Tennis elbow braces provide relief from chronic pain and discomfort caused by lateral epicondylitis; also known as tennis elbow.
The tennis elbow brace is intended to bolster the integrity of the elbow joint, relieving some of the pressure that causes flare-ups of tennis elbow.
Tennis elbow braces are a simple, affordable way to treat lateral epicondylitis, but they also provide a host of additional benefits.
18 Benefits Of Tennis Elbow Braces
Our panel of health and wellness experts have determined that these are the primary and secondary benefits of tennis elbow braces.
1: Tennis elbow braces alleviate pain and discomfort.
Tennis elbow is caused by stress and strain on the muscles that run along the back of the forearm (1). Exactly the type of stress caused by sports such as tennis. Hence the name. A tennis elbow brace provides extra support to the muscles and tendons in the affected area. By doing so, it alleviates much of the pain and discomfort.
2: Tennis elbow braces are effective.
The typical tennis elbow brace can be put in place in a matter of a few seconds. In the case of a sleeve, it can be slipped on with little effort and has no straps to adjust. When you consider how difficult some health conditions are to treat, being able to get relief from your forearm pain so quickly and easily makes the tennis elbow brace a great healthcare value.
3: Tennis elbow braces can keep you in the game.
Now, let’s be clear: the preferred route for a fast recovery is to take a break from playing and wear the brace. Then once the pain subsides, go back to playing (easy at first) while continuing to wear the brace. That said, you can continue to play with the brace on if you have mild symptoms. But you’ll need to ratchet back the intensity. And even then it may draw out your recovery time.
4: Tennis elbow braces are affordable.
Hired a physical therapist lately? As helpful as they are they don’t come cheap (2). In fact, if your insurance doesn’t cover physical therapy, you may wind up paying several hundred dollars per hour of treatment. Who has that kind of money? A tennis elbow brace is an effective and – just as important – affordable way to alleviate the pain and discomfort of lateral epicondylitis.
5: A tennis elbow brace can help you reclaim your game.
When people get back to playing after a bout of tennis elbow, many are reluctant to go all out. They’re afraid that leaning into their stroke the way they used to will cause a recurrence of their pain. The tennis elbow brace can provide you the support and confidence you need to get back on the court and reclaim your real game, not some half-speed version of your game.
6: Tennis elbow braces are better than corticosteroids.
Beside rest, doctors often recommend people with tennis elbow use painkillers to deal with the pain and discomfort. In some cases, physical therapists will recommend steroid injections. But while such injections are sometimes presented as free of complications that is not actually the case (3). Corticosteroids can produce heartburn, mood changes, insomnia, nausea, and accelerated heartbeat (tachycardia). A brace allows you to obtain relief without the odious side effects.
7: Tennis elbow braces can prevent future injury.
Once you’ve returned to the court or the golf course, one of your primary concerns will no doubt be how to avoid reinjuring your elbow. The answer is simple: wear the brace while playing. If the brace you used while you were resting your arm isn’t conducive to playing, try another one. A sleeve style brace is often the best choice for active individuals. It provides support but stays completely out of your way.
8: A tennis elbow brace is part of an overall recovery strategy.
In order to effectively recover from tennis elbow as quickly as possible, you’ll need to employ more than just a brace. People regularly stretch their legs and back before playing, but don’t think about the muscles in their arms. So get in the habit of stretching the muscles of the forearm (4). And don’t abandon the idea of massages either. Because, while a professional masseuse may be beyond your budget, there are many self-massage techniques that are just as effective (5).
9: A tennis elbow brace can prevent your condition from getting worse.
Once you become aware that you’re experiencing tennis elbow symptoms, it’s time to act. Don’t wait for things to fall apart. Buy a high-quality tennis elbow brace, wear it regularly, and take a break from tennis or golf or racquetball for a short time. By doing so, you will prevent the condition from getting worse and will set you on the road to recovery sooner rather than later.
10: Tennis elbow braces are low impact relief.
A bit earlier we debunked the idea that corticosteroid injections are essentially harmless by noting some of the more common side effects. But the potential downside of steroid injections goes far beyond just an upset stomach. Research indicates (6) they may damage the muscle tissue at the cellular level. That’s not going to happen if you employ a tennis elbow brace instead.
11: Tennis elbow braces look cool.
This is particularly true of the better tennis elbow sleeves. Granted, some people are not concerned with looking cool. They just want to get better. And that’s fine. But if you’re of a mind that getting better shouldn’t mean having to look like Frankenstein’s monster, then you’ll appreciate the thought and effort that goes into some of these devices. Instead of looking injured, you can look large and in charge.
12: A tennis elbow brace can be worn as long as you need it.
Medication-driven therapies come with limits attached. Excessive use of NSAIDs for instance can cause kidney damage, profuse bleeding, ulcers, heartburn and more (7). While, as we’ve seen above, corticosteroid injections exact a toll of their own and can only be administered intermittently. By comparison, you can wear your tennis elbow brace as often as you need it.
13: Tennis elbow braces won’t irritate your skin.
Most tennis elbow braces are made from materials like nylon and neoprene. While it’s possible for any fabric to cause irritation (8) it is exceedingly rare for it either of these to do so. As such, unless you know you are one of the rare individuals whose skin is sensitive to these fabrics, you should be able to wear them with impunity.
14: Tennis elbow braces provide graduated compression.
The sleeve-style tennis elbow brace is often designed to apply graduated compression. That means it applies greater compression to the elbow joint and that the compression decreases the closer you get to the wrist and bicep. This enables the sleeve/brace to deliver pressure and support only where it’s needed. Compression stockings also use this type of weave to great effect (9).
15: Tennis elbow braces are durable.
Of course, the durability of a given brace will depend on the materials and build quality. And there are certainly some that aren’t worth the plastic they’re made from. But the high-quality braces – like the ones on the above list – should hold up to repeated use and long term wear and tear and enable you to fully recover.
16: Tennis elbow braces are portable.
You can’t take the physical therapist or doctor with you everywhere you go. But you can take your tennis elbow brace. It’s light and small enough to fit easily into your carry on bag. And it won’t conjure up the ire of TSA the way some sports creams can. Wherever you are on planet earth, you’ll be able to continue your rehab from epicondylitis uninterrupted.
17: Tennis elbow braces can be used over and over.
No one wants to have to dust off their tennis elbow brace and use it a second or third time. But because the best braces are very durable and easy to store, they’ll be there for you should you have cause to use them again. Of course, the best way to ensure your tennis elbow doesn’t flare back up is to continue to wear the brace, even after you feel better.
18: Tennis elbow braces enable better overall health.
Inactivity kills (10). So anything that allows you to get or stay active is going to be a net plus when it comes to your overall health. A tennis elbow brace is no different. By enabling a quick and complete recovery and allowing you to resume physical activity unimpeded, the tennis elbow brace enables a high quality of overall health in both the short and long term.
Everything, as they say, has a price. The price for inactivity is poor health and an early death. The price for staying active is that you may develop a condition like tennis elbow. Fortunately, if you do tennis elbow braces exist that will help relieve the pain and discomfort and enable you to continue to enjoy your favorite activities.