You Asked: ''Do Ankle Wraps or Knee Braces Keep Weak Joints Safe During Exercise?''

By , Sara Hambidge, Physical Therapist
Braces and other supportive devices are great to use when recovering from an injury and to prevent re-injuring a joint that is still unstable from a previous injury. 

Braces can give the joint the support it is lacking because of poor ligament stability or weakness of the muscles surrounding the joint. However, your ultimate goal should be to restore your joint's strength and stability so that it can support itself without a brace. 

Therefore, I do not recommend using braces or wraps if there is no medical need for them. This doesn't mean that if you were to fall or get hit that a brace may not help prevent an injury, but there are many cases in which injury can occur even with a brace.

The bottom line is, use it if it helps to provide support that your joint lacks due to injury, but do not use it if no injury is present. You want to train your muscles and joints to support themselves without an assistive device. You can do this by stretching and strengthening the joint and its surrounding muscles, which also helps you recover and prevent further injury. 

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Comments

AMYSUZEQ 2/13/2018
Thank You! Report
MCFITZ2 12/27/2017
My daughter and granddaughter have Ehelers Danlos and so braces are often a necessary part of everyday life Report
TOMATOCAFEGAL 11/9/2017
I WEAR BRACES IN MY SHOES FOR SUPPORT. FALLEN ARCH IN 1 AND FOOT STRAIGHTEN FOR THE OTHER. IF I DID NOT WEAR THEM I WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO CONTINUE WALKING DAY AFTER DAY. Report
AJB121299 11/4/2017
Nice Report
DIROB57 10/30/2017
I had a feeling this was true...that braces aren't always the best answer. And sometimes they actually create a problem....I remember wearing an ankle brace one time to step aerobics class and the calf muscle just above the brace got a cramp during class that caused me to stop in my tracks immediately!....it was so painful I had to leave class! Report
COMEBACKKID12 9/14/2017
True. I wear an ankle support for my left ankle due to a chronic injury. I do Strengthening and stretching for the ankle and some massage of the arch. After exercise. BUT I also strengthen my calves, feet, ankles Too. Still doing some high impact work so I don't intend on separating from the ankle support! Report
Very true. I was wearing my knee brace for awhile and now I keep it to when I'm doing something more intense than usual and will probably drop it then too. I've been working out without it and my knee has gotten a lot stronger and I haven't re-injured in a long time. Report
RACEWELLWON
Great Blog - I agree - rebuilding is the key - may have slow down a bit while strength training in long its worth it ! Report
 
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