Can there be anything worse than not being able to play the game you love, or to be in pain while you are playing it? Unfortunately, that’s what happens all too often in the game of tennis with the dreaded case of tennis elbow. Many people are forced to turn to some help in order to make it possible for them to even continue on playing the game that they love so dearly. Today, we will be helping you navigate the tricky waters associated with tennis elbow braces. We’ll look and the ins and outs so that you can get to feeling better and playing better soon. We will also be taking a look at the most popular braces out there in our reviews. Let’s get going then!
Top Tennis Elbow Braces Comparison Chart
|Name||Type||Price||Where to Buy?|
|Kunto Fitness Elbow Brace||Sleeve||$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Simien Two Count Tennis Brace||Strap||$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Tomight Two Pack Compression Elbow Brace||Strap||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|DashSport Copper Compression Elbow Brace||Sleeve||$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Bracoo Tennis Elbow Compression Strap||Strap||$||Check Price on Amazon|
Tennis Elbow Braces Buying Guide
What Is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is a debilitating condition that forms in the elbow over time. Like a lot of sports injuries, it takes time and repetitions to gain traction rather than just hitting you all at once. There’s not a single case of this happening with someone that played for the first time developing it. It’s not a traumatic, sudden injury, even if it does feel like trauma to you. Rather, it occurs when you repeatedly use the forearm. This is worsened when the elbow locks out- hyperextending- and making the issue even worse. This, eventually causes this villainous problem to arise and means you have to change the way that you act and react to the world around you. Some people have acute tennis elbow, others will have chronic. It just depends on how much pain you have and the diagnosis- or lack thereof. It can come frequently, or it can stick around all of the time. Then again, it could be an occasional thing, sort of like Plantar Fasciitis. It’s unpredictable nature can be impossible to judge, so but it can certainly make a drastic impact on your life and the enjoyment of sports.
Not Just Tennis
The bad news is that tennis isn’t the only sport that is affected by the wrath of “tennis” elbow. Others, too, have been affected by this awful plight, with golf being a chief proponent of causing it to occur as well. However, that’s not all. All racket sports, just about, are candidates to cause it. But that’s not all. People that work at jobs that are very repetitive in which they do the same motions over and over again are also prone to this happening. A job like carpentry is one such profession that frequently will see this occur to its workers. In fact, only around three percent of tennis elbow cases can be linked to actually playing tennis. This means that you can be affected greatly by this and that it’s not a laughing matter to be scoffed at all. So, if you are having these sort of issues, these braces can and will also help you stay on the course, court, or job.
How Do You Prevent Tennis Elbow?
This is a tricky one to discuss because there are a lot of theories out there. One idea is to stretch the muscles really well. By working the wrist and the forearm muscles, you can alleviate some of the pain and pressure. Preventing yourself from doing the same motions over and over again all day is also helpful. Workers on a factory line will be the first to tell you how much pain that can put you in. Too much of anything is bad for you, unfortunately, so you will have to watch out for that. Using your upper arm muscles more is also something worth learning, since it will place tension on more part of the body, thus lessening the load on the elbow joint. Making sure not to hyper extend- albeit a hard thing to do in the heat of the moment- is also essential. Doing that is going to cause all sorts of issues. As it relates to tennis, one theory is that you should try to use as heavy a racket as you can. By lowering the weight of the racket, you can swing faster. This sounds good on paper, but it actually increases the likelihood of you extending the elbow too far, thus making you arrive at the pain you are in now (probably- since you are reading this!).
Treating Tennis Elbow
How do you treat tennis elbow best? Well, first and foremost you will at least want to wear a brace. Whether it’s to keep you from getting any worse off or to keep your pain as low as possible while playing, you need to have one for that extra layer of protection as you go about your day working or playing. But outside of that, there are other things that you can do that won’t cost a ton of money and will save you a lot of heartache at the same time. When you are done playing, you should ice the elbow in question. Using over the counter pain relievers is also a great call, with medicines like Aleve, Advil, and Tylenol being good to help reduce inflammation in the joints. Heating pads are also an option for you to use, since heat is a powerful tool to use. It would be useful to use that before hand, too. Stretching is another good idea, and you can pair it with heating pads to give you the best support you can find before you head out and play- with your brace on, of course.
How Do You Know You Have It?
This is a question that can have a couple of answers to it. Some people just know they have it. They will feel something wrong, and they will instantly know it’s tennis elbow or something related to it. Other people will speculate that it is it based on having played tennis or similar and seeing it happen with someone else. But outside of that, it can be tough to diagnose unless it is re-inflammation or something you already knew about. Most of the time, you can just go to any old doctor and they will be able to tell if you have it or not. By doing a simple exam on your physically, a doctor should be able to determine if you have it or not. But sometimes, in rare cases, it might take an X-ray or MRI in order to pinpoint that it is indeed tennis elbow and not something else. One such case I’m aware of saw that there was actually a bone that had been chipped off in the elbow, so those cases do come up- though they are extreme and rare.
