Supportive Gear for Spring Sports

Supportive gear for spring sportsFor those individuals who like to play sports year-round, there are always various options available. There are numerous factors that play into these season-specific types of activities, including school programs, weather, and availability.

Spring sports umbrella a variety of sports, but the most common ones you’ll find being played in this season include track and field, baseball, tennis, volleyball, golf, and pool-based sports. You’ll notice that many of these sports tend to be geared more toward individual play as opposed to team play, and they also tend to have less contact than others such as hockey or football.

That being said, there is always the chance for injury in sports, regardless of the kind you’re playing. Common injuries in tennis, for example, include

shoulder separation, hamstring pulls, and torn rotator cuffs. Common injuries for a sport like track and field commonly include runner’s knee, Achilles tendonitis, and shin splints.

common tennis injuries infographic

If you or someone you know is preparing to play a spring sport, they may want to consider investing in gear that will give them added support and protection from possible injury. The following are some of the supportive gear for spring sports to check out:

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Quality Footwear

It’s no mystery that our footwear has a lot to do with how well we perform and how protected we are. Shoes that are meant for high-level activities like baseball and tennis are designed with very specific intentions to give athletes the support that they need.

Wearing footwear that is not meant for physical activity can add to the likelihood of painful injuries, including Achilles tendonitis, ankle sprains, and hip and knee pain.

tennis sports equipment white backgroundChoosing the right footwear will require some research, as the details can get fairly technical. However, it’s a good idea to know the shape of your foot, which can help with deciding what shoe is best.

For example, individuals with biomechanically normal feet will experience slight pronation and supination when they’re taking part in physical activity, and their arches will be of average height. In contrast, some individuals will have higher arches or no arches at all, which cause pronation and supination to be weakened or heightened. These kinds of foot anatomies need to be recognized quickly, as normal shoes will not be sufficient enough for support.

For those who want to stay healthy and perform at their best in spring sports, quality footwear is an absolute must for support. If you’re going to be playing sports at a very competitive level and want the best quality, it’s a good idea to get a foot and running analysis done. This will show you what your feet do during your activities and what type of shoe will suit you best. Whether you’re in track, lacrosse, or tennis, no athlete is safe without the proper sports footwear.

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Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology tape has become more popular in recent years, and it is well-known for being worn by some of the best athletes in the world. While that may be impressive, tape is not only for the best of the best; this kind of supportive gear is meant for anyone.

Physical therapist applying kinesiotape to patient shoulderWhether you’re prepping for a marathon, getting ready for a game, or just trying to get the gardening done, this tape is meant for to alleviate all kinds of ailments. You can wear kinesiology tape for hundreds of ailments, including lower back pain, tennis elbow, sprains, poor circulation, and more.

The idea behind kinesiology tape is to offer a lightweight solution for aches and pains along soft tissue like muscles and tendons. Kinesiology tape works by creating neuromuscular feedback, which relaxes or promotes a stronger firing of the muscles and tendons. The tape is made a durable, synthetic fabric that promotes increase strength. The material is also light and breathable to help with sweating, moisture, and even water sports.

Kinesiology tape is another great option for additional support in spring sports. Not only is it fairly easy to apply, but its durability is also ideal for water sports, beach volleyball, etc. Athletes can pack a roll in their bag and apply it pre-game or wear it for up to 5 days to get the most out of the additional support.   

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Compression Clothing

Clothing isn’t necessarily the first thing people think about when they need supportive gear for their spring sports. However, there are quite a few clothing lines out there in the industry that work with the body to increase protection and prevention of injury.

Guy doing balance exercises on foam rollerOne of the most popular items worn today is the compression sleeve, which has become increasingly popular for everyday athletes after its huge success among players in the National Basketball Association. There are lots of reasons to wear compression sleeves and socks, including their ability to decrease swelling, keep muscles warm, and potentially improve overall performance with increased mobility and decreased discomfort.

Alongside compression sleeves and socks are compression clothing lines, which work on the same premise. Compression clothing and thermal wear are ideal for athletes who play sports in the winter, but these items are also great for sports in warmer months. During the spring and summer, compression clothing can help to keep athletes cool, and it can also help to avoid hot spots from developing.

For athletes playing spring sports, various clothing pieces can be used to offer support and compression, which keep muscles warm and loose to avoid injury. This can be extremely helpful in soothing existing injuries or preventing them from happening altogether. In spring sports, it may be more comfortable to work with t-shirts and shorts; however, it’s also a good idea to warm up in longer garments to keep the entire body at a regulated temperature.

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Braces

Some of the most common types of supportive gear that athletes turn to are braces. This is because braces are designed to protect and support all different kinds of body parts, and many of them are sport-specific.

