Tennis Elbow Strap, Brace & Support

A Fix My Elbow guide to Tennis Elbow Straps, Braces & Supports, by James Luccock.

The best equipment to heal tennis elbow

Tennis elbow is the most common condition amongst people who experience elbow pain. It’s often a recurring problem for those who use their hands daily.


There is a range of treatment options to help reduce pain and help you recover from tennis elbow, but one of the top treatments is using an elbow brace or strap.


Using a brace or strap for tennis elbow helps treat tennis elbow pain and has been found to cut down on recovery time.


This article will outline the benefits of using a strap, brace, or other elbow support for treating your tennis elbow.

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow – known as ‘lateral epicondylitis – is a pain in the elbow joint.


It often starts as a mild pain or swelling of the elbow and forearm but can become more painful over time if not treated.


Muscles, ligaments, and tendons surround the elbow joint. Tennis elbow occurs when the tissue around the elbow becomes inflamed from repeated stress or strain. It often occurs following repetitive motions like hammering or hitting a tennis racquet.


Despite its name, tennis elbow is most common amongst labourers. Carpenters, painters, plumbers, typists, musicians, and others who use their hands daily often experience tennis elbow. Athletes like tennis players, golfers, and baseball players also experience tennis elbow.

Tennis Elbow Symptoms

The main symptom of tennis elbow is a pain in the elbow joint that often radiates down the forearm to the wrist and hand.


Pain is often accompanied by swelling or redness because of the inflamed tendons.


Doctors find that tennis elbow is degenerative - that when pain first occurs, it is due to tears in the tendon from stress or overuse. When those tears can’t fully heal, the pain can get worse or become chronic.


In addition to pain and swelling, tennis elbow often causes soreness and stiffness in the elbow.


Soreness and stiffness can affect people’s ability to grip things. For example, those suffering from tennis elbow often report having a hard time grabbing a coffee cup or turning a doorknob due to the pain and soreness in their hand and forearm.

Tennis Elbow Treatment

There is a range of treatment options for tennis elbow.


In addition to using ice several times per day to reduce inflammation, stretching and strength exercises are also suggested to help reduce pain.


Experts also recommend a brace or strap for tennis elbow to reduce pain, help muscles heal, and avoid long-term damage.

Benefits of Using a Brace or Strap for Tennis Elbow

Types of support for tennis elbow


A tennis elbow strap or brace helps keep your muscle in place.


It’s often made of neoprene or another sturdy material and includes a cushion to support the muscles in the elbow and forearm.


There are several different kinds of tennis elbow braces you can choose from, including: 

Epicondylitis Clasp:

An epicondylitis clasp is a wrap-around band that puts pressure directly on the strained muscle or tendon. It is meant to wrap around the lateral epicondyle, which is the boney outer part of the elbow, and it helps provide support during activity.

Tennis Elbow Strap:

The tennis elbow strap covers the mid-to-upper forearm and is meant to help absorb some of the pressure exerted on the area. The compression also helps hold the muscle in place.

Tennis Elbow Sleeve:

The tennis elbow compression sleeve provides more coverage and compression than the tennis elbow strap. It also supports the muscles in the elbow and forearm during activity and keeps them in place to heal.


All of the above braces should be tight but not too close to provide support for your movement.


Often, labourers or athletes use elbow straps or elbow sleeves to prevent tennis elbow pain during their day-to-day work.


A clasp, strap, and elbow sleeve are all meant to provide elbow support to reduce pain and help you recover faster.


A physical therapist or doctor can provide recommendations for the best tennis elbow brace or strap for you depending on your pain or the kind of work you do.


Doctors and physical therapists also recommend stretches and exercises to provide pain relief from tennis elbow and strengthen muscles to withstand repeated pressure.

Preventing Tennis Elbow

If you suffer from tennis elbow or are experiencing pain, there are some things you can do to help prevent it from getting worse:


  • Change the way you move – If you are carrying out repetitive movements that put extra stress or strain on your wrist or forearm, consider changing how you move. Give your muscles a rest with more breaks or change how you are holding things. Most tennis elbow is made worse when the tears in the tendons don’t have time to heal. Make sure you are giving yourself time to rest. For athletes, if you are experiencing elbow pain, it may be a sign of bad form when you hit a tennis racquet or golf ball. Get an expert to examine your form and ensure you aren’t using too large or heavy equipment.


  • Ice after work – Even if you aren’t experiencing much pain or discomfort yet, icing after many repetitive motions is an excellent way to reduce inflammation that hasn’t turned into pain yet. It will help your forearm and elbow recover faster and avoid a more severe condition.


  • Wear a strap or elbow brace pre-emptively – While most people don’t start wearing a tennis elbow brace or strap until after they experience tennis elbow pain, if you have the slightest inkling you might be aggravating a tendon or muscle, you can start wearing a tennis elbow brace pre-emptively to support your muscles during activity. 

Conclusion

This article outlined the benefits of using a tennis elbow brace or strap.


In addition, it included details about how a tennis elbow strap can help provide elbow pain relief and lead to a faster recovery for people suffering from tennis elbow.


For additional details about causes and treatment see our full elbow pain guide here.

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FAQ's

What are the most effective tennis elbow braces?

The best tennis elbow brace will be inexpensive and straightforward but still very effective.


A lot of the more ‘medically approved’ braces is that while they might be good, they are often expensive and not so easy to get hold of.


The Fix My Elbow team recommend this one from Amazon:


Do compression bands work for tennis elbow?

The short answer is yes.


As long as the compression sleeves are generally comfortable and breathable, then they should do the job.


Some reports say that some compression sleeves might irritate the arm, but mostly these types of tennis elbow straps will be suitable.


The Fix My Elbow team recommend this one from Amazon:


What support is best for tennis elbow?

The best support for tennis elbow is simple to use, easy to put on and take off, but still very effective.


The Fix My Elbow team recommend this one from Amazon:


Should I wear my tennis elbow strap all the time?

Yes. The Fix My Elbow team would always recommend wearing the strap all day, every day.


Only take it off when you sleep and wash it regularly (or as recommended by the supplier).


The Fix My Elbow team recommend this one from Amazon: