Athlete Wrapping Ankle Sprain for Competition

I am a gymnast coming up on a big regional tournament. About two weeks ago, I sprained my ankle. My coach wants me to wear tape during the competition. I'm worried it will hold me back. What should I do?

Ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries among all kinds of athletes. And three-fourths of those who sprain their ankles once, do it again. Chronic ankle instability could really effect your performance as a gymnast.

You may want to wear some type of ankle support. If tape seems too restrictive, try using elastic wrap or a neoprene sleeve that fits over the foot and ankle. A recent study comparing different types of ankle taping showed taping does not impair function or performance.

It doesn't improve performance either. But it gives the athlete a sense of stability and confidence needed during competition. And it may prevent re-injury, which is equally important.

Kate Sawkins, et al. The Placebo Effect of Ankle Taping in Ankle Instability. In Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. May 2007. Vol. 39. No. 5. Pp. 781-787.
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