Tennis player wearing an elbow braceBraces can help with all kinds of ailments, from very simple strains and sprains to post-surgery recoveries. For many athletes, braces are a part of their everyday regimen and may even be worn simply to prevent injury from occurring. If you’re considering a brace for added support, it’s a good idea to consider the common injuries in your sport of choice. This way, you may be able to make better decisions about which body parts will be most susceptible to injury and more in need of protection as a result.

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Track and Field

As mentioned, common injuries in track and field include runner’s knee, Achilles tendonitis, and shin splints. There is a wide variety of quality braces for runner’s knee, which are designed to help relieve pain and add support to weakened knees.

Hands on the starting lineDynamic forces are applied all around the kneecap when the brace is worn, which helps to relieve the kneecap from overuse. What is so great about the high-tech knee braces available now is that the materials are flexible and breathable so that, even in high competition, runners are able to perform comfortably and at their best.  

For serious injuries to the ankle, an Achilles Tendonitis brace can be very helpful as a support piece of gear. Depending on the seriousness of the brace, there is a variety of designs available. Some designs are fairly simple and are meant to place compression on the tendon to reduce pain and lift stress from the area.

Other braces are equipped with a heel gel pad sleeve, which absorbs discomfort in the area and releases mineral oils to help soften and moisturize the skin. For track and field runners, it’s important to pinpoint the cause of injury before deciding on any basic brace. Many are designed for very specific injuries or movements, so it’s a good idea to do research before investing in supportive braces.  

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Volleyball

If you’re preparing to play volleyball in the spring but you want to stay healthy, braces for volleyball injuries can help a great deal with protection and support for various body parts. One of the most common areas for volleyball injuries occurs in the kneecap, as a result of excessive jumping, hard landings, and digging.

Women's volley ball matchTo help avoid these kinds of knee injuries, supportive gear such as an elastic knee brace are great for promoting good circulation, protection of the patella, and reabsorption of swelling and edema. Other knee brace designs may help to improve lateral and medial instabilities, protect mild ACL/MCL injuries, and improve joint function.

Each is equipped to offer added support and protection to the knee area, so, whether you play recreationally or competitively, the brace will offer the same level of support around the knee area.

Volleyball players are also exposed to possible lower back injuries while playing, based on the amount of jumping and hard landings that are required in serving, spiking, and blocking. If a player is interested in adding more back support, a brace like the ProCare 10 Inch Double Pull Sacro-Lumbar Support can be of service.

This back brace is ideal for providing support and compression for lower back strains and injuries in the abdominal area. It works to compress the lumbar and sacral areas and can help to decrease pain and discomfort, if any. Many athletes wear back braces such as this one simply for added support on weaker back muscles, but it is also helpful for those with existing back injuries.

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Tennis

Another common sport to play in the spring is tennis, which tends to result in common injuries such as hamstring pulls and torn rotator cuffs. Much like volleyball and baseball, tennis utilizes various body parts but mainly relies on the strength of the arms and shoulders to serve and return hits continuously throughout the game.

tennis player prepares to serve a tennis ballFor those individuals who are looking for supportive gear for tennis, there are a wide variety of tennis braces available for ailments from sprained ankles to strained wrists and shoulder issues.

For a torn rotator cuff, a brace like the Bledsoe Arc 2.0 Shoulder Brace with Pillow is ideal for supporting the arm and relieving pain and discomfort. This adjustable shoulder brace can meet the needs of various shoulder ailments and any kind of athlete from a football player to a ballerina.

Conclusion

Injuries in spring sports are very common, based on the common overuse of specific body parts such as the arms for serving in tennis, spiking in volleyball, swinging in baseball, and swimming. A quality brace can do all kinds of things, including helping to stabilize the area, immobilizing it after an injury, decreasing pain and improving shoulder movement.

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If you or someone you know is gearing up for a spring sport, there are lots of things that they can do to prevent injury and play comfortably all season. The items suggested are some of the popular options that many athletes rely on for that extra support that they can’t always get on their own.

In all sports, one of the best things that you can do to prevent injury and discomfort is to stretch and warm up before and after play. Although it seems too tedious for many, avoiding a proper pre-game warmup and cooldown can be more harmful than playing the sport, whether it is a contact sport or not.  

To give your body its best chance of staying healthy and strong, work on refining your warmup routine a habit before and after every game, while also utilizing any of our suggestions here.

Although each of the suggested options can be helpful in adding support during sports, they may not necessarily be able to offer the full support that you need all on their own. To ensure you’re getting the best protection, consult with your doctor or sports physician to find the best supportive option for you.

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