Question:My 15-year old daughter seems to sprain her ankles easily. Would a brace or taping help or do these just weaken the ankle more?
Bracing and taping are two popular ways to prevent ankle sprains. Research shows both are equally effective. Some people get skin irritation easily with either of these choices. If they aren't applied correctly, further injury can occur.
For athletes, an improperly fitted brace can reduce playing performance. Tape can both irritate the skin and come loose during activity. Research shows training with a balance board works just as well without any side effects.
A special proprioceptive balance board is used by physical therapists to train and rehab athletes. Proprioception, the sense of joint position, is often damaged with ankle injury. Restoring strength and proprioception can help prevent further strains and sprains. This may be a good option for your daughter. It can be done at home in five minutes each day.Evert Verhagen, et al. The Effect of a Proprioceptive Balance Board Training Program for the Prevention of Ankle Sprains. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. August/September 2004. Vol. 32. No. 6. Pp. 1385-1393.
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