Why A Brace?
For many people, stopping playing the game that they love is just not a possibility. They’d rather be taken out back and shot before they allowed someone or something to stop them from getting a game in. Whether it’s for love of the game, exercise, or just a force of habit, you need to keep within your routine. And when that is denied of you, it’s frustrating and you naturally will hate it. A brace can keep you in the game, to a degree, and will help you get through the pain of swinging a racquet. A lot of people decide to go down this route because it’s more ideal and cost effective than other treatments. Other things that can be done include surgery on the elbow, physical therapy, and injections of different types of medicines. While a tennis elbow brace is going to cost you some money, it’s been seen by a lot of people to be much more manageable and the idea they have chosen to go by as a result. It also gives you a chance to keep on playing, whereas the other routes might not be conducive to that. You should go see a doctor to get treated and diagnosed for it, but some of us are stubborn and won’t. So, if you don’t get their help picking out one, at least you got ours!
Types of Braces
There are a few different types of braces that can you pick from, and each of them will offer something a little bit different, ranging from support to pain relief. Here’s a look at them.
This type of brace is the kind you will turn to when you have reached the worst possible level of tennis elbow. This also means that this will be the most expensive option by far, seeing as how they are meant to protect the elbow from incurring any further damage. This type is nearly always made out of plastic and will feature a strap that secures it to your arm. The idea of it is to absorb pressure from the muscles when you make contact with the ball, making you much more able to sustain consistent hits in the same areas over and over. In order for them to be most effective, they need to be fitted to your specific arm, so this usually requires going through a doctor or similar type of channel. This type is best for people with a lot of money to spend and, of course, professionals, since they are playing all of the time against people with high velocities shots and have the money to spend.
Tennis Elbow Sleeve
At the other end of the spectrum, you have the tennis elbow sleeve. The sleeve is intended to help you out before the occurrence of the injury more than after it has happened. It does this by giving you a level of support that will be done in the hopes of preventing further injuries by using compression qualities to absorb the blows of those shots time and time again. This type is relatively inexpensive compared to the others, and is going to be easy to put on. They will either use a strap or elastics like spandex or something similar to fasten to you. They also work well because they keep the area warm, which has been shown to reduce injuries. Even NBA players now have seats that have warmers to them, so this is the same kind of idea, really. In summary, this type is best for preventing or trying to nip pain in the bud at its early stages.
Tennis Elbow Strap
This is the type we are all probably the most familiar with. This type of strap is very commonly found and is also inexpensive. On top of that, its simplicity is very high, making it possible for just about anyone to put one on and use. This type is for a player that has a target area that is hurting and wants to have that taken care of. They seek to do the same thing as the Epicondylitis clasps we looked at before, applying pressure upon muscles and absorbing the blows when you hit the ball. Depending on the model, some will have additional pads that are designed to be placed where the pain is residing the most. Using a Velcro strap, they are comfortable and very generous as you try to put them on you.
Nobody wants to buy anything that’s not going to hold up well, and that’s even the case with an elbow brace. The materials a product uses says a lot about how long it will last, and so, too will reviews and research. We’ll make sure to point out if they don’t hold up to the pressure, so to speak. You also impact the durability, or lack thereof, by the way you handle and take care of your brace. If you treat it as the instructions direct, it will last longer.
Comfort is something you will have to think about as well. Obviously, if you are here you are willing to sacrifice some comfort in order to feel better and to be more stable. However, you do have to draw a line in the sand at some point. You can’t let is stick into you or be too tight on your arms. Part of this is going to overlap with the fit, and we’ll discuss that below, but a lot of it is just in the construction of the brace or sleeve. If it is not comfortable to wear, or at least neutral, you will not want to wear it. The size, not your specific size, is closely related to this as well. If it’s a big old brace, it will lock you down more and you might feel like it is restrictive in too many places. Just a few thoughts to keep in mind!
Be careful that you don’t pick out an elbow brace that is ill fitted to you. This is very much a possibility of happening to you since so many on the market are one size fits all. This is great for the company that is making them, since they just need one mold, but it’s not so good for you if you are either large or small in the arms and can’t fit into it properly. Without the right fit, you are going to be hurting. If it’s too loose, you will get no help. If it’s too tight, you’ll cut your own circulation off and start hurting in new areas instead or in addition to the elbow. Stick to size guides online when you are shopping so that you can get the best possible idea of what it is you are getting yourself into. Also, try on the brace once you get it if you have ordered online. If it doesn’t fit well, it would serve you to send it back and try again. No sense in forcing something that just doesn’t work for you!
