Brace for it: When to use an ankle brace
Back in the early 1990s, ankle braces were starting to pop up more often on sports courts and playing fields due to improved designs and being less expensive than having an athlete’s ankle taped. Today, ankle braces are everywhere and available in many different designs, even sport-specific, with the goal of providing additional support following an injury or to prevent an ankle sprain from occurring in the first place.
Using ankle braces to prevent ankle injuries is becoming more common, and I’m often asked by coaches, parents and athletes if wearing an ankle brace is worthwhile. Current research indicates ankle brace use in high school-aged athletes lowers the incidence of acute ankle injuries, but not the severity. Ankle braces are not shown to reduce the severity of ankle, knee or other lower extremity injuries.
Ankle ligaments, muscle and tendon units and the bones of your ankle create the internal supports to keep your ankle safe. These internal supports are important links from your foot all the way up to your hip for ideal performance. Ankle braces serve as the external supports to limit certain motions, such as plantar flexion/inversion (movement at the ankle joint that points the foot downward away from the leg and turns the foot inward), and provide awareness of where your ankle joint is in space. For maximum effectiveness, ankle braces should fit comfortably in the shoes you wear during an activity, which also helps with brace use compliance.
After experiencing an ankle injury, it is important to consider rehabilitation as part of your treatment plan. Often, when an athlete still is having ankle pain or isn’t back to full function, it is because he or she hasn’t allowed for enough time to properly heal. Following an ankle injury, your provider may recommend rehabilitation services. Balance, range of motion, strength and endurance are important therapy and training factors that rehabilitation providers specialize in for recovery. Performing exercises as directed helps ensure a safe return to activity and lessens the likelihood for re-injury.
Keep in mind wearing an ankle brace is not a 100 percent cure-all or guarantee against injuries. Making an educated decision with your health care provider will help you determine if wearing an ankle brace is right for you.
Kurt Jacobson is a licensed athletic trainer in the Sports Medicine Department in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
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Some services require prior authorization.
Your provider will submit any needed prior authorizations.
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If you have questions about dental benefits, please call 312-864-8200 / 855-444-1661 (toll-free) / 711 (TDD/TTY).
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You must go to an in-network provider to receive vision services.
If you have questions about vision benefits, please call 312-864-8200 / 855-444-1661 (toll-free) / 711 (TDD/TTY).
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Vision for kids:
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Do you feel anxious, lonely, sad, or need someone to talk to during the COVID-19 pandemic?
You can get free counseling services through CountyCare’s partnership with Aunt Martha’s Health & Wellness. CountyCare provides no-cost telehealth counseling services to help you cope during the pandemic. Telehealth lets you talk to a therapist from your own home using video chat or phone call.
CountyCare has other in-network providers that provide telehealth counseling and psychiatry services. Please click here to find a full list of providers.
If you feel that you would like to talk to someone, call 877-MY-AUNT-M (877-692-8686) and select “option 2” to schedule an appointment. Representatives are available from 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, and Saturday from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
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If you need a medication that does not appear on the Preferred Drug List, your provider can ask for a prior authorization formulary request.
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CountyCare also covers over-the-counter medications. You will need a prescription from your provider to have the over-the-counter drug covered.
Medications not covered by Medicaid:
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Where can I get my prescriptions?
You must have a prescription written by your provider to get your medication. You can take your prescription to one of our in-network pharmacies, including national retail chains such as CVS, Kmart, Kroger, Walgreens, Target, Osco and Walmart. Make sure you have your CountyCare member ID card to show at the pharmacy.
Many pharmacies are now offering free medication delivery (including Walgreens, CVS, Jewel-Osco and others). The CountyCare Pharmacy Help Desk is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-402-1982 to help you access your medications.
CountyCare members who would like to use MedImpact’s mail order pharmacy should follow the steps outlined here.
If you see a Cook County Health provider, you may also use the Cook County Health pharmacies. You can also get prescriptions mailed to your home. Call the Cook County Mail Order Pharmacy 24 hours a day at 800-458-0501.
If your PCP is part of a community health center, you may be able to use his/her pharmacy to get your prescription.
