Professional athletes wear Mueller braces and supports to avoid initial injuries, and to protect areas of previous injuries. This is essential for contact sports, like football, hockey, or rugby, but even athletes in non-contact sports are proactive. Tennis players wear wrist supports, skateboarders typically have elbow and knee pads, and hikers often wear ankle supports for stability. They are protecting the joints and muscles that will get the most use to avoid injuries caused by repetitious movements.
If experienced athletes in excellent physical shape are taking precautions, those who dabble in sports or repetitious activities will certainly require a bit of extra support. High school players, those participating in a company baseball or bowling league, and friends who get together for volleyball in the back yard or the local recreation center should take weaknesses into account. The mind will attempt to convince players they are invincible, but the body will not respond in kind.
Most Mueller braces and supports are available over-the-counter and are quite affordable. The cost, time, and effort of protecting the joints is minimal. The cost, pain, and recovery time from even minor strains and injuries will be significantly higher. In addition to avoiding injury, supports also help joints by absorbing shock and pressure, and providing stability.
Lessen if Not Avoid
Braces, supports, ace wraps, and pads will not completely prevent injuries. Severe trauma, a fluke twist or turn, and a bad fall will result in an injury. The degree of damage caused by the injury will be lessened if the area has extra support at the time of injury. A wrist splint, for example, may be the difference between a clean break and a shattered joint that requires pins or rods to repair.
Not Just for Athletes
Light support, such as compression socks, a soft cuff for the wrist, or a stretchy back belt, is ideal for people who have high risk occupations. Security guards are constantly on their feet and walking or standing for long periods of time. Gel cushioning inserts in shoes and compression socks for better circulation will avoid sore feet, spider or varicose veins in the legs, and knee and hip pain from continued pressure.
Those who lift inventory, people in care facilities, or windows and gutters for renovations will benefit from back belts. In this case the belt serves a dual purpose. It supports the lower back and abdomen, as well as remind people of proper body mechanics while lifting. Professionals who are not sure what type of support is appropriate, can ask a doctor or physical therapist for recommendations.