The ankle is one of the body’s most major weight-bearing joints and therefore both ankle mobility and stability are essential in regular bodily functions. When finding the “best” type of ankle support, it is crucial to first identify the issue regarding your ankle and what you would like to achieve from the ankle support. This is because ankle supports come in all shapes and functions specific to the injury. Generally, ankle supports are worn to stabilize and support the ankle joint in cases of instability, provide immobilisation to allow the ankle to recover from injuries, or prevent ankle injuries from activities involving quick stop and go movements.
Types of Ankle Supports
There are three main types of ankle supports to choose from:
- Compression sleeve: Knitted fabric for compression.
- Sleeves with Straps: Added figure 8 straps for stability on compression sleeve.
- Splint braces: Semi-rigid shell with straps or wraps
Read more: What Ankle Injury Do I Have?
As the name suggests, compression sleeves are intended to provide compression around the ankle joint and are the most comfortable type of support. They are designed to reduce swelling and aid with mild pain and slight instability.
Our compression sleeves at Bauerfeind are made of breathable three-dimensional knit created to conform to the natural shape of the ankle and provide graduated compression for improved circulation. This means that they are comfortable to wear all day long while not restricting your normal range of movement. The MalleoTrain ankle support is a fantastic compression sleeve which also features two contoured viscoelastic pads behind each ankle bone to help reduce pain and swelling around the joint.
MalleoTrain Ankle Support
Compression Sleeves with Straps
In addition to compression sleeves, straps can be utilized in a classic heel-lock figure eights to simulate the effects of a tape job, however much easier and sturdier. The added straps are generally made of a range of materials and vary in flexibility and thickness. However, once fitted and tightened around the ankle, the added straps greatly increase the stability of the ankle and provide support without restricting movement. They are great for rolled ankles and strained ligaments caused from active moments such as soccer, netball, and other sports.
The MalleoTrain Plus combines the soothing gel inserts and compression mentioned previously from the Malleotrain and adds adjustable figure 8 straps to stabilise the ankle joint. It is the perfect brace for instability in the ankle due to ligament injuries. Also, a great brace for rolled ankles as it prevents lateral twisting. The MalleoTrain S features these straps with compression sleeve and you can easily remove the gel pads to aid in fitting in tight shoes or boots.
MalleoTrain Plus Ankle Support
MalleoTrain S Ankle Support
For moderate to severe instability and injury, splint braces can be introduced. These are generally made from durable semi-rigid plastic that starts from the top of the foot, around the sides and underneath the bottom of the foot. Splint braces are held tight against the foot and ankle through several straps as well. Due to its rigid nature, these supports are highly stable and aid in a controlled range of motion through preventing the ankle from rolling inwards or outwards.
Whilst the rigid nature of the support seems uncomfortable and large, the anatomically shaped MalleoLoc and the MalleoLoc L supports provide support whilst remaining comfortable to wear throughout the entire day and fit in most shoes. The extra cushioning in the soles help combat soreness within the base of the foot and the adjustable straps allow you to tailor the compression level. These are perfect for moderate to severe ankle instability, ligament ruptures, sprains, and sprain prevention.
MalleoLoc L Ankle Support
Special Mention: Hybrid Ankle support
Whilst each type of support offers its own benefits, these can be combined into a hybrid ankle support that features all aspects previously mentioned such as a compression sleeve, strapping, and a splint. These types of supports will offer the highest level of support and stability whilst also allowing complete adjustability and control over the level of compression and rigidity.
The Malleoloc L3 is a great example of a hybrid ankle support that features all 3 components of the previously mentioned types of supports. It is an incredibly versatile and comfortable ankle support that can be used throughout the entire rehab process by relieving pain and stabilising the ankle. Unique to the MalleoLoc L3, each component can be utilized in different combinations, e.g. the compression sleeve can be used alone, or in conjunction with the splint and straps depending on the recovery process. It is ideal for moderate to severe instability issues such as ruptured ligaments and severe ankle sprains.
MalleoLoc L3 Ankle Support
If you are still unsure which is the best type of ankle support for your injury, book a video consultation with a Bauerfeind expert: Book Video Call, or call us on 1300 668 466.
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