Ask Dr Joe!
Dr. Joe is the owner and clinic director of Dr Kottoor & Associates in Leaside. He is a Chiropractor, Rehabilitation Specialist, Medical Acupuncture Provider, Certified Active Release Techniques® Provider, and Certified Personal Trainer. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto in Kinesiology and graduated
from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 2002 with his Doctor of Chiropractic. Dr. Joe then completed a 3 year post-doctoral fellowship in Rehabilitation Sciences to help him become a leader in the field of sports and injury rehabilitation.
As a former volleyball player himself (Uof T varsity team, Provincial Team and represented Canada as part of the U18 team), Dr. Joe has a special interest in sports and exercise injuries. He has treated numerous professional and Olympic athletes from all over the world and has worked with the Toronto Raptors Medical
Team for several years at their pre-season camps doing injury and fitness assessments. He has been the medical director and/or team chiropractor for many international competitions (including FIVB and Canadian National Beach Volleyball Championships). A number of athletes from the NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, NFL and Canadian National Olympic Teams seek the specialized care of Dr. Joe. Dr. Joe and his team are excited to work closely with the Leaside Volleyball Club and help in injury prevention, improving performance and getting all injured athletes back on the court pain-free as quickly as possible.
Should volleyball players wear ankle braces? We asked Leaside Volleyball Club’s sports injury consultant, Dr Joe Kottoor.
I get this question a lot- from volleyball coaches, players, sports medicine colleagues and trainers. Ankle sprains are the most common acute injuries in indoor volleyball. Depending on the severity, downtime can be a few weeks to season ending. So, let’s go over some facts and myths.
What does the scientific evidence say?
The answer is ...it depends, but for most competitive Leaside volleyball players, I would
highly recommend using a good quality ankle brace (unless you are a libero only and/or you are not playing at a level where there can be contact under the net between spiker and blocker).
Throughout my tenure as a competitive volleyball player, and particularly throughout my career as a sports injury and rehabilitation specialist, I have seen hundreds of ankle
sprains, of all different types and degrees of severity. Factors relevant to the decision to wear an ankle brace include the type of brace, age of the athlete, type of shoe, level of competition, previous ankle sprains and medical history of the athlete.
Generally speaking, an ankle brace can help to decrease the severity of a sprain ... a twist that would normally have caused a grade 3 sprain will often be reduced to a grade 2 sprain. Even better, an ankle brace may preclude the mildest grade 1 sprain from happening at all.
Do ankle braces weaken your leg muscles?
There’s absolutely no evidence that wearing an ankle brace for just volleyball (NOT 24 hours/day, 7 days/week) will weaken the muscles around your ankle or leg… That being said, it is very important to strengthen your ankle, leg, thigh, hip and core muscles and do proprioceptive exercises (through the diligent use of a wobble board, Bosu ball or the like) to keep your muscles strong and further decrease the risk of ankle sprains.
Will wearing ankle braces make my knee more susceptible to injury?
The type of ankle brace is important...any ankle brace that really “locks” the ankle joint and is very stiff (high lace up rigid brace) can possibly transfer forces and loads up the biomechanical chain to the knee and increase injury risk. The braces I recommend to volleyball players most often are the ‘ASO’ and / or ‘Active
Ankle’ brands. Using these braces will not increase any injury risk to the knee.
Is taping better than an ankle brace?
If the taping is done properly, it works well but the effectiveness only lasts about 20-30 minutes depending on sweat and loading.
If you’ve had a serious ankle injury in the past, have ‘weak’ ankles or a history of multiple ankle sprains, a customized rehabilitation and strengthening program is highly recommended from a sports/rehabilitation specialist doctor.
Dr Joe is the owner of Dr Kottoor & Associates. The clinic is the provider of diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of sports injuries for the Leaside volleyball club.