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Support your joints with wraps and braces

April 10th, 2013

Sore wrists, knees, ankles, and shoulders? Maybe some extra support will help prevent the recurring pain.

I grew up in a family that absolutely loves sports, which meant every day of my childhood involved going to some sort of sports practice…soccer, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, you name it, we were there! And to say the least, sports can take a toll on your body. At age 8 my wrists and ankles were starting to give me trouble. My parents bought me some wrist and ankle braces, but it wasn’t until my doctor starting pushing me to wear ankle braces that I realized how much they could help.

Coming out of an injury you would want braces that restrict movement, but for everyday use if is great to use neoprene braces. They provide the support while allowing your skin to breath. They are also usually machine-washable, which becomes critical the more often you wear them.

For knees there is really one major difference in the braces: open patella versus closed patella. It all comes down to personal preference, but in general, closed patella is more appropriate for heavy lifting and open patella for other athletics. Reasoning being that the closed patella offers extra support to prevent from twisting or straining the knees while the open patella offers greater mobility with particular built in patella support.

Wrist braces are a very good idea for heavy lifting weight training. There are a few variations: some supports just go around your wrist, some include a thumb loop, and some act more as training gloves. This also comes down to personal preference, but if you are looking for grip as well as wrist support, gloves are what you’re looking for.

Shoulders can be another injury prone muscle and joint. Unless people are coming off of a serious injury, people tend to not wear shoulder braces because they restrict motion. If you feel the same way, it is still a good idea to apply heat and ice to your shoulder after strenuous work. There are shoulder wraps designed to hold ice or hot packs on as well as packs to be directly applied.

Hope this brings a little light to the nature of wraps and braces!

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