We have suggested ankle braces to protect ankle joints from a sprain by restricting inversion and improving proprioception. The study showed that the semi-rigid ankle brace showed a positive effect compared to the effect of a soft brace and no brace. Semi-rigid ankle braces have a positive impact on dynamic postural stability after landing on a single leg and may improve balance by increasing dynamic postural stability.
There are two types of semi-rigid braces-
- Lace-Up Ankle Brace
- Hinged Ankle Brace
Lace-Up Ankle Brace
Lace-up braces are one of the most familiar types of semi-rigid ankle braces. It uses for mild-to-moderate ankle sprains and for the prevention of repeat ankle sprains that occur with activity. Lace-up ankle braces are designed to limit the ankle from rolling side to side and then up and down ankle motion, theoretically providing full ankle support.
The benefits of lace-up braces comprise the mix of durability with a comfortable, lightweight feel; therefore, it provides more protection than the compression brace and fits in most shoes. Likewise, they are further universally fit for either the right or the left ankle.
Hinged Ankle Brace
Hinged ankle braces are other sorts of the semi-rigid brace. The design of these braces prevents rolling the ankle from side to side without affecting the up and down motion of the ankle. They have padded sides for increased comfort and either one or two Velcro straps for quick adjustment and easy on and off application.
Hinged braces provide increased side-to-side support compared to the lace-up brace and also designed to fit in most shoes. They are constructed to fit the contour of the right or the left ankle.
It’s important always to be proactive about your ankle injury prevention. If you are an active athlete, make sure your training program includes exercises that mobilize your ankles and strengthen your knees as well so they function properly and minimize your risk of injury. If you suffer an ankle or knee injury, always remember that using an ankle brace (semi-rigid ankle brace, a rigid ankle brace or soft brace) only serves as a temporary solution. It should use only during the initial phase of your rehabilitation unless recommended by your attending physician.