In volleyball, the ankle is one of the most commonly injured joints, second only to the knee. And considering that volleyball is often played on sand, requires fast and sharp movements, and often results in awkward, painful landings, that’s no surprise. So, quality ankle braces can come in handy for injury prevention and recovery. And here’s our list of the best ankle braces for volleyball to help you do just that.
WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR ANKLE DURING VOLLEYBALL
As we mentioned, your ankle goes through a lot when you play volleyball. When you run, your ankles hold against a force of 8x your body weight. And when you’re jumping, that can increase to 15x.
This increased pressure, coupled with fast movements, harsh twists, unpredictable terrain like sand, and poor proprioception while landing, means your ankle tendons and ligaments (the Achilles tendon and lateral ligament in particular) are at considerable risk. In fact, according to a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, poor landings following a block account for ~62% of ankle injuries in the sport.
Now, your ankle tendons and ligaments are sturdy. Hence, while mild sprains and overuse injuries like tendonitis are common, Grade 3 tears (AKA ruptures) are less so. But that said, even mild injuries can put you out of the game. So, without further ado, here are the best ankle braces for helping you avoid volleyball injuries and re-injury and speed up recovery.
Best ankle braces for playing volleyball
For good ankle support during volleyball, you need a brace that can compress and stabilise your ankle without sacrificing mobility.
Sports Ankle Support
So, the best choice here would be the Sports Ankle Support. We designed this brace specifically for sports demanding a lot of jumping and fast starts and stops, like dance, martial arts, and volleyball. Its figure 8 strap will support you through sharp movements, while our patented compression knit will activate choice muscles to improve proprioception and help you land better on the court.
Additionally, the sleeve is made of breathable and moisture-wicking fabric. So, your feet and ankles won’t get too sweaty, even during intense games. They’re also wearable in water and on the sand and can easily fit into your sneakers, making them suitable both for beach and indoor volleyball. Just make sure to wash them properly after your game.
Best ankle braces for recovering from a volleyball injury
For recovery post-volleyball sprain, you also need compression and stabilisation to speed up the healing process. However, you’ll need a brace designed for injury recovery rather than sports support.
This is where the MalleoTrain Plus comes in handy. Similarly to the Sports Ankle Support, it has a figure-8 strap for stabilising the injured joint and supporting it through movement. Its medical-grade compression knit will reduce the production of edemas (your body’s inflammatory agents). And it includes a viscoelastic pad, giving you added support and pain relief.
Remember, re-spraining is extremely common in volleyball; players have a 42% risk of re-injury within 6 months of the original sprain. So, you need a medical-grade, perfectly fitting ankle brace to speed your recovery and support you while you play.
Please always consult your GP or Physio about your injury before returning to more strenuous physical activities.
AchilloTrain Ankle Support
If you have an Achilles tendon injury, we’d recommend the AchilloTrain Ankle Support. Like the MalleoTrain Plus, it features our medical-grade compression knit to stabilise the muscles and help reduce swelling. But it also has a specially placed viscoelastic gel pad to support and relieve pain around the Achilles tendon. On top of that, there’s a gel cushion at the heel to reduce stress on the tendon.
Like the MalleoTrain Plus, you can wear it while resting at home or playing volleyball. But again, speak to your doctor before getting back on the field.
CaligaLoc Ankle Brace
Last but not least, the CaligaLoc. Unlike other braces in this article, the CaligaLoc is a splint, meaning you won't be able to move your ankle much. Designed for Grade II tears and Grade III ruptures rather than tendonitis and sprains, it will prevent your ankle from rolling, twisting, or buckling while you’re recovering (and help you avoid the dreaded moon boot!).
To ensure your ligaments recover properly, the brace features anatomically contoured plastic stays and adjustable straps for the perfect fit. And to ensure your comfort, it also incorporates rubberised foam lining.
Additional steps to take
As we always say, braces are a fantastic addition to your injury prevention and recovery arsenal. But bracing should never be your only focus. For volleyball, we’d strongly recommend:
- Ankle strengthening exercises. The Single-Leg Balance, for example, is great for improving ankle stability.
- Dorsiflexion, plantar flexion, and ankle rotations. They will improve the joint’s flexibility
- Proper training in volleyball foot placement (to avoid those bad landings).
For injury recovery, meanwhile, the tried-and-true RICE method goes a long way, as will any specific exercises your Physio recommends.
TO SUM UP
Volleyball puts a lot of stress and pressure on your ankle ligaments and tendons. So, it's not surprising that these are common injury sites. The good news is that bracing can go a long way to helping you recover or even avoid them entirely. But not every brace is made equal. You'll need the perfect fit, quality materials, and the right design to get the job done properly.
See our full range of ankle supports: Ankle Braces Australia
Play a lot of volleyball? Check out our collection of volleyball supports: Volleyball Support
If you require assistance selecting the right product for your needs or wearing the brace, call us on 1300 668 466 or contact us via live chat.
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