Elbow bandage for tennis elbow: How to choose one

The tennis elbow bandage is designed specifically for the treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis (tennis elbow) or Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s elbow) applying direct pressure below the elbow joint and as a result, it helps to relieve pain. Therefore, it should be considered by people who have already suffered from tennis elbow or by those who are at increased risk of developing tennis elbow due to their profession or hobby (for example, long hours working at the computer or even regular tennis, but also volleyball, handball or golf).

The bandage is designed to ensure pain-free, unrestricted freedom of movement.

For whom is a bandage useful?

During an acute situation with severe pain due to tennis elbow and existing inflammation, it may be useful to take a rest first so that the tissue can recover to a certain extent.

The bandage is more suitable for use in a prolonged course if the complaints persist and limit the activity and work of the person affected. Also, in patients with a history of tennis elbow, it may be appropriate to use the tennis bracelet as a preventive measure to prevent recurrence.

Read more about Elbow Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

How long should I wear them each day?

The tennis elbow brace and also brace should be worn during painful activities. This means at work or during sports, which usually causes the complaints. It serves to be able to carry out the activities without pain and to maintain the grip without pain. Wearing it beyond the activity times is not sensible.

Should numbness, tingling, or throbbing in the arm below the support occur during wearing, it is possible that the support is too tight and hinders the blood supply beyond the constriction. In this case, the support should be loosened, or a short break should be taken.

However, it is not advisable to wear the bandage during rest periods. If the lacing is too tight, the blood supply to the muscles can be impeded. As a result, this can also impede the positive repair processes that occur during the inflammatory and overload reaction and slow down recovery. It is therefore advisable to discuss the use of a tennis bracelet with an orthopedic doctor during an acute situation, i.e., when the inflammation and pain are very severe, and if necessary, to allow a rest period first.

More about Biceps tendonitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Should I also wear the brace at night?

As already described for the rest phases, wearing the brace or bandage during sleep is not advisable.

During sleep, the body is actively engaged in regeneration and heals injuries and inflammations. Besides, there is no strain on the muscles of the forearm during sleep, so that better blood supply and decompression by omitting the brace/bandage are beneficial.

How do I put them on correctly?

A bandage is often used for the so-called tennis elbow and the golfer’s elbow to relieve the discomfort and promote blood circulation and healing. After application, the bandage encloses part of both the upper and lower arm. The elbow support also has either one or two specially shaped pads, which can be made of silicone, among other materials.

The aid is available in different sizes, depending on the thickness of the forearm. Only a suitable size enables a good fit, which guarantees an optimal position of the pressure pads.

As a rule, the tennis elbow bandages can be worn on both sides, i.e., both left and right. The pressure pads, also known as pads, must be positioned so that they lie on the tendon insertions and muscles that cause the complaints. Since these are also the points where the pain occurs, the pressure pads can be positioned with quite good accuracy. Otherwise, the rule of thumb can be used that the pressure pad for the tennis elbow should be placed two finger widths below the elbow on the outside of the forearm.

(In contrast to the brace, the bandage does not have to be tightened. The brace should fit tightly, but in no case should it impair blood circulation).

Read more about Elbow Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

How does a tennis elbow bandage work?

A tennis elbow brace can be purchased in most common medical supply stores and sports shops and can be applied by the affected person himself. It can also be prescribed by an orthopedic surgeon.

It works in such a way that it relieves the muscular apparatus and relieves pain (or, in the case of prophylactic use, does not even allow pain to develop in the first place) by exerting targeted, concentrated pressure on the tendons and muscles of the forearm.

Usually, such a bandage is made of neoprene or another robust material that can withstand high loads without any problems. The pressure intensity on the muscles can be varied individually (if available) using a Velcro fastener.

Most tennis elbow bandages can be worn on both the right and left arm.

Please check our article about Tennis Elbow: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

What is the difference between a brace?

The difference between a tennis elbow bandage and a brace is that the bandage only needs to be put on and exerts pressure on the affected area via elastic properties. However, some bandages also have an integrated strap, so that they come very close to the brace in their function. Bandage without belt has a disadvantage compared to the brace that the pressure cannot be varied individually.

It should be mentioned that the bandage is usually somewhat larger and includes a part of the forearm as well as the upper arm.

Problems with the tennis elbow bandage

If you apply this bandage directly after overcoming tennis elbow, you must be careful, as there is a risk that a too-tight bandage will cut off the circulation and thus slow down the healing process.

Combination with other forms of therapy

Ideally, the bandage is not the sole therapy after tennis elbow but is used in combination with cold or heat treatment, physiotherapy, shock wave therapy, and protection of the forearm.

Please check other articles about Elbow conditions: Types and Information

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