How do the NHL players keep their ankles strong on the ice? It’s all about support! Whether applying a supportive tape or an ankle brace, you have to have stability if you’re gonna be on skates! Some hockey skates have built-in bracing to support the ankles, but if your skates don’t have them, check out some other ways to get extra support. Ankle injuries are common on the ice due to the high speed and extreme twists and motion exuded by the foot. Ankle sprains, fractures, tendon subluxations are all common injuries that hockey players experience if no support is provided to the ankle joint.
- Neoprene ankle braces are not built for support. They only provide proprioceptive protection which means it helps maintain balance and provide minimal support to the ankle joint. They will also help decrease swelling which can help eliminate pain.
- Lace-up or Figure-8 ankle braces provide optimal support to the ankle. It prevents excessive twisting of the ankle ligaments which helps prevent sprains. These are ideal for athletes who have a history of ankle sprains or have increased inversion or eversion of the foot placing you at risk of spraining the ankle. The only down-fall to this type of brace is the bulk it may cause in your skates. So be sure to try it on with your skates before the game.
- Athletic taping can provide temporary stability to the ankle; however, it does not prevent the excessive motion that a durable ankle brace can provide long term. If you are trying to prevent an ankle injury from occurring or prevent re-aggrevation of an old injury, taping can be performed prior to the game by yourself or a trainer.
There are hundreds of different ankle brace brands, but these are the main 3 categories to follow when trying to provide stability to your ankles during a hockey game. If you have chronic ankle pain, history of ankle sprains or fractures, please call Advanced Podiatry and discuss your treatment options with our doctors. To be the best athlete, you must be proactive in injury prevention and Advanced Podiatry can help you with that today.