Sports & Injury Supports
Sports Braces and Supports Explained
Along with hot and cold therapy products, sports braces and supports are often used by athletes after an injury as part of the rehabilitation process to encourage faster healing and reduce discomfort, including pain and swelling. They can also be used to prevent sprains from occurring as they protect the area and can limit movement which lessens the risk of sustaining a major injury during high-impact sports and activities, such as volleyball and basketball.
The most common parts of the body that are prone to injury during sports include the knee, ankle, lower back, wrist, elbow, and shoulders. Knee injuries, particularly a tear or sprain to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), are prevalent in the sports industry due to the extensive amount of jumping, landing, and making sudden changes in direction.
A sports brace can not only help to prevent these types of injuries but help to fast-track the recovery process by using compression and warmth to stabilise the area, reduce pain and inflammation, improve blood circulation, and protect it from future damage.
What Conditions are Braces Commonly Used for?
A sports brace and support can help to treat or prevent a wide range of injuries that can occur during sports or physical activities. They can also be an effective means for managing pain and discomfort associated with a chronic condition, such as arthritis. Here are the most common injuries and conditions a brace can help with:
- Ankle injuries - Whether you play sports or not, ankle sprains are one of the most common ankle injuries you may encounter. An ankle brace can provide support to the affected area by limiting your range of motion to give the ligaments time to heal.
- Back pain - Lower back pain can make it difficult to play sports and complete daily tasks. Athletes are at a greater risk of back pain as they put more pressure on this area. However, it can also occur as a result of poor posture, arthritis, bone misalignment, and more. A back brace will support the back and keep it in the right position when lifting and doing activities.
- Plantar Fasciitis - This condition causes inflammation of the plantar fascia which runs along the bottom of the foot. A brace can compress the foot and help to alleviate pain and swelling while it heals.
- Tennis Elbow - Tennis Elbow occurs when the tendons in the arm and the elbow become inflamed due to overuse or strenuous activity. Bracing applies pressure to the muscles and helps you to move the arm and elbow with less pain.
- Torn meniscus - A meniscus tear can result in knee pain, swelling, and difficulty bending and moving the knee. Wearing a brace can stabilise the joints as they heal and reduce the strain placed on the meniscus.
Benefits of Wearing a Brace When Injured
If you have an injury, a brace may be recommended to you as part of the rehabilitation process. A brace will use compression to stabilise and support the affected area so that the ligaments and muscles have time to heal. It can help to control movement and offer extra support while walking and doing daily activities. The warmth from the brace can also help to bring down swelling and ease joint pain while working to protect the area from further injury.
Benefits of Wearing a Brace During Sports
One of the best ways to prevent sports injuries is to wear a brace when you play. A sports brace can provide additional support and strength to the knees, ankles, wrists, elbows and back while lessening the risk of sustaining a major injury. Braces help to keep movements controlled, relieve pressure on the joints during high impact, and encourage proper posture. Using a sports support made from neoprene is an excellent choice as this fabric is breathable and retains heat which can assist with relieving pain and swelling.
Different Types of Braces Available
There are many types of sports braces and supports to protect and treat different areas of the body after an injury, surgery, or while managing a chronic condition. The most common include:
- Ankle braces - These braces provide ankle support and prevent the ankle from rolling and causing injury to the ligaments.
- Knee stabilizers - Knee braces come in various styles and are used to support and prevent different knee injuries. You can find hinged knee braces, open and closed patella braces, knee sleeves, knee straps, splints, wraparounds, and more.
- Back braces - Wearing a back brace will provide back support and help to prevent further injury to the lower back region. It can strengthen your muscles, reduce pain and inflammation, and re-align the spine by limiting movement that can cause more damage.
- Wrist braces - A wrist support can help to stabilise weakened and injured wrists, hands and thumbs due to injury or a chronic condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Athletes can benefit from wearing a wrist brace to avoid sprains and carpal tunnel syndrome from overusing the wrist and hand during sport.
- Elbow braces - Tennis Elbow is a common condition that results from repetitive activity involving the elbow and arm. Elbow support will help to reduce pain and protect weak or injured elbows with targeted compression and controlled movement.
- Shoulder braces - These braces are worn after a shoulder injury to compress the skin and tissues and promote faster healing. They can stabilise the arm and shoulder, reduce swelling and pain, and protect the joint from further injury.
