Selecting an ankle brace is an important process. In this blog, we will try to make the ankle brace selection process easier. You can select an ankle support for any ankle injury and for varying support levels based on injury. When choosing an ankle brace it is very important to select the correct size in order to provide the best support and level of comfort. Most ankle braces are sized using either shoe size or the circumference of one’s ankle. If you have any suggestions based on your experience please share them in the comments following the blog.
Select by Support Level
There are many support rating schemes to rate ankle brace support levels. I prefer to rate support levels as basic, moderate and high.
Basic Support: These ankle braces are usually smaller and can be made of a stretch fabric or light neoprene. They are good for wearing during the normal workday and/or during sleep because they are quite comfortable. When selecting a basic ankle support that will be worn for long periods of time, I recommend looking at how the ankle support holds itself in place (sleeve or a strapping system). These braces provide minimal support.
Moderate Support: These ankle supports provide more support than basic support ankle braces. They tend to be more rigid and a bit more bulky, however several of the braces have gel inserts to provide comfort and relief. These braces provide moderate support.
High Support: These braces provide the maximum amount of support and most comfort. The braces should be utilized for higher-level injuries as well as used for preventative measures. These braces are more likely to limit mobility.
Select by Type of Injury
Sprains/Ligaments: A sprain is stretching and or tearing of ligaments. Sprained ankles are very common injuries. Below are the braces specific to this kind of injury:
Achilles Tendons: The tendon that runs from your calf muscle at the back of your lower leg and inserts in at the back of the heel is known as the Achilles tendon. There are multiple types of Achilles tendon injuries varying from total rupture, partial rupture, Achilles tendonitis, and Achilles tendon bursitis. Below are the braces specific to this kind of injury:
Forefoot and Heel Conditions:
- Diabetes mellitus ulcers
- Neuropathic forefoot ulcers
- Injuries of the forefoot
- Post surgical forefoot conditions
- Rheumatic feet
Below is the brace that is specific to these kinds of injuries: