Once any part of the body is seriously injured or operated on, it becomes vulnerable and weak. Building up strength and mobility is typically possible with physical therapy and continued exercise. Depending on the nature of the injury and where it is located, protection and support may be needed moving forward. Flare-ups of stiffness and pain, sudden changes in the barometric pressure, engaging in strenuous activity, and the formation of scar tissue will compromise the area years after the original injury or surgery.
A Proactive Approach
Protection for a planned activity is much more effective than a passive response once any bruising, swelling, or tenderness becomes apparent. Mild support can consist of something as simple as athletic tape. Placed in the proper position, the tape will stabilize an area and reduce the risks of repeat injury. This product is available in department, medical supply, sports, and drug stores.
Colors indicate the strength of the tape. Read the instructions carefully as tapes are designed for specific areas. Usually, an experienced physical therapist will recommend tape toward the end of therapy sessions and demonstrate how to use it. If not, give the office a call or go online to learn common placements for the previously injured body part.
Some injuries will take several months to be completely healed, and any trips, slips, or falls will result in re-injury and pain. A person recovering from knee surgery that took place in August will still have to be cautious on the ice come November. There are a number of knee braces and supports that are effective and affordable. Calf and ankle supports can be slipped on for stability. Knee braces range from wraps that stay in place with Velcro to those with hinges and extra padding around the kneecap.
Check with the doctor or surgeon before selecting a support to be worn daily. In some cases, using one constantly will weaken the knee or ankle more. Discuss daily activities and pressure on the body during a workday and on days off to provide an accurate picture of the stress the body withstands. If support is suggested for everyday use, it will most likely be slight compression instead of heavy-duty wraps.
Whether you are a member of the high school baseball team or a weekend warrior during a Saturday game of touch football, quality support is the best way to prevent another injury. Some products are cheaply made for bargain stores, and their function reflects that fact. Other products, such as Mueller braces and supports, have been manufactured for decades. Research, technology, and the latest information regarding sports injuries go into the design of each new product offered.