Ankle Braces

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The Ultimate Guide To Ankles Braces: Everything You Need To Know Before You Buy

If you’re trying to decide on the best ankle brace to help with your injury, you maybe confused by all the information on the internet you see. 

In this guide, we will give you clarity on everything you need to know to find the right ankle brace for your situation.

Your ankles are one of the most injury-prone joints in your body. For good reasons, your ankle supports the entire weight of your body when you run, play sports, and walk. Additionally, playing sports puts you at risk of twisting your ankle wrong which can really do damage to the ligaments of the ankle.

That’s why it’s critical that you do everything you can to protect it during sports or strenuous activities. 

The Ultimate Guide to Shoulder Bracing

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This appointment is your opportunity to tell us what hurts and discover whether ankle bracing is a good fit for you! During this session, you will talk with a therapist on a phone call (or online) and create the right care plan specifically for your pain. There is no obligation, this session is only to find out if ankle bracing can help you getting back to doing the things you love in life.

About PainHero

If you’re like most you don’t want to wait days or weeks to get treated for your pain. And you don’t want to have to spend your time calling nearby clinics to find the one who can see you the fastest.

That’s where PainHero comes In – Canada’s largest network of physiotherapists, chiropractors, and registered massage therapists. 

Our Platform is used by clinics where they post their open appointment times. So you can quickly compare availability and wait times for clinics near you without having to pick up the phone. Then book an appointment within seconds and even see someone that day if you want. So you can get back to doing the things you love faster.

Plus unlike other sites who let anyone on or just rely on google reviews. We hand pick clinics based on a 50-point inspection, which includes everything from checking reviews, ratings, reputation, history, complaints, satisfaction, trust, cost, and general excellence.

Why PainHero?

Improve the way your body moves so you can continue to do the things you love. PainHero is Canada’s largest network of physiotherapists, chiropractors, and registered massage therapists. Our mission is to make it easy for you to find the top clinics in your community. We handpick the top clinics using our 50 point inspection based on patient reviews, complaints, and patient outcomes. 

Whether you’re seeking pain relief or preventative care, you can expect our patient-centric approach to be new and different from any healthcare experience you’ve had before. Perhaps even life-changing.  




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The Ultimate Guide to Ankle Bracing

So Why Does Your Ankle Get Hurt So Easy?

The most obvious answer is as you walk and run it bears the weight of your entire body, but there are several other reasons your ankles can get hurt. Some of these include:

– The unique structure of the ankle: Your ankle is very mobile and is thus very prone to sprains.
– Normal wear and tear: As you age the ankle starts to become less resilient, making it more injury-prone.
 – Weak body parts: Having weakness in areas like the calf or gluteal muscles can put extra stress on your ankle joint.

 – Being overweight: This can put even more stress on your ankle since your body has to support all the extra weight.

What Does an Ankle Brace Do?

It works to support your ankle and provide the joint with more stability. This can help prevent rolling your ankle and help you return to sport quicker after an ankle injury. Not only that, the soft flexible ankle braces compresses your ankle which helps reduce inflammation and pain.

Ankle Pain Occurence courtesy of Clearwater Physical Therapy (Read the caption)


Find out whether ankle bracing can help you get back to doing the things you love in life. 

The Benefits of Ankles Braces

In general, an ankle brace keeps your foot and toes in a neutral position to help prevent sudden twisting. This prevents ankle sprains when you are playing sports.

Bracing can also reduce pain if you have more chronic ankle issues, such as osteoarthritis.

Wearing an ankle brace can help you return to activity quicker after a sprain, as well. It works by reducing the pressure on the recovering ankle allowing a sustainable return to activity. Then as your pain improves you can gradually build your ankle’s strength and mobility back up while helping to prevent re-injury.

What's The Difference Between All The Different Types of Ankle Braces?

Ankle Compression Sleeves

Ankles sleeves tend to come in neoprene or knitted fabric. Ankle sleeves are normally recommended for those suffering from tendonitis, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, and other injuries. 

A major benefit of wearing ankle sleeves is the compression they provide. This compression drives blood flow to the ankle keeping it warm and reducing muscle stiffness. Warmth is critical in keeping blood flowing to the injured area, promoting healing.

Ankle brace with straps

These are similar to ankle sleeves but with one key difference. They come with straps to provide extra protection. With these braces, you are able to adjust the straps for the right amount of compression. Ankle braces with straps can come in the figure 8 position which provides a complete wrapable brace for extra compression. They also come with figure 6 positions which protects against lateral movements such as what occurs during a roll or sprain.

The advantage of this brace is that it provides more compression than ankle sleeves.