Unfortunately for all of us, price is a factor in this. But please don’t let it cloud your judgment on this. This is a very serious health issue that you have, and you will want to get the best treatment possible for it. You can’t arrive at that point by skimping out too much. You need to find a brace that supports and protects you. Don’t go under what you need in order to feel better, but also be wise and don’t go overboard, too. If you’re having very mild pain or have none and don’t want to chance it, there’s little sense in buying a massively overpriced, customized brace.
The Top Five Elbow Braces Reviews!
Kunto Fitness Elbow Brace
With this brace, you get a ton of versatility, with it acting as compression for both tennis elbow and tendinitis. It’s a sleeve like design that you pull on, so there is no worry about clipping it on or any of that nonsense. It’s also got four different sizes, so you will not have to fool around with one size fits all and sizes that just don’t quite fit you well enough. Not only does this help protect the elbow during rapid and constant movements, but it also still gives you the ability to have full arm movements. A lot of braces will stunt movement entirely, decreasing your performance and leading you to suffer in the process. This will not do that. It also will not slip once you get it on, no matter your size, so you will not have any such worries to overcome with this brace. It’s a good idea pre and post occurrence, though if you have severe problems, you might want to seek something else.
- Very versatile
- Allows full range of motion
- Not most ideal for severe cases
Simien Two Count Tennis Brace
If you have problems on both sides, then this is one way that you can take care of them both at the same time for the same price as the sleeve above. Unlike the Kunto, this is very much a brace, and a low profile one at that. Getting it on is a breeze, taking just the use of Velcro to strap it on and get to playing, working, or whatever else you have going on. Like the previous listing, it is very versatile, but because of its size it can work in other areas besides just the elbow, making it even more so since it can combat other awful conditions as well. It uses a compression gel pad to absorb the blows, which has been shown to work better in clinical studies than that of normal old air pads. Plus, they are much more comfortable, too, since it’s just gel! It is one size fits all, so that might present a problem or two but it shouldn’t be a huge issue unlike a lot of other braces you will find. Also, there is no Latex used, so you will not have any allergies to have to attend to when using it.
- Two for one
- Covers all kinds of areas
- Gel padding is more effective
- One size fits all a slight worry
Tomight Two Pack Compression Elbow Brace
Much like the Simien above, this is also a two pack but it will come at a cheaper price. Not that the previous offering was that high, mind you. With this one you also are to customize your coloring just a little bit more than with the last, a nice feature to have but not make or break. This is much the same setup, only this brace, which is a smaller brace like the Simien, will absorb those outside forces by compressing the upper forearm while playing or working. Instead of having just one Velcro strap, this one has two, which is going to make adjustability even better and easier one you, a really awesome aspect that cannot be overlooked about them. It also uses neoprene to ensure that the elbow doesn’t feel like the materials are digging into you and leaving cuts, ramping up the comfort. Once again, this is one size fits all, so look out for that.
- Two straps improve adjustability
- Two pack for cheaper price
- Very soft materials
- One size fits all again
DashSport Copper Compression Elbow Brace
If you are looking for more of a full coverage, then this is the direction you should be looking at going in. This is a system that not only uses one but both methods. Sporting a compression sleeve with copper nylon in it and a brace that goes over the target area, this will pinpoint where the problem is and zero in until there is a great fix for it. This is the first system of its kind in the tennis elbow realm as well, so you can depend and trust in them to bring a quality product to the mix. It’s the highest price we have seen so far, but the difference is very negligible and shouldn’t’ really be looked at because of the quality, attention to detail they have put into it, and also because of their money back guarantee. If you don’t like it, they’ll take it back and send you the money. You cannot beat that. This fabric isn’t just protective but it’s also soft and very breathable, too, a must have if you’ll be covering up your whole arm nearly!
- Brace and sleeve
- Comfy and breathable
- Money back guarantee.
- Covers too much for some
Bracoo Tennis Elbow Compression Strap
If you want to cover up a minimal amount of your body and feel lighter than anything else, then this is the sort of option for you. The Bracoo is super small and is very light as well, meaning freedom of movement will be superb. Not that the others here aren’t, but with this one you have no choice but to move freely. With the use of EVA, it’s able to accomplish this while also offering decent amounts of cushioning and comfort so that you don’t sit there and scratch like a wild animal would throughout the day. It is shaped to fit your specific body, so that will help as it molds to you and you get to going about your day. It is a one size fits all option, so that is a minor worry, as is the fact that it’s not the most versatile on our list.
- Very, very light
- EVA is soft and light
- Fits your body
- One size fits all
- Not all that much versatility
Tennis elbow is no laughing matter, as you will probably know and realize if you are here reading this. Many people have developed this condition over the years, and many have thus found out just how hard it is to recover from it. Today, we have looked at ways to keep you off the sidelines and in the job by providing you with resources to get a brace that will help support you and all of your endeavors. Now, with all of this information, you will be armed and ready to go out and make an informed decision that keeps you in the game and on the job!