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Can Lasso Compression Socks Really Prevent Ankle Sprains?

Objective:

This study is aimed at examining the effect of Lasso compression technology on ankle inversion and eversion. Specifically, we compare athletic socks with Lasso compression and those without in preventing ankle inversion. 

Introduction

In the US, there are roughly 628,000 ankle sprains per year [Waterman et al., 2010]. The median cost of a trip to the emergency room in the US for an ankle sprain is $1,008 [Shah et al., 2016]. In other words, roughly $630 million is spent on treating people with ankle sprains every year. The primary treatment for ankle injuries involves ankle tape or ankle bracing, but both solutions have a tendency of weakening supportive tissues within the ankle due to heavy movement restriction. This leaves the athlete dependent on these solutions for ankle health [Garrick et al., 1973].

When it comes to ankle injury prevention, the most commonly used solution is kinesio-taping which involves flexible tape that supports the joint without overly restricting motion [Pope et al., 1987]. The effectiveness of kinesio taping has been questioned by many, including studies that have shown kinesio taping to be no better than placebo or sham taping (e.g., https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1836955314000095). There is also limited understanding of how kinesio taping works (http://www.running-physio.com/kinesio2/).

The Lasso Compression Sock is an ankle support solution developed by BWHealth to provide ankle support within a garment as an alternative to kinesio taping. The development of the sock was preceded by detailed analysis of how ankles twist and the force needed to prevent ankle sprains that results from the twist. Lasso Compression Socks utilize Lasso Compression Technology, which simulates the patterns and support of kinesio tape using targeted compression woven into the garment.

This study seeks to determine the effects of the Lasso Compression Technology on ankle inversion and eversion. Instead of relying on subjective assessments of pain by patients, which are susceptible to placebo effects, we applied real force on simulated ankles and compared the twist factor with Lasso socks and with regular athletic socks.

 

Methods

To test ankle inversion and eversion, an ankle simulation rig was built. The ankle was simulated with a ball in socket joint, which was built into a foot mannequin that was suspended in air.

This rig was operated by several wires that controlled and measured motion of the foot. One wire was set up to hang a weight, and this weight would cause ankle inversion or eversion. A second wire was connected to an Arduino that was programmed to measure a change in inversion/eversion angle of the ankle. The ankle joint limited ankle inversion and eversion at 45 degrees (see Figure 1).

The process of collecting one sample is as follows:

  1. Suspend ankle with attached sock (or no sock) depending on testing group
  2. Pull sock taut and attach top of sock to hooks near top of rig
  3. Level the foot and make sure there is no pulling force on the foot
  4. Record starting angle
  5. Gently attach test weight to wire on pulley, and keep weight from swinging
  6. Record final angle
  7. Calculate change in angle

This process was repeated for each case, and three sample were collected for each case.

The conditions that were tested include barefoot (no sock), a standard athletic sock, and Lasso compression socks.

All three conditions were tested at 500g, 1000g, and 1500g of weight. These weights were selected based on the construction of the ankle joint to be the closest testing weights to simulate natural ankle rolling. The data recorded for the change in angle are reported below for each of the three test conditions, at each weight.

 

Figure 1 - The testing rig being adjusted to fit the Lasso compression sock

 

Data

Sock Type

Weight (g)

Mean delta angle

Standard Deviation

Lasso

500

2.18

0.47

Lasso

1000

5.22

0.58

Lasso

1500

6.08

0.15

Sock

500

8.07

1.32

Sock

1000

17.87

2.22

Sock

1500

24.57

0.14

Barefoot

500

19.29

6.08

Barefoot

1000

MAX

-

Barefoot

1500

MAX

-

Table 1- Results from the testing process

 

Figure 2 - A graph depicting the deflection of the ankle based on the weight applied in each testing condition

 

The mean change in angle in the Lasso sock condition was compared to the change in angle in the regular sock condition and a t-test was run.

The resulting p-values for each testing condition were all below 0.001, which fit within our 0.05 threshold. This successfully shows a statistically significant difference between Lasso socks and standard athletic socks.

 

Conclusion

In all weight conditions, the change in angle with Lasso sock was significantly less than the change in angle with a regular athletic sock. In fact, the average change in angle with Lasso sock (4.49) was less than 30% of the change in angle with conventional sock (16.84). Further, in the largest weight condition that mimicked the most severe sprain, the change in angle (and thus the preventive strength) of Lasso sock was more than 75% less than of the change in angle with a regular athletic sock.

We conclude that Lasso socks, with their compression technology, offer a significant reduction in ankle inversion and eversion over regular athletic socks. If the change in angle were interpreted to be equivalent to the potential for reducing the incidence of sprain, Lasso socks appear to reduce sprain probability by about 75% over regular socks.

Ankle Sprains | Why Lasso Is The Best Solution

Ankle Sprains | Why Lasso Is The Best Solution

If you have an ankle sprain, you're probably itching to get moving again without the instability and pain, but you don't want to re-injure yourself. Chances are you are using an ankle brace or ankle tape for support, but these solutions can be unsafe in the long term.

 

Ankle Braces And Tape Weaken Your Ankle

When ankle braces and tape are worn, they are very restrictive to motion and this can cause weakening in the ankle joint over the long term. They can be great solutions for rehab, but the issue is that many people wear these solutions far longer than the appropriate rehab term.

 

How Lasso Helps

We designed Lasso as a simple slip on solution to help support your ankle without oversupporting it.

When you look at the pattern of ligaments and tendons around the ankle, and the way ankle tape is applied to a weak ankle, you'll notice that Lasso follows the same patterns to help support you.

Lasso is designed not to apply support to your joint until it reaches the extremes of its motion. Our patent pending compression technology reacts to your motion and supports you when you need it.

Instead of putting on and lacing up a brace, or taping your joint, just pull Lasso up for instant ankle support.

Learn more on our home page.

Plantar Fasciitis | Why Lasso Is The Best Solution

Plantar Fasciitis | Why Lasso Is The Best Solution

If you have plantar fasciitis, you're not stranger to the sharp pain in your foot and heel area. It is caused by the inflammation of the plantar fascia which connects the heel bone to the toes, which results in sharp pains.

 

Treatment

Most treatments include new shoes or insoles, physical therapy, or steroid injections.

Others often resort to utilizing Kinesio tape methods to apply compression to the tissue. This can usually help support the tissue, while allowing it to rest.

 

How Lasso Helps

We designed Lasso a simple slip on solution to help rehab and mitigate plantar fasciitis pain.

When you look at the taping pattern for plantar fasciitis, you will find compression being applied in the arch and just in front of the heel, along with bands that run along the side of the anke and up the leg, and along the underside and back of the foot.

When we designed Lasso we created the same levels of compression within our sock design, so you don't need taping expertise to get the support you need to continue your day.

Lasso socks utilize two vertical bands adjacent to the ankle to stabilize the ankle, and a band that wraps around the Achilles.

Lasso also stabilizes the ankle and supports the arch, and its specially designed compression fibers react to the way you move to only provide support when you need it.

This makes Lasso the easiest solution for plantar fasciitis pain relief, it's as simple as putting on a sock.

Learn more on our home page.