Tennis Elbow Brace- Types, Features, Cost and More

Tennis Elbow Brace- Types, Features, Cost and More
  • Post published:April 9, 2021
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The Tennis elbow Brace is to get rid of the tennis elbow that is a disorder in which the tendon that attaches the forearm muscles to the elbow’s lateral side irritates and becomes inflamed due to repetitive stress. A variety of physical activities can bring about this condition. Repetitive motion can place stress on the tendon in the elbow, causing pain and discomfort. It can be due to sports like tennis, basketball, golf, or daily life activities like typing and gardening. A tennis elbow brace may be the answer you’ve been searching for if you’re suffering from tennis elbow.

Benefits of tennis elbow brace

Tennis Elbow Brace

A tennis elbow brace can help relieve tennis elbow pain, heal the irritated tendon, and reduce joint stress. The Tennis elbow brace protects the elbow from further injury, and it helps avoid the recurrence of the tennis elbow. The doctor might also suggest physical therapy to help the muscle regain strength.

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Consideration while buying tennis elbow brace 

Most repetitive gradual onset of conditions like golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow are treated with bracing. Tennis elbow, also named medial epicondylitis. The tennis elbow symptoms may also be relieved by wearing a tennis elbow brace placed over the forearm’s back. Some significant points to keep in mind while buying a tennis elbow brace are given below;

Types of brace 

Strap-style brace

A thin layer brace (roughly 3 inches wide) resides at the forearm’s top, close to the elbow. Strap-style braces place pressure on the tendon, reduce the tennis elbow’s vibration, and similarly dull the pain. In comparison to other styles, it allows more movement. 

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Dual support brace 

Since the Dual support brace has two independent straps, it allows the brace’s attachment to either side of the elbow. The dual-support brace is designed to restrict movement to allow the tendon to rest and heal. The restricted range of motion often aids in relieving pain.

Compression sleeves 

Compression sleeves protect the whole elbow joint while also supporting the irritated tendon of the elbow. The compression sleeves will keep the tendon and joint warm and improve mobility and reduce pain. 

Compression/strap combination 

A compression/strap hybrid brace can be made up of two different pieces, used separately or as a single piece with a thin layer strap and compression sleeves. Both braces are effective and provide compression and warmth to the affected elbow. 

Features of elbow brace

Location and type of pain 

While buying a brace, consider the severity and location of pain and discomfort. A small size brace might be preferable if the pain is intense and localized. A compression sleeve brace is the best choice when you’re having dull throbbing pain. 

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Structure of seams

The tennis elbow brace is designed to be worn firmly, so seams’ positioning and structure are essential to consider while buying any brace. Large, positioned seams will dig into the skin and aggravates the pain and discomfort. Buy a brace with smaller, stretchable seams because it won’t cause further irritation in the elbow.

Material of brace

Neoprene is the common tennis elbow brace material. Some individuals with sensitive skin choose nylon material. Since nylon is comfier and more breathable, it is more expensive than other materials.

Sizing 

Always consider the size of the brace while buying to get the best brace. If the brace’s size does not properly fit on the elbow, it will cause discomfort; for this reason, it is recommended to check whether it adjusts on your elbow. Most of the tennis elbow braces have one size fits all style. Some braces have three sizes; small, medium, and large. Each brace has its size chart and instruction about how to measure the arm.

Graduated compression brace 

Most compression sleeves place pressure uniformly across the elbow, while graduated compression sleeves provide more advantages. They place constant pressure on the elbow and neighboring areas of the elbow and reduce the pressure toward the wrist. A graduated compression sleeve does not cut off the circulation like other braces and is more convenient than an ungraduated compression brace. 

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Stabilization pad 

Some braces have a stabilizing pad that protects your elbow during movement. The stabilizing pad helps the elbow joint to prevent any jerky movement and gives it time to rest. Always buy a tennis elbow brace that has stabilizing pad because it provides several benefits. 

The cost of a tennis elbow brace

Tennis Elbow Brace

Most braces cost $15 to $50, while premium braces cost up to $85. The braces, whose cost is $15, do not have graduated compression and are not designed with neoprene material. For about $30, you can buy a strap brace with smooth seams, and few dual-support styles are also available. The tennis elbow brace, whose cost is $50, usually has customizable straps that provide pressure, thermal and cooling effects. Premium tennis elbow braces, whose cost is over $50, often provide nylon and stabilizing pads. 

How to measure the size of the arm while buying a tennis elbow brace?

Measure the arm when it is in a relaxed position and bent at an angle of 90-degree. Other than that, check the instructions and suggestions of the company to get the properly sized brace.

Placement of brace on the elbow

Place the brace on the painful area, almost one thumb below the area where you’re having pain. Now slide the brace up one finger or one thumb down. Use the tennis elbow brace the whole day, even during your daily life activities. You can also use it for a couple of weeks. If your symptoms do not subside, consult your medical specialist.

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The proper fitting of a tennis elbow brace

The tennis elbow brace should be sufficiently tight to compress the tendon and change its vibration and movement. If you fix your brace too tightly, you may feel numbness and tingling sensation in the hand because it will block blood circulation. Make sure to loosen up the brace when you feel numbness.

The side effects of wearing the cheap brace for a longer period

The tendon usually takes a longer time to heal or even never entirely heal. When worn for a longer period or worn wrongly, most of the braces cause the circulation to stop, which similarly affects the tendon’s healing stage as the tendon needs more circulation to get back to its normal state. 

How braces affect the tendon’s healing phase 

Wearing strap, splint, brace, or any other kind of support pad will hinder the circulation in two ways;

  1. The elbow brace has benefits and has adverse effects when it limits the elbow joint, muscle, or tendon movement. Restricted movement means less circulation to all the tissues, due to which the tendon will take a longer time to heal, or it may cause problems to other tissues. 
  2. When you adjust the brace too tightly, it will also stop the tissue’s blood supply, affecting the tendon’s healing phase. Make sure to perform some degree of motion while wearing the brace and adjust the brace so that you could not feel any numbness or discoloration of the skin.

Scar tissue formation

Wearing the brace for a longer period may also cause the muscle and tendon to adhere by forming a scar, limiting the tendon’s healing time. Therefore, it is always recommended to do gentle movement while wearing the brace. 

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Conclusion 

A tennis elbow brace is commonly used to treat pain in the arm caused by lateral epicondylitis. Before buying, make sure to check the size, material, and features of the brace. A graduated compression brace is expensive and shows good effects than other non-graduated compression braces.

The individual with sensitive skin is recommended to use a nylon brace. The tennis elbow brace reduces the pain and helps heal and prevent reoccurrence of tennis elbow if applied correctly. It allows the elbow to rest and save the elbow from repetitive stress.

Wearing it too tightly will limit the circulation, which causes the tendon to heal slowly; for this reason, gentle movement while wearing the brace is also recommended. Consult your medical specialist before buying and using any brace.  

Also Read: The Best MCT Oil – Detailed Analysis: Pros and Cons

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