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Log in to the MedImpact portal to check the status of your prior authorizations, get information on the medications you are taking or to print out a list of your medications.
On the MedImpact portal, you can also do the following:
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- Order a refill by mail.
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- Find a pharmacy in your zip code.
- Check for drug interactions.
- Check for common drug side effects.
- Look for generic drug options.
- You can get your drugs at no cost.
We provide transportation to and from scheduled appointments. You can:
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- Review these tips about transportation services available to you.
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To learn more about behavioral health and substance use services, please call 312-864-8200 / 855-444-1661 (toll-free) / 711 (TDD/TTY).
Our network of providers offer treatment for:
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Covered behavioral health services include but are not limited to:
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If you need these services speak with your PCP, your care coordinator, or call Member Services at 312-864-8200/ 855-444-1661 (toll-free) / 711 (TDD/TTY).
You must go to an in-network provider to receive behavioral health services.
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Mobile Crisis Response Services - CARES
CARES or Crisis and Referral Entry Services is a telephone response service that handles mental health crisis calls for children and adults in Illinois. CountyCare members can use the 24-hour Crisis and Referral Entry Services (CARES) line to talk to a behavioral health professional. You can call if you or your child is a risk to themselves or others, having a mental health crisis or if you would like a referral to services.
Call the CARES line at 1-800-345-9049 (TTY: 1-773-523-4504).
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Sometimes mothers want to leave sooner. You can leave sooner if, after talking to you, your doctor approves your discharge and makes an outpatient appointment for you and the baby within 48 hours.
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These facilities have services that help both the medical and nonmedical needs of residents who need assistance and support to care for themselves due to a chronic illness or disability.
If you are living in a long-term care facility, CountyCare has supports in place to ensure you are getting the care you need. If you are able, we have resources to assist in transitioning you back to living independently in the community.
Contact your care coordinator if you would like to talk about long-term care or living in the community.
Covered Home and Community Based Services (HCBS or "Waiver Services")
CountyCare operates Waiver Programs through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services for individuals who qualify.
A waiver program provides services that allow individuals to remain in their own homes or live in a community setting, instead of living in an institution or a nursing facility. These HCBS waiver services are available in addition to medical and behavioral health benefits. The five (5) HCBS Waiver Programs currently operated by CountyCare include:
- Aging Waiver
- Persons with Disabilities Waiver
- Persons Living with HIV/AIDS
- Persons with Brain Injury Waiver
- Supportive Living Program Waiver
The State of Illinois determines who can receive waiver services. Contact Member Services if you think you may qualify for a waiver program. We can help you apply.
CountyCare members in a waiver program may be eligible for additional services such as:
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Managed Long-Term Services & Supports (MLTSS)
MLTSS is a program for members who have full Medicaid and Medicare benefits, who live in a nursing facility or receive HCBS (Waiver Services).
MLTSS covered services include:
- Some mental health services
- Some alcohol and substance use services
- Non-emergency transportation services to appointments
- Long Term Care services in skilled and intermediate facilities
- All Home and Community Based Waiver Services
Ankle Support At Walgreens
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Frequently Asked Questions
What do ankle supports do for your ankle?
Ankle supports can help stabilize the joint to prevent twisting, rolling or other straining. Different colors and sizes of lightweight ankle braces are available from OTC Professional Orthopaedic, FLA Orthopedics and Champion.
Which is the best ankle brace for running?
Ankle Support Brace, Breathable Neoprene Sleeve, Adjustable Wrap! . . . . Zenith Ankle Brace, Lace Up Adjustable Support – for Running, Basketball, Injury Recovery, Sprain!
What does a rigid ankle brace do for you?
Rigid ankle braces, or stirrup ankle braces, feature a hard outer shell, which significantly limits the ankle’s range of side to side and up and down movement. Rigid ankle braces offer complete stabilization to protect the ankle from further injury.
Can you wear an ankle brace on your left foot?
This ankle brace features a bilateral design, ensuring you can use it on the right or left foot with ease. Some consumers, particularly those who are using this brace for activities, find it to be a bit too rigid. While this ankle brace has plenty of support for injured ankles, the limited sizing options may be a dealbreaker for some.
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