle taping is you can’t self-apply it, hence you can’t remove and reapply when it causes discomfort. Taping may also cause skin inflammation and sores.
Some athletes find ankle tape more comfortable and stable than ankle braces, however.