What should you be wearing to protect your feet and legs during practice, exercise, sports, and cool-down?
One of the most common injuries out there are ankle sprains. In fact, leg strains, twists, pulls, and bruises are easier to get and more common than you’d think. This is because the body was meant to move in very specific ways. As people push themselves to beat their personal bests, play sports, and even stand for work every day, they run the risk of causing injuries both from repeated physical stress and simply taking a misstep.
All this and more are why people have taken to wearing shoes, socks, and braces with extra support throughout their everyday lives. But what is the most effective way to protect your ankles? Let’s take a deeper look.
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How Do Braces Work?
Ankle braces work to limit your range of movement. They’re great for healing as they can physically stop you from using those injured muscles, how much do they do for support and injury prevention? They’ve been proven to help treat ankle injuries and lower the amount of repeated injury, but they aren’t all that great at actually preventing injury in the first place. Additionally, if you put on a brace before you start stretching or getting active, they can slow down and even prevent your muscles from properly warming up.
How Do Compression Socks Work?
Compression socks work to align your lower leg muscles and support them as they move. While they apply pressure to your legs, they do so evenly around the entire lower leg, ankle, and foot. This means it doesn’t limit movement to much as ensure that your whole leg is moving together. Many brands of compression socks also use patented techniques to provide extra support in at-risk areas like the ankle, arch, and calve.
Which Should You Use?
When looking to prevent injury, compression socks are a great way to retain your full range of motion while doing the things you love. Comparatively, ankle braces show very little change in the probability of getting an ankle sprain, but are an effective option for treatment. If you are worried about daily muscle fatigue and commonplace injuries, compression socks are a much better choice.
Next, it comes down to which brands are best. When looking to avoid painful injuries, look for a compression sock company that provides additional support to your most vulnerable leg muscles and one that provides socks in the 15-25mmHg range as that’s what is healthiest for extended wear.
Compression Socks vs. Ankle Braces
If you’re already injured, look to ankle braces. But after recovery and before injury, compression socks have been proven to be a better option for muscle support, alignment, protection, and care. If you’re not sure who to buy from or what type to look for, consult a doctor and do some research. Compression socks are a great way to stay healthy while staying active, and it may be time for you to get a pair of your own.