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The Importance of Ankle Taping for Brisbane Roar FC Players

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A blog written by Brisbane Roar Women’s Head Physiotherapist Bridie Nicholson
A guide to ankle taping chart showing various methods of ankle taping

Ankle sprains are the most common injury sustained by those who engage in regular physical activity. Unfortunately, ankle sprains also have a high risk of recurrence. After an ankle sprain, it is recommended that you tape or brace your ankles for all sporting activities for up to 12 months. This has been proven to significantly reduce the risk of re-spraining your ankle.

During my time as Head Physiotherapist of the Brisbane Roar Women’s A-League team, I put this evidence into practice. All players with a previous ankle sprain would have their ankles strapped for all training sessions and games for the entire season. During the season, one of the players asked me a question that I have heard over and over again in the sporting environment:

“Will long-term taping weaken my ankles over time? Will I become reliant on tape?”

Turns out, this is a common misconception all over the world. A survey in the US showed that less than half of basketball coaches encourage the use of ankle supports, with 23.2% of them believing that long-term use will reduce ankle function and performance.

I decided to review the current literature surrounding the topic, and safe to say, there is a lot of misinformation out there! Of all the studies in literature researching the effects of long-term use of ankle support, there is no evidence to suggest a negative effect on ankle function. In fact, several studies actually showed improvements in proprioception, balance, and ankle performance in athletes with a longstanding history of ankle strapping compared to those who used no support.

Why Brisbane Roar FC Trusts Ankle Strapping

The players of Brisbane Roar FC, both men and women, undergo rigorous training and face intense competition. For athletes with a history of ankle sprains, the benefits of ankle strapping significantly outweigh the potential risks. Strapping provides stability, reduces the risk of re-injury, and supports the healing process. This practice ensures that our players remain in peak condition and can perform at their best without fear of recurring injuries.

Evidence-Based Practice for Long-Term Injury Prevention

For the long-term prevention of ankle sprains, an individualised progressive strength and balance program is your best defence. If you are experiencing recurrent ankle sprains or are struggling to recover from an acute sprain, come in for an assessment with our experienced physiotherapists. We will assess your ankle function and create a specific rehabilitation program targeting your individual needs.

Get in Touch With Our Team

At SportsPlus Physiotherapy Brisbane, we are committed to keeping athletes in top shape. Whether you’re a professional player for Brisbane Roar FC or an amateur athlete, we provide expert care tailored to your needs. Our team stays updated with the latest research to ensure that you receive the best possible treatment.

So, strap those ankles and focus on your game! With the right support and rehabilitation, you can prevent injuries and enhance your performance. Contact us today to schedule your assessment and take the first step towards optimal ankle health.

References:

  1. Gribble PA, Bleakley CM, Caulfield BM, Docherty CL, Fourchet F, Fong DT-P, et al. 2016 consensus statement of the International Ankle Consortium: prevalence, impact and long-term consequences of lateral ankle sprains. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2016;50(24):1493.
  2. Doherty C, Bleakley C, Delahunt E, Holden S. Treatment and prevention of acute and recurrent ankle sprain: an overview of systematic reviews with meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2017;51(2):113.
  3. Rowe PL, Bryant AL, Paterson KL. Current ankle sprain prevention and management strategies of netball athletes: a scoping review of the literature and comparison with best-practice recommendations. BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2021;13(1):113.
  4. McGuine TA, Hetzel S, Pennuto A, Brooks A. Basketball coaches’ utilization of ankle injury prevention strategies. Sports Health. 2013 Sep;5(5):410-6.
  5. Tsikopoulos K, Sidiropoulos K, Kitridis D, Cain SM, Metaxiotis D, Ali A. Do External Supports Improve Dynamic Balance in Patients with Chronic Ankle Instability? A Network Meta-analysis. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2020;478(2):359-77.
  6. Xue X, Chen Z, Xu X, Tao W, Hua Y. Do External Supports Influence Proprioception in Patients With Chronic Ankle Instability?: A Systematic Review and Meta-analyses. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2022;101(7):644-51.
  7. Alawna M, Mohamed AA. Short-term and long-term effects of ankle joint taping and bandaging on balance, proprioception and vertical jump among volleyball players with chronic ankle instability. Phys Ther Sport. 2020;46:145-54.
  8. Cordova ML, Cardona CV, Ingersoll CD, Sandrey MA. Long-Term Ankle Brace Use Does Not Affect Peroneus Longus Muscle Latency during Sudden Inversion in Normal Subjects. J Athl Train. 2000;35(4):407-11.
  9. Jerosch J, Schoppe R. Midterm effects of ankle joint supports on sensomotor and sport-specific capabilities. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2000;8(4):252-9.
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