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Which elbow brace is right for me?

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Elbow Support for Elbow Pain, Tennis Elbow or Golfer's Elbow

Do you have pain in your elbows during everyday activities or sports? Elbow pain can be annoying and painful, especially if you are an active person. If you're suffering from elbow pain, you're probably looking for something to ease your pain, and you're probably asking yourself - which elbow brace is right for me? It's no secret that elbow braces can help ease your discomfort and provide the support you need for recovery. With so many different types of elbow braces on the market today, finding the best one for your pain can be a challenge. The type of elbow brace that's right for you depends on what's causing your problem and how severe the pain is. There are several options here:

Elbow Bands - Treats many conditions including tennis elbow, golfer's elbow or computer elbow

  • Velcro straps allow muscles to relax, reducing stress on tendons and muscles
  • Can be worn for long periods of time in total comfort
  • Easy to find at your local pharmacy

Elbow Compression Sleeve – Provides warmth to the painful area, aids in the healing process and reduces inflammation

  • Elbow compression sleeves may also have straps for extra support
  • Can be used to treat golfer's or tennis elbow, elbow sprain or strain, or arthritis-related joint pain

Elbow Immobilizers - designed to protect the elbow, forearm and upper arm after surgery

  • Provides comfortable and secure elbow immobilization
  • Hold the arm at 90 degrees to provide support for the injured elbow
  • Usually prescribed by a doctor after surgery

Elbow Wrap - Provides compression to help absorb and redirect pain and pressure away from inflamed tendons

  • Elbow pads are ideal for treating golfer's elbow. tennis elbow or tendonitis
  • Low profile stand that doesn't limit range of motion or performance

How to Wear Tennis Elbow Pads

While a tennis elbow brace can provide players with an effective treatment for symptoms, there is no substitute for a proper diagnosis.

With this in mind, we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional before you start using a tennis elbow brace or strap.

Doing this can help you confirm that the discomfort you are experiencing is indeed tennis elbow, rule out other causes, and ensure you have a strong therapeutic support system in place.

Depending on your preferences, you may consider contacting your primary care physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, physical therapist, chiropractor, or acupuncturist.

At the very least, a brief conversation will help ensure you're on the right track and taking proper care.

Step 1: Measure your arm

If you've already purchased a brace and feel confident in choosing the correct size, feel free to skip to step 3.

For best results, wearing a proper tennis elbow brace is critical. Depending on the manufacturer or brand, products may come in a one-size-fits-all design or come in a variety of different sizes.

Regardless, it's practical to measure your arm to make sure the brace you're buying fits, as all shoulder straps have a minimum and maximum range for their effective use.

If you have one on hand, you can wrap a flexible tape measure around your arm to provide accurate measurements.

To measure, keep your arm straight and measure around your forearm just below your elbow. You can check the visual above for accurate placement of the tape measure.

Or, if you only have a standard tape measure, you can use shoelaces, twine, a piece of cloth, or even an outer grip.

For example, if using laces, first wrap it around your forearm just below your elbow, then hold where the laces overlap.

Next, use your tape measure to measure from the tip of the lace to the part you're holding.

Be sure to write down your measurements, you'll need to take the next step when choosing a bracket.

Step 2: Select Braces

There are a wide variety of tennis elbow braces to choose from that function similarly and offer the same benefits, so which one you ultimately choose comes down to personal preference.

That being said, there are two key features to consider for the best results. First, you want to make sure that the strap is comfortable to wear, as you can fit your skin for a long time.

Second, you want to make sure you choose a durable option that can withstand repeated use and won't fall apart. A quick look at previous customer reviews should help you avoid poor quality products.

Once you find one you like, don't forget to check the size against the measurements from the previous step. Also, keep in mind that you'll find that many braces are adjustable to help you find the perfect fit.

Step 3: Unbox and Prepare Your Arm

After purchasing a tennis elbow brace, you can go ahead and unbox it and jot down its contents.

Before you start wearing the tennis elbow brace, make sure to thread the strap through the loop so it's easier to rest on your arm.

Next, we recommend wearing a short-sleeved shirt or tank top and removing any watches or jewelry to make it easier to reach your ideal position.

Step 4: Pass your hand through the stand

For ease of placing the stand, make sure the straps are loose. Depending on the product, you may need to undo the Velcro to do so.

Carefully pass the hand of the affected arm through the brace to avoid loosening the straps from the loop and make sure the pads (if included) are facing inward to provide the necessary support.

Step 5: Slide the stand up your arm

Once in your hand, slide the stand over your arm. It should be about 1-3 inches (3-8 cm) down from the tip of the elbow.

To avoid unnecessary irritation and ensure proper range of motion, you will want to place the brace away from the elbow crease.

Step 6: Place the stand

For tennis elbow, you'll want to place the brace between the top and outer edge of the forearm, as shown in the photo above.

Also, it's best to slide the brace about an inch down from where you feel the pain (near the wrist) rather than slide it directly over it. If your brace has a pad, you'll want it close to the discomfort area.

To help determine the correct arm placement area, you can wiggle your fingers and observe the muscles on the outside of the arm below the elbow swing.

Step 7: Lightly Tighten the Bracket

Once you've found the correct position for the stand, you'll need to lightly tighten the Velcro straps so that they fit securely.

You should feel light pressure, but not too tight. If you experience any tingling, numbness or discoloration in your hand or arm, loosen the strap and retighten it with less force.

Step 8: Adjust the stand as needed

After tightening the bracket to the arm, you may find that you need to reposition it a little to get the ideal position.

If so, loosen the strap slightly and rotate it or place it higher or lower on your arm as needed, then re-tighten.

Depending on the stand, you may need to make additional adjustments. For example, the Futuro Custom Pressure Elbow features a sub-dial that allows you to adjust the pressure without loosening the Velcro.

Tips for wearing a brace

Wearing the correct tennis elbow brace correctly may help reduce discomfort. Here are some tips for getting the best results.

Check your health

As we've covered, if you're not wearing a brace properly, it may not provide the relief you're looking for.

With this in mind, if you don't get results or your tennis elbow gets worse, we strongly recommend that you consult a doctor or qualified healthcare provider.

Not only can they help ensure your discomfort is properly diagnosed, they can also help confirm that you're wearing the brace correctly.

Try different styles of braces

While most tennis elbow rests function similarly, there are a variety of designs and materials to choose from.

If you don't get relief, you might consider another stand with a slightly different design to see if you end up with better results.

practice test

Once you've found a brace that you think will work well, we recommend trying it on the court during practice before using it in a game, so you can confirm that it's working as expected.

The last thing you need to do is determine if the bracket you choose is uncomfortable, or won't stay in place when trying to win a race.

bring an extra

Regardless of quality, tennis elbow straps or the rings that hold them together can break or fail, rendering them useless.

Generally, they're cheap, so it's worth having a little extra in your bag so you have a replacement on hand. It's a small price to pay for making sure you can keep playing instead of calling it quits.

Add a compression sleeve

While similar, tennis elbow braces and compression sleeves offer different but potentially complementary benefits.

Despite the evidence, many players use compression cuffs to treat tennis elbow and report improvements, and in some cases players combine the two devices to improve comfort and support.

If you haven't tried using the two together or alternately, it might be worth a try and see if it helps.