Different Types of Athletic Supports

Stationary cycling at a fitness center

What are athletic supports?

Athletic supports are accessories that athletes use to protect various body parts from injuries that can occur while competing of exercising. Others use supports when they return to active play after suffering an injury.

Athletic supports can be used in any sport or activity as needed, although some supports are created with particular activities in mind, such as body shirts made specifically for basketball players.

There are athletic supports for just about any body part:

  • Legs
  • Calves
  • Ankles
  • Feet
  • Back
  • Wrists
  • Elbows
  • Shoulders

The different types of athletic supports:

Back supports

Back supports are a popular type of athletic support used by professional basketball and football players to protect and support their backs, especially after a previous back injury. The types are the dual adjustable back support that both supports and enables heat retention.  Back supports are also referred to as back braces; although there are actually back braces that do a lot more than provide support.

Mouth guards

Mouth guards are used primarily in contact sports such as football and boxing. They are generally made of plastic and are used to protect teeth and soft tissues of the mouth from injuries resulting from collisions while playing. To be effective a mouth guard should first of all fit well. The thickness of mouth guards selected should be dependent on the level of contact made in the sports.

There are also different types of mouth guards; shock mouth guards that are built to absorb shock, custom-built mouth guards (normally made by the wearer’s dentist) and the boil and bite types (these are normally soaked in hot water until it becomes soft and the user fits it until they get a comfortable feel)

Elbow supports

These are used to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, strains and pains. They are built of flexible, lightweight material to allow movement of the elbows.

Knee supports

Knee supports and knee braces serve three main purposes, give protection, support knees that have already been injured and limit range of motion to help in pain reduction. Good knee supports do their job by compressing the knees and radiating heat to the joint for the relief of pain and swelling.

Body shirts

Hexpad body shirts are made for use by basketball players. They protect the upper torso without restricting movement. Most have protective cushioned pads throughout, especially at the sides and back. The material used has to be light and breathable so as not to cause overheating of the body.

Jockstraps

These athletic supports are used to protect the genitals of athletes. There are a number of different designs of jockstraps, so there is something for everyone.

More Types of Athletic Supports Include:

  • Waist wraps
  • Ankle supports
  • Finger supports

Whether you use athletic supports for protection or support of body parts, you will need to be comfortable to perform at your best. For this reason athletic supports must be made of material that is both comfortable and durable, except for those that are disposable.

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