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To Brace Or Not To Brace?

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

Do ankle braces do more harm than help? Sleeves vs braces, which option is better? Should I practice with ankle braces or only use them for games?

Basketball athlete Stephen Curry ankle braces injury
Stephen Curry with ankle braces

There are a lot of opinions floating around the world of sports regarding the use of ankle braces. While there is no one size fits all answer, here are some points to consider:

  • Ankle braces as a recovery tool are great. If you have an ankle injury or are prone to ankle injuries (ex. NBA all-star Steph Curry), using a brace can be an effective way to recover and prevent further damage.

  • However, braces shouldn't necessarily be used all the time because they can weaken intrinsic muscles and decrease proprioception (body awareness).

Basically, if you have an ankle injury or are prone to ankle injuries, using a brace can help. If you have healthy ankles, doing balance and ankle strengthening exercises are more effective routes to injury prevention and long-term joint health than just using a brace.

Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images


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