You may have noticed that tendonitis and arthritis come up a good bit in any comparison of ankle braces. They both end in “itis,” so they must be similar. In fact, the suffix “itis” is from the Greek root word meaning “inflammation.” Both arthritis and tendonitis are inflammation disorders. Many braces, especially the more rigid ones, can relieve inflammation.
For physically active people, tendinitis often strikes as a result of overuse, or just a natural part of aging. Inflamed tendons are the cause of tendinitis. One of the most common forms of tendinitis is called tennis elbow. Tennis players constantly use their elbows as they make shots and return serve. The tendons in that area can become tender and irritated after a while.
Tendinitis usually abates in response to resting the affected area. Patients may also need medication or physical therapy. In severe cases, if the tendinitis is not addressed in time, the tendon can rupture. This usually requires surgery to correct it.
Arthritis is more severe, chronic, and potentially debilitating than tendinitis. It can come as a result of osteoarthritis when cartilage wears down. Cartilage is what cushions bones from touching each other; with no cartilage, bones will rub against other bones. Sometimes the breakdown of cartilage is from an injury or serious infection. There is also a form of arthritis, called rheumatoid arthritis, where the patient’s own immune system causes the lining in their joints to inflame.
Both tendonitis and arthritis will respond to compression treatment. Immobilizing the joints may also help, and some braces are strong enough to immobilize or seriously restrict bones from moving. These heavy-duty braces or compression sleeves are only available through medical supply houses, often at a doctor’s request. If you are experiencing any level of inflammation, it will cause you some pain and perhaps limit your mobility. If the inflammation is in your ankle, the braces and wraps included in this buying guide can all offer you some relief.