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Northern Michigan Sports Medicine Center Blog

Juliann is one of our many Yooper employees, growing up in Gladstone, MI. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training from North Park University, Chicago, IL and a Master’s in Education from Southwestern College, Winfield, KS. For the past 5 years, Juliann has worked with athletes at the collegiate level from Bethany College and Southwestern College. Juliann is currently leading the athletic trainer department at the Inland Lakes High School. Juliann’s interest include camping, fishing, hiking, reading a good book, watching movies, swimming, volleyball and basketball.

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Brace the Truth

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The topic of taping and bracing is much like an ice berg: we only see what is on the surface while the rest of the ice berg is underwater. There is very little the public knows about taping and bracing and what you don't know may surprise you. For example, when dealing with an ankle sprain, parents, coaches, and athletes often believe 2 things:

1. Braces prevent all future ankle sprains

2. Braces make the ankle stronger.

Although there is SOME truth to these assumptions, it is not the whole truth.

Ankle braces used after an acute injury will help support the already weak ligaments and tendons that were damaged from the initial injury. As time goes on, however, the ankle does not get stronger or gain stability if the brace is continually used. The ankle with continuous support from an ankle brace becomes weaker and less stable which increases the degree of ankle sprains in the future. Because the ankle is more easily sprained, the brace is worn more often, which further weakens the ankle, and the problematic cycle continues. 

You may be asking yourself, "Well, if ankle braces are not the solution to the problem, then what is?"

Well, you can get your pen and paper out because here is the solution: strengthening, balance and coordination exercises for the lower extremity. Strengthening, balance and coordination exercises work to recruit muscle fibers that act as stabilizers during uncoordinated movements.  With time, the constant counter-moves the ankle does with these exercises helps decrease the chance of future sprains.

Braces are not evil and are great for starting off your athlete who has a fresh ankle sprain, but decreasing the amount of ankle sprains is not going to happen with just the bracing.

There has to be a strengthening program that builds up the muscles around what was damaged. In time, the injured ankle probably won’t need the ankle brace.

Visit one of our clinics in Petoskey, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Indian River and Harbor Springs to discuss your concerns and goals. We offer free consultations  to help answer your questions about how our Physical Therapists can help you.

Quick Contact

Home office Petoskey West Clinic
Phone (231) 347-9300        Email
Petoskey East (231) 348-7950
Harbor Springs (231) 348-7002
Charlevoix (231) 547-0380
Boyne City (231) 459-4750
Indian River (231) 238-4880
Cheboygan (231) 627-7201

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Petoskey, Petoskey East & Boyne City

Our Petoskey clinic is located within the Bay Street Orthopedic building, 4048 Cedar Bluff Drive. 231-347-9300 [map]

Our Petoskey East clinic is located on the corner of Mitchell & Division, 345 N. Division 231-348-7950.[map]

Our Boyne City Clinic is located in the SOBO district, 210 S Lake Street 231-459-4750 map

Charlevoix & Cheboygan

Our Charlevoix clinic is located in the Kmart Plaza, at 06510 M-66, 231-547-0380 [map] 

Our Cheboygan clinic is located south of town, 9445 N Straits Hwy, 231-627-7201 [map]

Harbor Springs & Indian River

Our Harbor Springs clinic is located next the Harbor Springs airport, 8452 M-119 Harbor Plaza, 231-348-7002. [map]                                        

Our Indian River clinic is right in the heart of downtown, 3805 South Straits Hwy, 231-238-4880. [map]