Ankle instability is common after sustaining any sort of ankle injury, particularly an inversion sprain. If you are in the process of recovering and are wondering how to boost your ankle stability, taping might be your answer. There are many potential benefits of taping the ankle. Keep reading to learn more about the basics of taping for ankle instability.
There are a lot of benefits that are associated with taping the ankle. However, some are better supported with research than others. Some orthopedic doctors and physical therapists do not actually use taping simply because of the mixed literature. Yet, there is no research to indicate adverse effects, so it is certainly worth a try. Here are a few of the expected benefits when ankle taping is utilized correctly:
There are different types of tape and techniques that you can apply to the ankle for promoting stability. Which one is right for you will depend on your activity level and rehab goals. The primary two types of tape are athletic tape and kinesiology tape.
Athletic tape is not flexible and restricts the motion of the ankle for short term support, most often following an acute injury. This is typically reserved for athletes after sports injuries to wear for a few hours at a time when they are practicing or competing. A physical therapist, orthopedic doctor, or athletic trainer would most likely be the one applying this type of tape to your ankle.
Kinesiology tape has become a popular option for daily activities and athletic events alike. It is designed to be less restrictive and more comfortable for wearing for up to two or three days at a time. With instruction from your physical therapist or a general understanding of how to apply it, you can even apply kinesiology tape to your own ankle as needed.
There are several different ways to apply kinesiology tape. However, there are some basic ways to provide ankle stability.
You can try following the steps below to get started:
Use this technique to prevent excessive medial/lateral movement (commonly needed with inversion ankle sprains)
Use this technique combined with the one above for even more stability of the ankle joint
Kinesiology taping can be done at home once you get the hang of it. There are a few details and tips that can help you maximize the comfort level, efficacy, and life of your tape when it is applied. Review these tips before getting started:
There is no right answer as to whether the use of tape or an ankle brace is better for dealing with ankle instability. There are a few factors that will play a role in which option is better for you, such as:
If you are in the acute phase of ankle recovery, the use of kinesiology tape is a great short term option for boosting ankle stability. Whereas, if you are dealing with chronic ankle instability or are looking for a long term solution for boosting your ankle support, a brace may be a great option
A brace or ankle sleeve that provides similar support to your ankle as a long term solution that doesn’t require the continual time intensive replacement of kinesiology tape.
Kinesiology tape needs to be replaced frequently and can add up in cost while wearing a brace tends to be a more cost effective option.
Depending on your activity level you may find that one option works better for you than the other.
Regardless, it’s always best to talk to your doctor or physical therapist about which option is best for you. It’s important to note that both bracing and taping have great potential benefits, but too much external support can also weaken the ankle further or make it dependent on these devices. Thus, finding the right balance of support and ankle use is key.
Taping is a great tool for boosting ankle stability as you recover. Overall, it’s low cost and has many benefits that make it a favorite among physical therapists and patients alike. It’s definitely worth trying to help regain confidence in your ankle following an injury. It is just another step that can help you in your recovery process to a more stable ankle. Talk to your doctor immediately if your symptoms worsen or they are affecting your quality of life for further medical advice.
Sources:Shop Ankle Stability