Tennis Elbow Brace

Tennis elbow brace

A tennis elbow brace or tennis elbow strap is a popular aid in the treatment and rehabilitation of tennis elbow. There are a number of different types on the market including Epicondylitis clasps, Tennis elbow straps and Elbow sleeves.

Here we look at how they work and which may be best for you.

Choosing the correct tennis elbow brace

Choosing the correct support for you will depend on how much you want to pay as well as the activities you may want to do. Tennis elbow braces come in three varieties; the epicondylitis clasp, tennis elbow strap, and elbow sleeve.

Epicondylitis clasp

Epicondylitis clasp for tennis elbow

You need to fit an Epicondylitis clasps correctly for it to be effective. They consist of a plastic clasp or clip which fits around the arm. An adjustable strap fits in in place so the pressure point is over the muscle, a couple of cm below the painful area.

The pressure on the tendon or muscle that attaches to the lateral epicondyle absorbs some of the forces that transmit through the tissues causing the injury. It also changes the angle at which the tendon works. As a result, the direction of forces changes. Therefore relieves symptoms of Tennis elbow and Golfers elbow.

Advantages

  • You can apply them precisely to the point required (if fitted accurately)
  • Provides firm compression

Disadvantages

  • More expensive
  • Sometimes they are difficult to fit in exactly the right place
  • Recommended for a skilled tennis player requiring precision support for high-impact forces

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Lateral epicondylitis/Tennis elbow strap

Tennis elbow brace

A Tennis elbow strap or brace is a simple strap which wraps around the forearm, just below the elbow. Most have additional pads to increase compression over the muscles which attach to the painful area of your elbow.

They also work by compressing the upper forearm. This absorbs forces which transmit through the tendon. The angle which the tendon works changes slightly reducing stress on the tendon. This allows the tendon time to recover.

Advantages

  • Tennis elbow straps are often the least expensive option
  • Easy to fit
  • You can adjust the level of compression by tightening the strap

Disadvantages

  • They may be less precise than an epicondylitis clasp
  • Do not retain heat like a tennis elbow sleeve
  • Recommended for most people with tennis elbow symptoms

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Tennis elbow sleeve

TENNIS ELBOW SUPPORT

The tennis elbow sleeve combines a simple elbow sleeve with a strap. The sleeve compresses and supports the whole joint. This type of tennis elbow support retains heat which aids tendon healing. More advanced ones have straps like a basic Tennis elbow strap has.

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Advantages

  • Provides warmth over the area of pain which may help aid the healing process
  • Tendons that are not acute or recent injuries respond well to heat.
  • The sleeve also supports the whole joint

Disadvantages

  • More cumbersome to wear
  • Tightening the forearm strap is less accurate than a separate strap
  • Recommended for most people with tennis elbow symptoms

So which is best? Well at the end of the day it comes down to personal preference. My recommendation is for recovering from painful chronic Lateral epicondylitis in the early stages is the sleeve. Later as you return to activity, or need to wear the brace for longer periods the clasp or a good quality strap is best.

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