Ask Our Physical Therapist: April 2016

with Erin Grigsby
Bauerfeind Products
Your questions about Bauerfeind products, answered by licensed physical therapist Erin Grigsby.

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Q: Hello Team, I absolutely love the LumboTrain Lady! I use it while weightlifting just for injury prevention. It probably saved my back more times than I would like to admit 🙂 . That being said, now I have a real back injury, so I wear it also during the day when not exercising. My question is: what is the recommended daily time for which I can wear the Lumbo Train? Should I wear it while walking? Or sitting? Or only during activities when my back hurts? I am asking because I would like to prevent possible muscle atrophy (aka lose them gainz) and I assume there should definitely be a time limit for how long I can wear it until it starts to be counterproductive.

Thanks for the answer, you are the best!

A: Jana – Thank you for being a loyal Bauerfeind fan!  You are smart to be concerned about muscle atrophy with a back brace. Anytime there is a rigid component (stays) or range of motion is limited, atrophy can occur. Luckily though the LumboTrain and LumboTrain Lady allows full range of motion and has no rigid components. Therefore, these LumboTrain back braces do not cause muscle atrophy. Bauerfeind has a medical study that shows no muscle reduction of stomach or back muscles while wearing it. So how long to wear it is a personal preference. When in a flare up, some people wear it all day long and that is fine, but it is not advised to sleep in it. Others wear it only when performing activities that irritate their back. The choice is yours!

Q: Hello, I’m looking for an ankle brace that will offer support from an injury I sustained in Jiu-Jitsu.  The injury occurred from a toe hold – Which brace would you suggest for me to wear to minimize the chances of re-injury while I rehab? 

Thanks so much for the help.

A. Dick – I enjoyed watching the video on what a toe hold is. This is basically forced inversion of the ankle, which is what happens during an ankle sprain. The difference here is it is an outside person making the inversion happen. Many of our ankle braces like the MalleoTrain and MalleoTrain S help stabilize the ankle during movement and help increase body awareness (proprioception) to help the body realize when it is doing an ankle twist and correct itself. This would help prevent re-injury during regular activity, but the body cannot correct itself through improved body awareness if the force is coming from another person purposefully trying to twist your ankle.

This is not to say Bauerfeind’s MalleoTrain S would not give some stability to the ankle during a toe hold. It would give the same stability as athletic tape but it is easier on the skin, quicker to do and is cheaper over a season. It would still be possible for a person to force the ankle into inversion if they were trying to do this to someone else but I imagine it would lessen the forces a little.

You could also go with the Bauerfeind MalleoLoc which is a semi-rigid brace. This will stop the inversion motion more so but may be against the rules of your sport depending on if semi-rigid bracing is allowed.

The important thing to remember is both of these products were made to reduce ankle inversion while walking or running. Although it’s possible these braces could help in your situation, they were not designed to stop another person from trying to twist your ankle.  If I had to guess, I would say you would be happiest with the MalleoTrain S as it allows full range of motion, has no rigid component and will give some support. Please consult your MMA teacher and health care provider for further advice.

Q: I have arthritis and very little cartilage remaining in my left knee.  Additionally, I have had a partial menisectomy in the past year.  I am still active and would like to continue running and basketball.  Activities with no to low impact (i.e. cycling and swimming) are not a problem.  Do you have any product(s) that could help with this?  I think the main issue is the loss of cartilage.

Thank you,

A: Robert – Thank you for your interest in Bauerfeind.  We have many products that may suit your needs.  Please see the video below explaining the differences in the GenuTrain models and what each one does. If you are “bone on bone” arthritis, my favorite for that by far is the GenuTrain S. But if you don’t want a hinged knee brace just yet, the GenuTrain or GenuTrain A3 can help also. Since I have not evaluated you myself, it’s best to consult with your health care provider.

*This information is provided for general information purposes and SHOULD NOT be relied on as a substitute for medical advice, evaluation or care from a qualified and licensed health care provider. The information contained here is not to be considered a plan of care of physical therapy.