In the fast-paced and physically demanding world of professional sports, injury prevention is a top priority for athletes. A prominent basketball player, Trae Young has garnered attention not only for his remarkable skills on the court but also for his choice to wear basketball ankle braces during games.
In this blog, we’ll look into the mechanisms behind ankle braces, explore their role in injury prevention, and uncover how they have played a significant role in maintaining the health and performance of these star athletes.
The Anatomy of Ankle Braces
Ankle braces are specialized devices designed to provide support and stability to the ankle joint during physical activities. They come in various designs and styles, ranging from lace-up braces to straps and sleeves. These braces are typically made from a combination of materials such as neoprene, elastic fabrics, and adjustable straps.
This unique brace combines breathability and firmness to give the most support without forgoing a player’s mobility on the court. Its goal is to stabilize against inversion and eversion movements. Ankle sprains are a common occurrence in the NBA but having protection to lessen the severity of the sprain is key.
Trae Young Ankle Braces
Trae Young, a standout point guard for the Atlanta Hawks, is known for his lightning-fast crossovers and quick movements on the court. To mitigate the risk through sudden changes in direction and acceleration, Young has been wearing ankle braces.
By wearing them, Trae Young gains an extra layer of protection through his agile style of play.
The science behind Injury Prevention
The effectiveness of ankle braces lies in their ability to limit the stress on the ankle joint, particularly the inversion and eversion movements that are often responsible for ankle sprains. By restricting these movements, ankle braces provide mechanical support to the ligaments and tendons surrounding the joint. They also distribute the forces generated during movements more evenly, reducing the strain on specific structures. The key factor here is that even if the ankle turns the ankle brace will limit the severity of the sprain resulting in more minor injury vs major.
Stabilizing Ligaments and Tendon
Ankle braces work by providing external support to the ligaments and tendons that hold the ankle joint together. When an athlete like Trae Young lands from a jump or changes direction suddenly, the ankle braces help prevent the ligaments from stretching beyond their capacity. This stabilization minimizes the risk of micro-tears and strains that could lead to more severe injuries.
Proprioception, the body’s sense of its position and movement in space, plays a crucial role in injury prevention. Ankle braces contribute to proprioceptive feedback by providing a constant pressure and resistance to the ankle joint. This heightened awareness of ankle position allows athletes to make quicker adjustments in their movements, reducing the likelihood of missteps or awkward landings that could result in injury.
The athletes’ choice to wear ankle braces is a testament to their commitment to injury prevention and their understanding of the demands placed on their ankles in the world of professional basketball. They recognize that the agility, speed, and unpredictable movements required in their respective playing styles also expose them to the risk of ankle injuries. By donning ankle braces, they add an extra layer of protection that enhances stability, provides targeted support, and reinforces their body’s natural mechanisms of injury prevention.
What are the ankle braces that Trae Young wear?
The ankle braces that Trae Young wears are the Zamst A2-DX ankle braces.
One of the standout features of this brace is the fact that it is designed specifically for left and right ankles vs having one standard brace for both sides. The product is made of thin and low-profile material with excellent breathability and anti-bacterial deodorant materials. It increases support level with two straps: A plantar strap and cross strap. The X cross strap increases support level by pulling upward from the heel by applying the taping function (stirrup). The plantar strap also has an anti-slip function.
Ankle braces are not just accessories but an integral part of Trae Young’s game strategy. As we marvel at his incredible performances, let us also acknowledge the role that ankle braces play in safeguarding his health, longevity, and ability to continue inspiring basketball fans around the world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
EVAN JEFFRIES is a physical therapist with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. He is also the owner of Evolving Motion and has vast knowledge of the musculoskeletal system and has treated many orthopedic conditions by bringing a proactive approach to healthcare and lifestyle. Recently he has also been active on social media as an injury analyst mainly in related to injuries NBA players have sustained. Evan can be followed on his social media accounts.