Choosing the Right Brace or Support for Your Needs
Amcal has a wide range of sports braces to help you support and stabilise weak and injured muscles and joints. For knee injuries, we have open patella knee braces by Futuro with a neoprene-blend to warm and compress stiff joints and offer superior support while keeping active. We also have adjustable knee straps, comfortable knit knee sleeves, and Thermoskin knee wraps for medial and lateral support.
Keep ankles strong and protected with ankle wraps that are adjustable and feature a wraparound design for easy wear. Choose lace-up braces with figure-8 straps, slim ankle supports for women, elastic supports by Elastoplast, long ankle braces to protect the Achilles tendon, and more.
Shop wrist supports that stabilise and protect the wrist, reduce inflammation and pain, and restrict uncontrolled movement. We have adjustable wrist braces, gloves for hand support, reversible splints, wrist wraps and thumb stabilisers. Relieve or prevent Tennis Elbow with our elbow brace by Thermoskin with a wrap design and high-density wrap pad.
To protect and strengthen the lower back, our back braces offer pain relief and compression to the lumbar discs and surrounding areas by reducing tissue swelling and promoting blood flow. Choose from pull cord and wrap designs for a custom fit.
Wearing Your Brace Correctly
It's essential that you wear your brace correctly in order to receive the full benefits from it. Always read the instructions on your individual product to discover how to secure the support to your body and customise it to your desired compression.
Getting the Right Size Brace for You
When it comes to sports braces, size is very important to ensure that the area is suitably compressed and protected without reducing blood circulation. Your brace should fit tightly against the area, but you should still be able to move in it. Make sure you can slip two fingers beneath the brace.
Many of our sports braces and supports come with adjustable silicone straps and wraparound designs so you can customise the fit to suit you. We also sell braces in a range of sizes to suit both men and women, from small to x-large.
Keeping Your Brace Clean
Wash your brace regularly to prevent bacteria from building upon it and to keep it smelling fresh. For most types of braces, hand wash in warm water using a mild soap, then rinse and leave to air-dry before wearing again.
When to Seek Medical Attention for Your Injury
If you have severe pain or are still experiencing symptoms after a week, make an appointment to see a healthcare professional. The condition may be more serious than you think and may require more intensive treatment to correct it.
Buying Your Brace or Support with Amcal
Amcal stocks a great selection of sports braces to suit every kind of injury and condition. Shop open patella knee stabilisers that relieve kneecap pressure and support the knee during activities. We have Elastoplast elastic sleeves for ankles, wrists, and knees, Tubeskin antibacterial compression bandages, Thermoskin supports with thermal heat properties to ease pain and swelling, and a huge range of Futuro stabilisers and splints for knees, back, hands and ankles.
Shop them all online today with free postage for orders over $89 or visit your nearest Amcal and let our qualified team help you select the right brace for your needs.
FAQs About Sports Braces and Supports
What are Sports Braces?
Sports braces help to provide stability and support to a weak or painful area of the body after an injury or surgery. They are also used to prevent injuries and ease symptoms of chronic conditions. A brace can:
- Reduce swelling and muscle and joint pain with heat and compression
- Provide support to knees, ankles, wrists, elbows and lower back
- Limit movement
- Improve blood circulation
- Protect areas prone to injury and prevent future damage
How Long Should You Wear a Compression Brace?
If you are using your brace to prevent an injury, wear it every time you are engaging in an activity, such as playing sports. For pain relief and recovery, you may need to wear it all day or when you are moving around. We have a huge range of compression braces that are suitable for day or night use by leading brands, including:
Can You Play Sports with a Knee Brace?
Yes. The right knee brace can help to stabilise a previous injury and protect the area from further damage. Braces can strengthen the knee and make it more resistant to blows, provide padding for falls, keep knees aligned, and increase your awareness of the area. Shop our adjustable knee supports by:
Do Compression Braces Work?
Compression braces can be an effective treatment for injuries and chronic conditions, such as osteoarthritis. They can be part of a wider rehabilitation process to stabilise the joints, reduce swelling and pain, and increase your ability to engage in physical activities without discomfort. Braces are often used in conjunction with hot and cold therapy, pain relief medication, physiotherapy, and other treatments.