Elbow braces or braces can help treat many repetitive stress injuries of the elbow. The most common of these are probably tennis elbow and golfer's elbow. However, they can also be used to treat many other elbow injuries. These include, for example, elbow strains and olecranon bursitis.
Athletes in many sports use elbow braces to manage elbow pain during competition or training. The sports you are most likely to see wearing elbow pads are those that involve throwing or smashing movements. These types of movements tend to place special stress on the elbow joint, so you're most likely to cause injury if you perform them repeatedly for a long time. Examples are baseball and cricket (for throwing) and tennis (for smashing).
However, you should realize that not only athletes can benefit from the use of elbow braces. Many non-sport activities make extensive use of the forearm flexors and extensors, and as a result lead to tennis or golfer's elbow. Such as painting, sewing, or even using a computer mouse. In general, activities that require a lot of grip strength or the precise use of the hand or wrist can lead to elbow injuries and the need for an elbow brace.
Elbow support design
There are several alternative designs of elbow rests available. Each of these are suitable for treating different types of elbow injuries. In the sections below, we'll explain the different designs you can buy on the market today, and how each design is particularly suitable for treating different types of elbow injuries.
The elbow strap is worn under the elbow. Like the knee straps, these are used to apply pressure to specific areas of the elbow or surrounding area.
Elbow bands are often used to treat tennis or golfer's elbow (also known as golfer's elbow). This is so because these conditions require precise application of pressure to the tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the elbow bone points. For tennis elbow, you'll wear an elbow strap so that it puts pressure on the tendon below the protrusion of the outer elbow bone. For a golfer's elbow, you can wear a shoulder strap to put pressure on the tendons on the inside of the elbow.
This is the most cost-effective elbow pad design on the market. Tennis and golfer's elbow is probably the most common elbow injury in people. The elbow strap can be used as both a tennis elbow support and a golfer's elbow, which adds to its versatility. You just need to adjust the position of the brace on your arm to apply pressure to different areas.
However, elbow sleeves don't have much applicability other than for the treatment of tennis or golfer's elbow. For example, it has limited use in treating elbow sprains. Also, it doesn't offer adjustable compression. For reasons we explain below, this feature can be very useful in certain situations.
Elbow sleeves (also called compression elbow sleeves) cover the entire elbow. They will provide general, non-targeted compression of the entire elbow joint as well as the surrounding area. You can wear these braces to treat a tennis or golfer's elbow, but they can also be used to treat other elbow injuries. For example, you can use an elbow brace to treat a sprained ligament in your elbow, or even just a sore forearm muscle from a long day on the golf course (for example).
There are even some elbow cuffs that combine compression with cold therapy for greater success in relieving pain and controlling inflammation. The effect is similar to compression with elbow straps and cold therapy treatments with elbow ice packs.
Elbow cuffs are the most cost-effective elbow support design after elbow straps. They're also more versatile because (as we've explained) they can be used to treat a wider range of elbow injuries than tennis or golfer's elbow.
Elbow sleeves with shoulder straps
An elbow sleeve with straps is essentially an elbow sleeve with straps that you can use to apply extra, targeted pressure on particularly painful areas. This is the most versatile type of elbow brace because it applies pressure and general ligament support to the elbow while applying targeted pressure to a specific area to relieve pain in a tennis or golfer's elbow.
Another great feature of an elbow sleeve with shoulder straps is the ability to adjust the amount of compression using the shoulder straps from time to time. This allows you to increase the pressure when tennis or golfer's elbow pain is higher than normal, and reduce it at other times.
Alternatively, you can actively manage pain by increasing the pressure before beginning activities that may put abnormal stress on your forearm muscles, such as gardening or painting. You can then reduce the compression afterwards for greater comfort.
This ability to adjust the balance between pressure and comfort makes it easier for patients to spend more time wearing the brace, which improves patient compliance. The result of this greater compliance is a higher probability of success in treating and eliminating elbow injuries.
Other Important Considerations for Choosing an Elbow Brace
Regardless of which type of brace you use, care should be taken to choose the correct size one. Follow the size instructions carefully.
If your elbow brace is too large, it won't apply enough pressure to heal your injury. On the other hand, if it's too small, you won't be able to wear it for long. This will reduce its healing effect.
Care and maintenance of elbow pads
Size aside, we recommend making sure you know how to clean and maintain your elbow supports. Many of these braces cannot be washed like regular clothes because they are made of special materials that cannot withstand washing machines. In all cases, we provide care and maintenance instructions to help you get years of use out of your elbow supports.
Please contact us if you need any assistance in understanding the various properties of the elbow supports below. Our knowledgeable customer service staff will be more than happy to assist you. However, for medical advice on any elbow pain or injury you may be experiencing, we recommend that you consult your healthcare professional advisor.