Health and Wellness FITNESS
BRACE YOURSELF B
Protect and Straighten Your Knees and Wrist
ecause the act of swing a heavy ball up
to 23 times per game can put a lot of stress on your body, many bowlers use braces to help.
The two most com- mon types of braces are the wrist brace, which usually con- sists of cloth or a hard plastic and is wrapped tightly around the wrist and forearm of a bowl- er’s throwing hand, and the knee brace, which is made of flex- ible material and can easily be slipped onto your knee.
Both types of brac- es are designed to lend additional support to an area of a bowler’s body that traditionally has a lot of stress and pressure placed on it during bowling.
Braces and Injury Bowlers often use wrist or knee braces in response to a previous injury. If you’ve injured either your knee or wrist, the first thing you should do is consult with your doctor, who can determine the extent of your injury and give you advice on what types of brace may be used.
When it comes to your wrist, the most common injuries are either a simple wrist sprain or carpal tun- nel syndrome. A wrist brace can help offer support if your sprain is mild and your doc- tor agrees that you can bowl through the injury. For carpal tunnel, the condition is chronic and is caused by the pinching of a nerve in the wrist. A wrist brace can prevent the symp- toms of carpal tunnel and give support to allow healing.
Like the wrist, a knee injury can be a sprain or it can be something more chron- ic and nagging. Many bowlers with chronic knee pain wear a knee brace to help reduce the pain and to allevi- ate some of the stress
FITNESS, HEALTH AND NUTRITION TIPS TO MAKE YOU A BETTER BOWLER
There are braces that are adjustable al- lowing you to lock the wrist into different posi- tions. Some of these types of braces allow no lateral movement of the wrist and some permit it. Often the goal of a wrist brace is sim- ply to keep the wrist straight.
When it comes to knee braces, some bowlers will opt to wear one strictly as a pre- ventative measure to add strength to their knee during the slide and therefore help prevent injuries before they ever occur. However you
PRO SUPPORT: Many elite bowl- ers use knee or wrist braces. For- mer Team USA star Lynda Barnes wears a wrist brace (left), while PBA legend Jason Couch (above) revealed his knee brace at the PBA Summer Shootout.
14 USBOWLERFEBRUARY 2011
placed on the knee during bowling, which often flares up as pain and swelling later on.
Other Uses for Braces
If you lack the strength to maintain a strong wrist position, or can’t build up your forearm strength, wrist braces can be very helpful.
choose to use a brace, it is a good idea to consult both your doc- tor (especially if you’re wearing the brace in response to an injury) and you pro shop op- erator, who can offer individual advice on how different types of wrist braces may im- pact your span or your throwing motion.
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