Reasons to Wear a Knee or Ankle Brace While Running
Running is one of the most popular and effective forms of exercise. It strengthens the muscles, improves cardiovascular health, promotes weight loss, and even supports mental health. But despite all of the benefits that running provides, there are some risks associated with the activity; namely, the joints of the lower body can take a beating – particularly the knees and the ankles. Many runners opt to wear ankle and/or knee braces to prevent damage to these joints and improve their flexibility.
Here's a look at some of the reasons why you, too, might want to consider using an ankle or knee brace while you run.
By and large, the most common reason why runners wear knee and ankle braces is to prevent the risk of injury. Many athletes wear braces to help stop these joints from being pushed beyond the limit or in the wrong direction should they take a misstep. As such, when you wear an ankle or knee brace while you're running, you'll be able to push yourself even harder, as you'll have added comfort and support, should you end up making a misstep, which means that you'll be far less likely to injure these joints. Braces that are used to prevent injuries on the knees and ankles while running are commonly referred to as functional braces because they are used while the joints are fully functional and allow you to perform more freely.
Support After Injury
If you suffered an injury to your knee or ankle and you've regained total functionality, the joints may still be weak during the final stages of healing. If you try to hit the track, path, or field without properly protecting these delicate joints, there's a good chance that you could sustain a further injury, and that injury could cause even more damage than the initial injury you suffered. A brace acts as a stabilizing element. That's because it protects and supports the joint and prevents further injury. If you have experienced a significant ankle or knee injury within the last six months, wearing a brace while you're engaging in running is highly recommended. In the event that something does go wrong and you take a misstep, your joint will be supported and can continue the healing process; it could even help to prevent you from a serious fall, which could potentially cause further damage.
Rehab for an Injury
Right after you've sustained an injury to your knee or ankle – a sprain or an overextension, for example – your doctor may recommend wearing a brace for a period of time during the recovery process. Wearing a brace during the rehab process are referred to as rehabilitative braces, as they help provide a level of protection for the affected area and prevent you from doing additional damage. As such, wearing a brace while you're running after an injury to your knee or ankle can help to aid the rehabilitation process.
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