Tennis elbow brace placement is one of the most important aspects of decreasing pain and improving joint function. Since tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is a common issue for tennis players and it causes annoying pain in the outer elbow. Braces are excellent protection for these issues, so today, we are going to explain to you how to wear a tennis elbow brace.
These straps or braces may offer an effective way to relieve discomfort in your elbows and help you spend your training sessions and matches more comfortably. Moreover, they will assist you in avoiding aggravating symptoms and reducing the pain. We have put together a guide that will help you put on these braces the way they will be most effective. So, without further delay, let us get into it.
Before We Start
Even though tennis elbow braces are highly effective for treating pain symptoms, you should get a proper diagnosis before you start using them. It is important to get advice from your physician, doctor, or another healthcare provider.
This is essential because it will confirm that the pain you are experiencing is indeed a tennis elbow and rule out other causes, which will help you direct the appropriate treatment. Once you determine the cause of the pain, you can also discuss with the doctor which tennis elbow brace will suit you best.
Are Tennis Elbow Braces Effective?
Tennis elbow braces are often recommended as part of treatment for a tennis elbow, and it has proven to be quite effective. Various researchers claim that elbow straps and braces are effective in reducing the pain and increasing the grip for those who have tennis elbows, and among them, the ones that have separated or wedged pads seem to be the best.
The elbow braces are especially effective in the long term. For example, the counterforce braces can reduce the pain in the short term and improve overall function in the long term. The proper placement of the brace bears huge significance in order to get the best effect out of it, so let us see how to do it the right way.
Proper Tennis Elbow Brace Placement
When you get all the measurements of your arm, pick a brand, and finally purchase the right elbow brace, it is time to equip it properly. It can be done in a couple of fairly easy steps, so let us get right into it.
1. Unbox the Product and Prepare Your Arm
Some brands offer you three different sized braces, so when you unbox the package, select the one that will fit you best. It is also smart to review any included instructions as a point of reference. Make sure to thread the strap through rings before using it since this will make it easier to place on your arm.
Another thing that is worth pointing out is that it is highly recommended to wear a short-sleeve shirt or tank top when wearing the brace and to remove watches, jewelry, or any other accessories as it will make it easier to place the brace ideally.
2. Make the Brace Loose and Put Your Hand Through It
To make the placement of the brace as easiest as possible, make sure that it is completely loose. Afterward, carefully place your hand through the brace to avoid the strap coming loose from the rings and ensure that the pad is facing inward so it can grant you the necessary support.
3. Gently Slide the Brace up Your Arm
After you have completed the previous steps, slide the brace gently up your arm. The brace should fall between 1 and 3 inches down from the tip of your elbow. You want to ensure that the position of the brace is away from your elbow’s crease since it will prevent any unnecessary irritations and enable your proper range of motion.
4. Ensure That the Brace Is Positioned Properly
To get the best placement of the tennis elbow brace, you should place it roughly one inch lower from the spot you are feeling pain, not directly on it. In case your brace has a pad, it is recommended to put it near the area on which you feel discomfort.
In order to identify the problematic area, wiggle your fingers and watch the muscles outside of your arm just below the elbow move. For tennis elbow, it is best to place the brace between your forearm’s top and outside edge.
5. Slowly and Gently Tighten the Brace
After you have completed the previous steps and found the correct positioning of the brace, you should slowly and gently tighten the velcro strap so that it is secure but comfortable as well. If you place it properly, you will feel slight pressure but not too tight.
In case you feel some type of tingling, numbness, or discoloration in the area you have placed the brace, loosen it and retighten using less force.
6. Make the Necessary Adjustments
When you complete all the steps listed above, you might discover that the positioning of the strap or brace is not ideal. You might need to reposition it slightly, so loosen it slightly and rotate it until you feel that you are comfortable enough.
There are different types of braces on today’s market, so you might need to make some additional adjustments until you get them to the appropriate position.
Additional Tips for Wearing Your Tennis Elbow Brace
In order to get the most out of your tennis elbow brace and allow it to do its job and relieve the discomfort you feel, you need to wear it and use it the way it is intended. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when using this helpful product.
Ensure That Fit Is Just Right
The appropriate fit bears huge significance when it comes to tennis elbow braces. Thus, you should check if it fits your hand just right and does not squeeze you too much. If you keep feeling pain and discomfort when using this product, check if the brace is properly sized. If that does not do the trick, consult your physician or healthcare provider to see if there is something else that is troubling you.
Get Different Style Braces
Even though most of these braces function similarly, there are various designs available on the market that are also made of different materials. If your pain does not get relieved with the brace you are currently using, you might want to consider some other kind of brace that feels more comfortable and is made of materials that feel better on your skin.
Test Your Brace During Practice
When you find the brace that feels good and seems like it is going to work for you, test it on the practice court before using it in real matches. This way, you will be able to confirm if it works as expected and that it provides sufficient pain relief.
Consider Adding a Compression Sleeve
Elbow braces and compression sleeves offer different benefits. Although they are different, it does not mean that they cannot be complimentary, and many players use compression sleeves for tennis elbow while reporting excellent results and improvements.
Tennis elbow braces can offer you pain relief and reduced discomfort, but they can do so only if you place them and use them correctly. All those things considered, we hope our article provided you with enough information and that it will help you reach a better understanding of the tennis elbow brace placement.
Remember, if you continue feeling discomfort even after you start using these braces, the wisest decision is to consult your healthcare provider and check if there are some other issues with your elbow.