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When and Why to Brace an Injury


 
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Whether it begins with a sharp pain in the kneecap or a dull ache in the lower back, a sports-related injury can have wide-reaching consequences. According to a study by the US Department of Health and Human Sciences, there are 8.6 million sports and recreational injuries per year, with strains and sprains representing the most commonly reported.
 
While preventative measures such as resistance training can reduce the risk of a sports-related injury, sports braces can also be hugely beneficial. They not only reduce pain in formerly injured joints and muscles but also help prevent future sports injuries. Consider how they can serve specific regions of the body.
 




 
Foot and Ankle Injuries
 
The ankle is especially susceptible to sports injury. Common injuries to the ankle include strains and sprains, which occur when the ligaments that connect the three ankle bones are damaged. Another common injury to the ankle is tendonitis, which is caused by overuse of the tendon to the extent that the tendon is torn slightly. A complete or partial tear to the Achilles tendon — which connects the muscles in the calf to the heel — can result in a painful and common injury known as an Achilles tendon rupture.
 
Using an ankle brace can reinforce these muscles, potentially preventing injury. Regular foot massage, combined with the use of a compression brace, can even reduce inflammation and successfully treat previously injured muscles and tendons.
 
Knee Injuries
 
As the biggest joint in the body, the knee is commonly injured by those participating in professional and recreational sports. A forceful blow can easily cause the unprotected kneecap to be broken; this is known as a patellar fracture. A dislocation in the knee can also occur when the three bones connected in the knee are separated.
 
Some of the most common sports injuries to the knees are sprains and tears to the posterior cruciate ligaments and collateral ligaments. These injuries are caused by high impacts to a bent knee or impacts that force the knee in a sideways direction. Finally, a twist to the knee can cause a tear in the meniscus. A sports brace can provide the stability necessary to protect the muscles and ligaments from the blows and twists that cause pain and injury. It can also provide therapeutic warmth and compression after an injury, potentially speeding up the healing process.
 

 
Back Injuries
 
Muscle strain in the back is a frequent source of pain among athletes, and tears to the ligaments (tissues that connect bones) are also extremely common. Strength training that improves posture is an effective way to strengthen the back against injury. Further, the use of a supportive office chair or back brace can support the back, reducing the pain caused by strains and sprains.
 
Another sports-related back injury involves the soft disks that separate the 26 bones of the spine. The intense force found in many sports can cause these disks to slip out of place or even rupture, which irritates the surrounding nerves in an injury known as a herniated disk. Once again, back braces can compress and stabilize the lower back, which relieves the intense lower back and leg pain caused by this type of injury.
 
Arm and Shoulder Injuries
 
Repetition is an important part of training for any athlete. However, the overuse of muscles and joints can cause painful injuries and conditions. Muscle overuse in the forearm causes a condition known as tennis elbow, characterized by inflammation of the elbow tendons. A SLAP tear to the ring of cartilage around the shoulder socket is caused by repeated overhead movements such as pitching a baseball or serving a tennis ball.
 
Repetitive actions can further weaken the muscles and joints in the shoulder, causing shoulder instability. The blunt force trauma can result in the dislocation of shoulder bones. Sports braces for the elbows and shoulders can both prevent and remedy these types of injuries by providing compression and stability where they’re most needed.
 
If you are an athlete, you have probably experienced one or more of these injuries. There are numerous steps involved in recovery, but an appropriate athletic brace is often an integral part of the process. The sooner you remedy your injury, the sooner you can get back in the game.
 

Chris Scalise
Chris Scalise is a writer and content strategist from Los Angeles, who covers developments in health, wellness, and science. In addition, he frequently writes about emerging trends in the tech sector.
January 19, 2019 | Foot Health, Guest Posts, Injury Treatment and Prevention, Low Back Pain Relief | 0

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