By Emily Delzell
Ankle bracing and taping have a limited ability to restrict ankle range of motion (ROM) and improve proprioceptive capability under soccer-specific conditions, according to a small study e-published by the Journal of Sport Rehabilitation in January.
Investigators at the University of Hull in East Yorkshire, UK, compared the protective effects of tape and a semirigid sport brace with a control condition in the dominant leg of eight healthy men at zero, 15, 30, and 45 minutes of a 90-minute soccer match simulation protocol. Conditions were tested seven days apart.
Both the brace and the open basket-weave taping technique significantly decreased active ankle ROM in plantar flexion and inversion compared with no intervention; tape performed better than the brace at zero minutes but lost its restrictive benefits by 15 minutes, making it no different than the control condition. The brace maintained some protective effect at 45 minutes.
Both interventions significantly improved nonweightbearing joint position sense at zero minutes, but by 15 minutes the proprioceptive benefit of the tape was less than that of the brace.
Forbes H, Thrussell S, Haycock N, et al. The effect of prophylactic ankle support during simulated soccer activity. J Sport Rehabil 2013 Jan 23. [Epub ahead of print]