By Brian Acton
Whether you’re an experienced athlete, a weekend warrior, or somewhere in between, getting injured doesn’t always have to take you out of action. Depending on the injury, you may be able to continue to play sports while you recover using medical treatment, rehabilitation, periodic rest, or some combination of the three.
Extremity braces can also help you play sports through an injury. These products are worn over the injured area, providing support and stability as you exercise. Here are three reasons to wear extremity braces while playing sports.
Braces Promote Stability
The primary purpose of an extremity brace is to provide external support to increase the stability of a joint such as your elbow, wrist, or knee. When you have injured yourself, your joint may be considerably weaker - for example, after you’ve injured your ankle, you may feel less stable and the ankle may be prone to buckling when your foot lands a certain way.
Through compression and support, braces add stability during sports. For example, the Swede-O® Thermal Vent® Knee Stabilizer supports the knee and prevents the patella from shifting out of place, which is important to keep the knee healthy during sports after an injury.
Braces Can Prevent Reinjury
While extremity braces are not generally recommended for preventing future injuries from occurring, they can help you avoid exacerbating an existing injury or reinjuring yourself during your recovery. By providing support during sports, braces can reduce the pressure placed on the injured area and/or prevent you from moving your joint in an unnatural way, thereby reducing the chances of reinjury or a setback.
For example, the Swede-O® Thermal Vent® Hinged Elbow Brace provides stability during sports that can relieve elbow pain and promote recovery. Its crisscrossing straps offer protection that prevents hyperextension, which occurs when your elbow bends beyond its natural range of motion and damages the ligaments and bones in your elbow.
Braces Promote Recovery
Braces also promote recovery from a previous injury. Because additional stability and support prevents you from putting too much pressure or exerting too much force on the injured area, your joint has the ability to continuously recover as you play sports.
This is important because the wrong movement during sports can cause you to reinjure yourself, which could hinder your progress and prolong rehabilitation and recovery time.
For example, the Swede-O® PowerWrap® Wrist Brace provides support and compression to weak and injured wrists. It can reduce the risk of reinjury and promote recovery as you avoid motions that can aggravate nerves, tendons, or ligaments.
Whether you’re dealing with a weak wrist, a injured knee, tennis elbow, a sprained ankle, or something else, extremity braces can help promote stability and avoid reinjury as you recover while playing sports.
But it’s important to remember that extremity braces are not a replacement for medical treatment or injury rehabilitation - they don’t convey any healing benefits, and ideally you won’t want to rely on them long-term. As you recover, you may need to adjust the intensity of your exercise or reduce your training schedule. Consult your doctor for advice and a recovery plan after an injury.