Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ankle Braces and Ankle Health

This is an article written by my good friend, and former co-worker Carson Boddicker. He is the founder of Boddicker Performance, a Flagstaff, AZ based athletic performance company. In the article Carson talks about ankle health and possible danger involved with ankle bracing. If this article sparks your curiosity check out his blog at
-Enjoy, Will Hawkins

"I recently was asked what was the “best” ankle brace to use. Below are my thoughts, which are in line with that of ACE Bandages and Kinesiotape. Enjoy!
Weeding through the ankle brace market can certainly be trying for even the professional. While they are a great short term “band-aid; to be entirely honest, an ankle brace will only make your problems worse in the long run by weakening the tissues around the joint even more and contributing more to the instability.

Your best bet in my mind, without question, is to address the root of the cause of the ankle instability instead of just treating the symptom itself.

With an ankle injury, many things can go wrong. Often, the bones of the foot and lower leg begin to not play together nicely, with the talus migrating superiorly and anteriorly, thus losing range of motion in the toes to your shin range of motion–dorsiflexion–which is critical in the health of the foot, ankle, and knee. Here, we’d be certain to try and improve dorsiflexion range of motion with both active and passive techniques. It’s also important to address calcaneal inversion with active mobilizations.

Furthermore, the most lateral muscles of the lower leg, the peroneals (as a group), are put on an extremely fast stretch, and become scarred up and inhibited. Research shows that in cases of chronic ankle instability, these muscles respond slower to a stability challenge than a healthy tissue does due to muscle spindle activity. One of the best ways to handle this is through a combination of soft-tissue therapy, proprioceptive training, and nerve flossing techniques."

Best regards,
Carson Boddicker