When walking or standing, the ankle supports 1.5 times your body weight. This increases up to 8 times your body weight when running. One can only imagine the stress the ankle has to endure from skateboarding ollies and board slides or BMX tailwhips, tabletops and turndowns.
Whatever high intensity or extreme sport you are involved in, the time is likely to come (if it hasn’t already) when you will need to choose an ankle brace for additional protection and support.
You just have to watch basketball players landing awkwardly after a rebound, soccer players making quick cuts and changing direction mid-speed, or the sudden sharp lateral movements of volleyball players in action to realize how vulnerable the ankle is – resulting in overextension and overuse.
Without an ankle brace, significant stress is placed on the ankle and injury is inevitable. Lace-up ankle braces offer lightweight, non-bulky support that uses laces and/or velcro wrap-around or cover straps to bind the ankle. They easily fit in a shoe and some come with protective inserts which also help in preventing ankle bruising. As they are made of fabric, they offer mid-ankle support and a comfortable feel while still allowing a range of motion.
The high energy, high speed and high-risk thrill rides and tricks of BMX riders and skateboarders- on hard, unforgiving surfaces – mean there is no protection for the impact that their ankles take.
Skateboarding is especially brutal on the ankles, and with the pushing, popping and awkward landings on tricks, a skateboarder’s ankles are expected to perform above and beyond their capabilities. The most common skateboarding ankle injury is the anterior ankle impingement (aka “hot pockets”) where a pinching feeling is felt at the front of the ankle. Cue the comfortable and prophylactic support of an ankle brace – it won’t improve your skill level but it will help in preventing a vulnerable ankle from becoming further injured, minimize bruising and enhance ankle stability.
For BMX riders, most ankle sprains occur when the ankle is rolled, twisted, or improperly landed on. (Par for the course in any BMX stunt). This often stretches or tears the strong ligaments of tissue that help hold the ankle together. That is why the high tech quick lace technology of Space Brace’s Ankle Brace 2.0 is getting quite a bit of press as a brace designed by a BMX rider and tested by professional athletes. A major endorsement comes from Dennis Enarson: “I’ve been using them for a while now and they are the most secure brace for an ankle that I’ve ever tried. And I’ve tried a bunch of these things… this is the best protection ever.”
As snowboarding has increased in popularity, so has the term, ‘snowboarder’s ankle’ – a fracture of the moving bone in the ankle joint. “Snowboarders are vulnerable to this fracture as their feet are bound to a hardboard within boots that, relative to ski boots, are fairly soft. Additionally, the feet are positioned cross-wise relative to the direction of travel of the snowboard, meaning the subtalar joint, with a motion that is limited in comparison to the ankle joint, has to absorb the majority of changes in ground-force.” –Source: One Welbeck Orthopedics
Wearing an ankle brace while performing ollies, jumps and indy grabs will stabilize the ankle, relieve pain from existing ankle injuries and provide additional support for post-ankle injuries.
Ankle braces are recommended to reduce the risk of injury while participating in athletic activity or extreme sports as well as to protect the joint from re-injury when returning to play. If you are involved in the world of high-intensity sport, they need to be part of your kit – for prevention, protection and/or recovery.