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Ankle taping and bracing are commonly used to reduce the risk of sports-related ankle sprains. Mechanical- and neuromuscular-control facilitation has been the focus of their effectiveness. Another potential advantage to using ankle taping or bracing is an increased sense of confidence, stability, and reassurance that the individual may experience when performing a dynamic-balance activity. Since ankle sprains are one of the most common sport-related injuries treated by clinicians, treatment and prevention of these injuries is a priority for many health care providers. However, the psychological effects of taping or bracing on athletes are still unknown. Researchers have described athletes’ emotional responses and psychological reactions after athletic injuries. However, athlete reactions related to adhesive taping or bracing are limited. There is anecdotal evidence showing that football players stated they would tape a body part even if it was not injured as part of a superstitious pregame ritual. Therefore, the purpose of this article was to determine if individuals who have had their ankle taped or braced experience an increased sense of confidence, stability, or reassurance when performing a dynamic-balance activity.
Focused Clinical Question:
Does ankle taping or bracing create an increased sense of confidence, stability, and reassurance when performing dynamic-balance activity in physically active people?
The authors are with the Dept of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.