Research Summary

Academy Title:Willeford2018
Research Article: Collegiate Football Players' Ankle Range of Motion and Dynamic Balance in Braced and Self-Adherent-Taped Conditions
Athletes frequently wear ankle braces or tape to protect against ankle sprains. The purpose of this study was to compare ankle taping and lace-up ankle bracing for ankle stability and balance in college football players. 29 Division 1 football players received either standard basket weave ankle taping with Cramer Eco-Flex tape, or lace-up ankle bracing during practice, and were measured for ankle ROM and dynamic balance at 3 intervals: before the intervention, after the intervention, and immediately after one practice. After a 1-week washout, the athletes switched to the other condition (tape or brace) and repeated testing. After practicing with either a brace or tape, researchers found no significant difference in ROM or balance; both EcoFlex tape and lace-up bracing provided similar limitations in ROM without changing dynamic balance, which was maintained after football practice. The researchers noted that both tape and brace can be effective throughout practice, potentially decreasing the risk of ankle ligament injury.

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