If you were like me as an undergrad, then you remember having different preceptors show you how they like to do things in the clinic such as types of treatments, tapings, or bracings. No doubt most of what you learned as a student has stuck with you in your own practice as a now certified athletic trainer. The only problem is how do we know that what we are doing in the clinic is actually the best method of treatment/care?

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Have you ever thought about the fact that while knee bracing keeps advancing in terms of design and materials, ankle bracing advancement is stagnant? The only difference between the first lace-up (which was introduced over a century ago) and the lace-ups of today is a figure-8 strap has been added.

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Every athletic trainer I know, including myself, loves what they do. The day in and day out tasks of working with athletes and teams to keep them safe, healthy, and performing at a high level is something I’ve been passionate about for years. As with any profession, however, there are some pet peeves I’ve developed over time that relate to my athletic training career. Here are some of them I wanted to share with you that myself and my friend/fellow athletic trainer, Gerald, put together for fun :

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102816-ATC-WalkingBoot.pngA few weeks ago I was watching a press conference with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson who was commenting on how the ankle injury he sustained in the previous game was progressing.  When explaining his ankle situation the day after the injury he said the first thing he did was to take off the walking boot, because “You can’t play in a boot.” 

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While I have yet to find someone who claims to be passionate about having a sweaty, stinky foot stuck in their face, most athletic trainers I know (myself included) are still passionate about their career as a whole. Taking into consideration the long hours, hectic schedules, and general lack of appreciation of the profession there are still athletic trainers who wouldn’t trade their job for the world.

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We’ve found that while ATC’s would never consider using a lace-up knee brace on their athletes, they commonly advise them to use lace-up ankle braces despite the functional similarities between the two.Wrong. Lace-up knee braces haven’t been a preferred bracing technology in decades for multiple reasons – lack of support, restriction of athletic performance, and durability to name a few. We’ve found that while ATC’s would never consider using a lace-up knee brace on their athletes, they commonly advise them to use lace-up ankle braces despite the functional similarities between the two.

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