running on ankles

Ankle Compression Sleeve: A Helpful Buyer’s Guide for Ankle Sprains

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Ankle Sprain Compression Sleeve

The Best Ankle Compression Sleeve for Ankle Pain and SprainsAnkle injuries are very common in America and can be a result of rough sports play, benign accidental missteps, or can be a result of, ‘hands-on’ intensive labor jobs. Ankle sprains can limit one’s ability to be mobile which could restrict one’s job prospects, quality of life, and lead to being homebound for a short period of time. Unfortunately, it takes the body anywhere from 2-8 weeks to heal from an ankle sprain. Who has the amount of time these days? One way to get back on your feet faster and with less pain is by using an ankle compression sleeve.

What is an Ankle Sprain?

An ankle sprain or a rolled ankle as it is sometimes called occurs when the body weight is on a foot and the joint rolls inward. Depending on the force of movement, this can result in minor ligament stretching to full-on ligament tear if landing with high forces from a jump. The majority of ankle sprains occur in the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. 

Grade 1 Ankle Sprain

Stretching and small tears of the ligaments on the outside of the ligament with small amounts of swelling and local tenderness

Grade 2 Ankle Sprain

A larger, more significant tear the ligament with a moderate amount of swelling and tenderness to the touch. Walking may also be painful and difficult for a short period of time.

Grade 3 Ankle Sprain

It is usually a complete tear of one or more of the ligaments on the outside of the ankle with severe swelling, bruising, and tenderness. Walking is extremely difficult without crutches and it may feel like the ankle is giving out. ligaments of the ankle

What is an Ankle Compression Sleeve?

ankle compression sleeveAn ankle compression sleeve is an apparel device that is used to aid in the healing from injury of light joint/ ankle sprains. A compression sleeve may be used as physical support that is made from an elastic material. The elastic material not only provides compression but also helps with the support of the joint. Many of compression sleeves also have moisture-wicking properties. 

What are the Benefits of an Ankle Compression Sleeve?

Benefits of an ankle sleeve consist of; relief of soreness and fatigue by promoting greater blood flow to the limbs, this has a cause and effect by limbs pushing blood with excess lactic acid back out through the veins and to the heart to bring in fresh oxygenated blood for the muscles. 

  • running on anklesDecreased in painKeeping swelling down and oxygenated blood flow up is the best recipe to alleviate pain in this area
  • Improvement in blood flowSo long as compression reaches 20 mmHg, the veins will oscillate and promote the smoother transfer of carbohydrates blood cells.  Specific cells that muscles in your feet, legs, and ankles break down for energy as you exercise/run.
  • Return to Walking SoonerCompression initiates greater blood flow (just like a tourniquet) this promotes greater levels of oxygenated nutrients directly to the muscles and back upright on your feet again. 
  • A decrease in swellingThe greater the positive pressure around the leg, ankle and foot the better filtering out of lactic acid and therefore removal of wasted nutrients that essentially convert into unhealthy fluid aka swelling
  • Reduction in post-workout sorenessBy filtering out excess lactic acid instead of it accumulating in your muscles overnight allows for a more enjoyable post-workout time.

How Does a Compression Sleeve Help with an Ankle Sprain

A compression sleeve will provide many advantages for an Ankle Sprain, starting with reducing swelling as the pressure will promote fresh oxygenated blood flow and pump out an unhealthy buildup of lactic acid that if sitting idle in the legs after an injury can exacerbate without a compression sleeve.

What Brace Should I Use with Severe Ankle Sprains?

ASO ankle braceAn ankle compression sleeve most likely won’t be enough support for a severe ankle sprain such as a bad grade 2 or a grade 3 sprain. For these severe sprains, you are going to need more support in the form of a lace-up brace long term or even a walking boot for the immediate after injury. For the best lace-up ankle braces see our review here.

