Ankle Braces can Prevent Basketball Injuries
Ankle braces, which are popularly sported by many basketballers, are actually effective in preventing injuries, reveals a new study on high school cagers. These braces reduced the chances of injuries like fracture or ankle sprain by up to 68%. The research study used braces manufactured by McDavid Inc. and each costs about $35.
Braces to Avoid Ankle Injuries
These findings were recently reported in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. The ankle braces are made with synthetic fabric and bound with Velcro. Basketball players use these braces to prevent ankle injuries, which are common in their sport. The study was led by Timothy McGuine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Ankle Braces are Effective
The study also put to rest fears that by limiting ankle mobility, these braces increase the risk of knee injuries. This is not so, says McGuine. The study assigned ankle braces to 740 players, while 720 others played without these braces through the basketball season. Among the 740 with braces, only 27 suffered an ankle injury. Among the 720 players without braces, 78 ankle injuries were reported. Knee injuries in both groups were also most similar at 15 in the braced athletes and 13 among the others.
Combine Proper Training with Braces
McGuine recommends the use of soft, flexible braces that are not as risky for the knees as plastic, semi-rigid ones. But, the braces are not a panacea as they do not limit the severity of an ankle injury, if it occurs. The researchers say proper training and ankle braces are the best combination to avoid injuries.
High School Basketball is Popular
In the US, about a million high schoolers play basketball. If they suffer an ankle injury, it increases their risk of re-occurring injuries at the same place and the risk of arthritis in later life. McGuine notes that protecting student athletes from injuries can result in health care savings in the future.