Lace-up ankle brace

These braces provide maximum ankle protection because you can tighten it from top to bottom for complete protection. 

This shoelace design allows the most customizable adjustment tightness from top to bottom.

However, one disadvantage is it limits your ankle’s natural movement.

Hinged ankle braces

The innovative hinged design allows the brace to move with your ankle, not against it like lace-ups. This allows you to run and jump without restriction.

Hinged ankle braces are good for those looking for more moderate ankle support targeting low ankle sprains.

Rigid stirrup ankle brace

These are effective at treating repetitive ankle sprains and stress fractures. It comes with Velcro straps so you can easily adjust to your comfort level. It’s also good for high ankle sprains.

Achilles Tendonitis courtesy of Aurora Sports Medicine Professionals (Read the caption)

Common Injuries Successfully Treated with Foot and Ankle Braces

The Pros and Cons Of Wearing An Ankle Brace

Pros include:

  • Relieves pain by reducing stress on the injured ankle.
  • Limits movement of the joint to allow healing to take place during the early phase of recovery.
  • Easy to wear and take off.
  • Can provide extra stability and support during sports.
  • Easy to find in your local store.

Cons are:

  • Can cause an over-reliance on the extra support.
  • They do not replace a proper rehabilitation program.
  • They can weaken your ankle over time because it provides extra stability. But when you take it off some of the muscles in the ankle may not have been used much with the brace on causing weak ankles increasing the chance of injury. Thus, it is important to only wear a brace when completely necessary. Working with a rehab specialist will help you determine your appropriateness for a brace.

Do I Even Need An Ankle Brace?

Ankle braces are great for athletes who are prone to injuring their ankle. They can provide extra stability and protection during participation in sports, reducing their liklihood of spraining again.

Also, if you are recovering from an ankle injury a like sprained ankle, a brace can help take the pressure off of your ankle while it’s healing.

However, you should not wear it all the time because this can lead to less muscle function in your ankles. This can put you at risk for future ankle injuries.

How Do I Wear an Ankle Brace?

Most ankle braces are easy to put on. You want to tighten it just enough to provide the support or compression you need. But you don’t want to adjust it too tight where it cuts off your blood circulation or causes discomfort!

If you experience increased pain and swelling while wearing an ankle brace contact your rehab specialist.

Plantar Fasciitis courtesy of Aurora Sports Medicine Professionals (Read the caption)

How Long Should You Wear An Ankle Support?

It depends on your situation.

If you have a history of ankle sprains and are wondering about when you should be wearing the ankle support brace, then consider only wearing it during your sport. Then take it off after sports to avoid over-reliance.

If you recently sprained your ankle you may only need to wear it for a few days. If it’s a serious sprain you may need to wear it for a few weeks.

If you tore a ligament or have another major injury you may need to wear it for several weeks until it recovers.

Your rehab specialist will determine how long you need to wear one.

Plantar Fasciitis courtesy of Spine & Sports Clinic (Read the caption)

Does My Ankle Support Need To Be Tight?

Yes, it needs to be tight enough to provide the support and protection your ankle needs. However, you don’t want it too tight where it cuts off your blood circulation which can make your injury worse. 

Will The Ankle Brace Prevent Sprains?

It can help prevent sprain frequency but not completely eliminate them. But wearing one can provide extra protection that can make a potential sprain less severe.

Does Ankle Support Brace Help Plantar Fascitis?

Plantar fasciitis is more common in runners and those that are overweight.

It happens when small tears occur on the fascia that supports the bottom of your foot. An ankle brace can provide compression to your foot to support the arch of your ankle which can help relieve stress on the plantar fascia. Also, it can reduce heel pain and enhance healing.

How Do I Wash An Ankle Brace?

Most ankle braces can be washed with cold water and detergent and then they can be let out to dry. It’s best not to put it into a washing machine so it doesn’t wear out sooner.

There you have it, everything you need to know about ankle braces. Now if you need a custom ankle brace or want to relieve the pain in your ankle so you’re not reliant on an ankle brace, just use the search box on this page to book an appointment with a Physiotherapist near you.

Ankle Anatomy courtesy of Clearwater Physical Therapy (Read the caption)

Frequently Asked Questions

They can range from $10 to $200 depending on the condition being treated by the brace.

Only if your healthcare provider recommends it. Otherwise, it’s best not to sleep with it.

It’s best to wear it under your sock for maximum compression and pain relief.


Ankle Bracing is one of several possible methods for relieving pain that do not rely on prescription medications and all the side effects and baggage they come with. Not to mention that most drugs can only mask pain, but rarely address root causes. Find a clinic if you are suffering from muscle tightness, soreness, or pain to improve your quality of life, today.