Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Study Spotlight: The Effect of Lace-up Ankle Braces on Injury Rates in High School Basketball Players

Research shows that 10-28% of athletic related injuries are ankle sprains and they tend to lead to missing the most amount of activity during the recovery process.  This is obviously not a good thing for anyone involved in sports.  Is there a best way to prevent injuries from happening?  The options are wide such as taping, ankle braces and just training.  Taping is great but can get expensive quickly, there are endless braces and does training really work?

We look at a study that shows the effectiveness of ankle bracing in reducing ankle injuries in high school basketball players.

What They Did:
This study included 1460 male and female high school basketball players.  Players were assigned to a group where they wore the brace or the control group where they didn't wear anything.  Throughout the course of a season athletic trainers recorded brace compliance, athlete exposures and injuries for both groups.

What They Found:
The rate of acute ankle injuries showed an injury rate (per 1000 exposures) was 0.47 in the braced group compared to 1.41 in the controlled group.  For players that had a history of previous ankle injury the incidence of injury was 0.83 in the braced group and 1.79 in the control group.  For players that did not have previous injury the incidence of injury was 0.40 in the braced group and 1.35 in the control group.

What It All Means:
Long story short through all the numbers is that the use of ankle braces in this study significantly reduced the incidence of ankle injury in both the group that had previous history of ankle injury and also the group with no history of injury. They also found that there was no change in the incidence of knee injury and wearing an ankle brace did not cause more injuries to the knee.  The amount of money that can be saved over the course of someones health history with something as simple as an ankle sprain can be staggering.  It is well into the 10's of thousands of dollars over the coarse of a lifetime.  A simple $50-$60 investment could be a game changer.

Mueller 'The One' Ankle Brace
McDavid Ankle Brace


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