What does a brace do?
A brace is a medical aid you put on to help support a joint. The reason for using one may be a lack of stability or strength, or the joint may be subject to pain or swelling. A carefully measured, correctly fitted brace will restrict any overly acute bending of the joint without unnecessarily impeding the pattern of movement required for a particular sport. Almost all braces work by applying external pressure, or compression, and providing mechanical support. A brace can be used to support a number of joints, including the ankle, knee, wrist, elbow, shoulder, neck and lower back. A brace is easy to fit and is a convenient aid to help cushion the considerable force imposed on a joint. They are obviously not designed to prevent every new injury, however. This cushioning effect does not mean that these forces can be eradicated altogether, but fortunately, most of them can be. Scientific research on the ankle joint has produced satisfactory proof that both taping and bracing successfully tempers unwanted outward lean. The effect is maintained when a load is exercised on the joint provided that the brace (or tape) is applied correctly. The effect of an ankle brace is almost the same as that of ankle tape. In short, the advantage of a brace is reduced skin irritation, it is easy to fit and it is cheaper.
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