The historical development of the sports ankle brace
Whether as an amateur or a professional - many people like to do sports. Unfortunately, injuries are inevitable. Sport is one of the main reasons for torn ankle ligaments. For example, handball is an injury-prone sport. 14% of all handball injuries affect the ankle. Ankle braces are used to protect against twisting and for immobilization after acute injuries.
The well-known "Stirrup Brace" was developed and launched in the early 1980s. This consists of two hard plastic shells that sit on either side of the ankle. Today it is still used for the acute treatment of ligament injuries. However, the restriction of freedom of movement is too great for use in sports or for prevention.
Due to the further professionalization of the sport over time, it was necessary to develop orthoses and bandages. They should offer more comfort and freedom of movement, but still provide sufficient protection against injuries.
A further development of the Stirrup technology are the orthoses with joint. These also consist of two side shells, but they have a joint at the level of the ankle. Thus, lateral twisting is limited, but the foot can be moved up and down, increasing freedom of movement.
The widely used lace-up orthosis is a combination of hard and textile elements. This has significantly smaller lateral stiffeners and is laced like a shoe.
More comfort and freedom of movement, yet protective
At the beginning of the 21st century there were further developments to increase user comfort. For this purpose, soft, compressible materials and different belt guides were increasingly used, some of which are based on tape techniques. These adapt well to different anatomical conditions and thus offer increased comfort. By doing without hard elements, however, they have a lesser preventive effect.
A further development of this trend is the so-called removable orthoses. These can be used after acute injuries and have a significant stabilizing effect through hard elements. During the healing process, these elements can be removed, allowing more freedom of movement and less support. As a result, the rehabilitation process can be accompanied as well as possible, from acute care to the return to sport.
The latest research is in the direction of intelligent ankle braces. These can, for example, record data by integrating sensors and thus provide feedback to the user. However, such developments are not yet available on the market.
Ankle brace: Sport with a new type of protection without restrictions
Our modern sports ankle brace The BetterGuard represents a real innovation, which combines freedom of movement and protection, which are actually opposite functions. The technology reacts adaptively to injury situations and thus protects against twisting. It does not restrict the ankle during normal sporting movements and thus allows natural movement and unrestricted performance in sport.
The ankle brace helps players to be able to do sports with less risk. So also the former handball professional Kevin Struck and his then teammate Alexander Cossmann. The latter played 4 years injury-free thanks to The BetterGuard. The former professional Martin Strobel is also a big supporter of our ankle brace. "Doing sports with a new type of protection experience without restrictions will be a game changer," he and Kevin Struck agree.