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Tape vs Brace

The results of a recent comparative survey between braces and functional bandage tapes in the treatment of ankle sprain reveal:

Braces are practical to use and are as effective as the functional bandage tape.

The treatment protocols for the general practitioner generally applied in case of ankle ligament injury, provide a treatment of about six weeks with functional bandage: new research now shows that a brace is as effective as a functional bandage tape.
Professor Frank Backx, Professor of Sports Medicine at the University of Utrecht (Medisch Centrum Utrecht - UMCU), conducted a research project aimed at comparing an ankle brace to functional ankle bandage tape. The impulse to this research derives from the questions often asked by athletes and doctors specialized in sports medicine, interested in understanding if the brace and the functional bandage tape can be equally supportive in the treatment of an acute lesion of the ankle ligaments, since for s7ome time use of functional tape only for preventive purposes has ceased, as recommended in the guidelines.
Backx concludes that the two treatments are equally effective, both looking at the percentage of residual disorders and the percentage of relapses in the ligaments of the same ankle. For both treatments, the percentage of residual discomfort concerns about a quarter of patients after one year from the injury, while 15% of patients relapse.
The difference, according to Professor Backx is the practicality of a brace: for example, the brace can be removed for bathing or showering, which is not possible with a functional bandage tape. Furthermore, the patient does not need to depend on the physiotherapist qualified to perform a functional bandage taping.
The disadvantage is the fact that the brace is normally not reimbursed by health insurance, while the functional bandage tape is: an update of guidelines is in process.
> 600,000 injuries
Every year in the Netherlands there are about 3.5 million injuries due to sports activity. Every year, family doctors are faced with about 600,000 ankle injuries, and this number represents half of the total ankle traumas that occurs in the Netherlands every year, from the least to most serious injuries.
"The ankle is an anatomically vulnerable joint," says Backx, "the bulk of work is done by the muscles surrounding the joint, and the ability to withstand the stress of these muscles has diminished over the years. Children no longer run outdoors, and therefore have decreased motor skills. And if they engage in some sporting activity, they usually do not wear the appropriate footwear. All of this is due to weaker muscles thus a greater number of distortions. The brace is not a universal solution, but helps the correct movement. Of course, it is necessary to act by strengthening the muscle tone. However, the incorrect concept according to which a brace weakens the ankle muscles, is not true.

Source: Nea International.