 

For the best walking boot after an ankle sprain, see our reviews here. You can get the same boot that your orthopedist would give you at a fraction of the cost if you buy it yourself.

What Other Common Foot Injuries Would Benefit from a Compression Sleeve?

Plantar Fasciitis

Benefits would be the sleeve relieving the heel bone to allow for reduced pain when getting up in the morning in particular or stretching right before exerting yourself

Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles Tendon is very close to the Plantar Fasciitis all one must do is use ice and raise up the compression sleeve two to three inches or so to relieve pressure and swelling as this connects the heel to the calf.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Repetitive motions- unhealthy/physically awkward forms of exercise, as well as more serious nerve injuries, would benefit by the sleeve targeting wherever in the foot there is tingling and or numbness.

Calf Strains

A sleeve for a Calf Strain will be very effective at keeping swelling down and not turning into a complete tear.

Muscle Contusion

The outer soft tissue is most affected in this type of injury a compression sleeve would reduce swelling and stop a hematoma (build-up of fluid).

The Best Ankle Compression Sleeve

 Crucial Compression Ankle Brace 

Summary: The Crucial Compression Ankle Sleeve run’s the gamut of injuries that it can help mitigate such as; joint pain, swelling, Achilles Tendonitis, etc but sturdy, lightweight, and breathable. We love the comfort and material on this brace compared to the rest.

Pros: Definitely you’re money’s worth that provides universal fitting for men and women and quick relief and support

Cons: Not always a good fit for more severe injuries and or if complimenting things like an ‘ankle brace’.

Crucial Compression ankle sleeve

 Sparthos Ankle Compression Sleeve

Summary: The Sparthos ankle compression sleeves are a top quality brand rated “Amazon Choice” that is as tight as a skin which makes it very office-friendly

Pros: It’s very discreet as well as high quality with a nonirritating material

Cons: They are on the pricier side.

Sparthos Ankle Compression Sleeve

POWERLIX Ankle Brace Compression Support Sleeve

Summary: The Powerlix ankle brace provides far greater endurance to the user and pushing them to their limits with something like professional sports or someone with a very physically active lifestyle

Pros: High quality and has the numbers to back up the brand’s claim as a heavier duty kind of sleeve.

Cons: It’s far pricier than other sleeves

Powerlix Compression ankle sleeve

Qitian Ankle Brace Compression Sleeve

Summary: The Qitian ankle compression sleeve is a premium high-quality fabric that is FDA registered for (plantar fasciitis) as well as greater comfort for the user, so that their feet aren’t just supported or healed quickly, but that there is far less itchiness, sweating and stink.

Pros: Better quality then some that won’t just allow for lots of exercises but is also comfortable.

Cons: Yes, you thought right, these ones do look a bit bulkier than the other sleeves and it shows in some of the wearers as for people that find it a bit too constricting.

Qitan Ankle Compression Sleeve

Zensah Ankle Compression Sleeve

Summary:  The Zensah ankle compression sleeve is a moisture-wicking, tight nylon material piece of apparel that is reliable as well as affordable

Pros: It’s far softer than many other materials and makes mobility that much easier

Cons: It’s not quite as heavy-duty as some of the other brands and not the best for sports as opposed to comfort feel and compression

Zensah Ankle Compression Sleeve

Conclusion

All in all, ankle compression sleeves serve as a fantastic tool in the first line of defense against all kinds of injuries from work and sports. They allow an individual to heal more quickly and exert their body more to the level that they want to compete in. It serves a host of different, muscles, tendons sprains, and tears and for a very affordable price.

Works Referenced:

https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/muscle-contusion-bruise

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Easing_the_pain_of_plantar_fasciitis

https://www.fleetfeet.com/s/springfield/news/compression-socks-and-sleeves-when-to-wear-them-how-they-work-and-why-you-should-be-wearing-them

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is for educational purposes only. This is not a substitute for a medical appointment. Please refer to your physician before starting any exercise program.