Front view of my Aircast A60
My own bad luck with sporting injuries and in particular with the most recent one, an ankle injury, and my subsequent success using the Aircast A60, was the main reason for setting up AircastAnkleBrace.com. As a keen amateur footballer who’s had his fair share of injuries I know the frustration of watching my team mates on a Saturday when I’m unable to play so I’m more than happy to share my experience of using an ankle support brace in the hope that it might help others get back playing when they didn’t think it would be possible.
In my experience there can be a fine line between playing and not playing after an injury, and a bit of background will help explain what I mean.
I’ve been playing amateur football (soccer) for about ten years and prior to my ankle injury my longest period out of the game was a full year due to a sports hernia. During the initial stages of this injury I attended endless physio sessions, consultations and even underwent cortisone injections as the specialists I was seeing were effectively treating me for the wrong injury. Throughout this time the symptoms (severe groin pain) made it impossible to play football and it took six months to eventually be referred to a surgeon who diagnosed a hernia within ten minutes! Rather than be frustrated at this point I was just relieved to be able to have surgery, and after a few months of rehabilitation I was overjoyed to be back playing football.
A few months after this, in January 2013, during a league game for my team I landed awkwardly on my right foot after challenging for a header and rolled my ankle, spraining it badly. That game was played on a 3G surface (uncommon in our league) and I still believe that the injury wouldn’t have been as severe on normal grass. I’d all the usual effects of a sprained ankle – swelling, pain and instability – and came off immediately. In the deluded belief that it would get better I managed to play the rest of the season (at times in great pain) and sought treatment at the end of the season. Having gone through physiotherapy and specialist consultations without any improvement I began to think back to the time wasted when I was suffering from a hernia. Around August 2013 and with pre-season training well under way, my ankle was no better after three months of treatment. It was at this point I stumbled across the Aircast A60 online and decided to give it a go.
In good shape after a year of constant use! :)
I noticed an instant difference using the ankle support brace and was able to run, turn and generally play again pain-free. For games, the brace fitted under a football sock without being bulky or heavy and really allowed me to concentrate on playing instead of worrying about the constant pain in my ankle. Soon after this I had a specialist consultation for the results of an MRI scan which revealed joint damage, however after telling the specialist about my positive results using the ankle brace he decided not to carry out any procedures on the ankle – particularly as there was no guarantee he’d be able to do anything to help (options included cleaning the cartilage on the joint), and I’ve been wearing the brace for football ever since.
The velcro strap makes it easy to put on before a game and the brace is both machine washable and surprisingly durable – even after constant use in games and training I’m still using the same one I bought a year ago.
It should also be noted that I tried ankle strapping and flimsier supports before picking up the A60, none of which helped, and it seems to be the stabilisers on either side of the A60 that makes the big difference. For me there’s no restriction of movement despite a noticeable increase in stability which is what sets it apart as the best ankle brace I’ve used, and I’ve been quick to recommend it to team mates who suffer similar injuries.
In summary I’d highly recommend the Aircast A60 for anyone suffering from “untreatable” ankle pain or anyone needing increased stability following a recent injury, and I hope this is useful for those who have experienced a similar situation to my own when they thought nothing could help them. Although the Aircast A60 helped me get back to playing football, it’s suitable for any sport really and Andy Murray has recently worn one for his problematic ankle. I also came across this review by a netball player on the website Sport Sister.