Categorized | Accessories, Sports Wear

Pros And Cons Of Tennis Elbow Brace

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Tennis elbow braces are effective in reducing muscle stress and easing tennis elbow pain. It is recommended that you wear braces if you play golf, football, tennis, or baseball. Just because it is called tennis elbow doesn’t mean that it only affects tennis athletes! It can affect any other player, including golfers and footballers. All these athletes are susceptible to tennis elbow, which is why they need tennis elbow braces for protection against potential injury. So what is a tennis elbow brace?

                                                                                                          image via unsplash

What Does a Tennis Elbow Brace Do?

The tennis elbow brace redirects stressful forces away from an injured area. It reduces the pain caused by the injury while protecting the area as it heals. The main function is to put a “counter-force” or direct pressure onto the outer side of your elbow around the thickest part of your forearm. The counter pressure is on the extensor muscles, known as extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB). It minimizes the muscle tension as they attach to the lateral epicondyle which significantly reduces pain.

How Do Braces Work?

Counter-force bracing works similarly to the mechanics of a guitar. When a finger is placed on the guitar’s string along the neck of the guitar, it significantly reduces tension on the string distal to the fret where your fingers are placed. The brace is like your fingers on the guitar’s neck, and the extensor muscles would be the guitar string, which reduces the tension of the muscles as they attach to the lateral epicondyle.

Possibility and Risk of Injury

Most tennis elbow sufferers worry about tears and injuries as the pain is so sharp and relentless. You should note that if you are an athlete, the possibility of a tear is great, which is why you should always wear the brace.

The biggest risk to the injured tendons is that they heal slowly, and one reason for this is that they have a much smaller blood supply than other tissues. The greatest risk is that tendons may not heal at all. It is in your best interest you wear a brace as it will prevent further breakdown, stagnation, and degeneration regardless of whether there is a tear.

How Long Does It Take to Reduce Pain?

Tennis elbow braces ease pain immediately when you wear one. If the pain is not eased, there are two possibilities. First, your condition is severe, and in this case you need to consult with your physiotherapist. Note you should not delay because you will only make the pain worse.

Second, you do not have a tennis elbow. Here, seek advice from your physiotherapist for a thorough assessment. The pain felt around the area can be attributed to many sources, including your neck, shoulder joint, and arm nerves.

How to Use Tennis Elbow Braces Safely?

You need to place the brace around the widest part of the forearm when doing things that would be painful. Researchers assert that the use of tennis elbow braces will immediately reduce pain and improve grip strength for a lot of golf or tennis elbow sufferers. The brace absorbs the pain-causing forces that are exerted on the elbow or site of injury. This implies that you will experience less pain and will quicken the healing process.

When to Wear?

You should wear a brace to protect yourself in case you have suffered a significant tear. This can be diagnosed using an MRI or sonogram, and that should be done as soon as possible. In addition, a brace is recommended when playing golf or tennis and when you are still recovering. In addition, wear a brace when engaging in heavy exertion, such as when moving furniture or hammering nails.

What Is a Tennis Elbow Brace?

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According to the Arthritis Foundation, a tennis elbow is defined as a painful inflammation of the tendon at the outer border of the elbow which results from the overuse of lower arm muscles, such as in the twisting of the hand. It is also referred to as a lateral epicondylitis and is one of the least favorite injuries. This is because it is nagging, disabling, and sometimes can be relentless.

This is why it is recommended that athletes should adopt treatment, which entails the use of a tennis elbow brace. A tennis elbow brace supports an injured elbow during healing. It also aids in the reduction of pain immediately, which allows you to return to work or your sport while wearing the brace.

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PROS

Less Expensive

Wearing the braces is less expensive than going to the doctor for treatment. A visit to the doctor involves check-ups, diagnosis, and any other prescription medications or drugs that they tell you to buy. This can potentially add up to a couple hundreds of dollars. Some visits can be a single day, but others can last even for months. Not everyone can afford to see a doctor these days, and wearing a brace which is very cheap can save you the money you would otherwise use in treating the tennis elbow.

Relieves Pain

A tennis elbow brace relieves pain caused by tight muscle tension. The relief is beneficial since your muscles will not be stressed, and you will get as much rest as you need. Besides, having your elbow free from unnecessary or unwanted movements will allow it to rest.

Prevention of Repeat Injury

Another good reason for wearing a brace is to alleviate pain and help you avoid any further painful injuries. The tendons are protected and will become stronger, which increases the likelihood you will not injure yourself again.

Note that repeat tennis elbow injuries are common, which makes the braces more beneficial to protect your elbow. If you are heavily involved in actions characterized by repetitive overload on your forearm muscles, wearing an elbow brace is the best preventive measure of chronic injuries.

Promote Healing Process

Note that the braces are not just worn for protection and relief. They also provide warmth on the injured forearm which promotes the healing process. This allows you to return to the sport you love within a short span of time.

CONS

Not Medically Supervised

This is a do-it-yourself kind of treatment. This is always risky, and you should only attempt to treat yourself if the injury is fairly minor and the brace seems to start working immediately. If you are in severe pain or the brace doesn’t help, see professional help.

You May Not Be Properly Diagnosed

Another reason a tennis elbow race is not a good idea is that if you are not properly diagnosed, then the brace may not help you out. Essentially, tennis elbow may not be the cause of injury and using the brace might do more damage. Therefore, we highly recommend that you think seriously whether you really need the brace, as it can cause other injuries if you’ve guessed incorrectly about what is wrong.

Can Cause More Scar Tissue

Another downside of wearing braces is that the compression and reduced mobility encourages sticky “adhesions,” or scar tissue, which binds and restricts your tendons and muscles. Losing your flexibility to a bunch of scar tissue is the last thing you want. Therefore, if you think it will contribute to more scar tissue, it is advised that you not use it at all. Note that muscles and tendons need gentle movements and mobility to heal.

Instead of returning to the sport you love and use a brace, you would heal faster if you rested and allowing gentle movement to your arm and hand. Repetitive motions and activities that in the first place cause the injury may aggravate the injury. Therefore, we recommend that you first rest to heal and then use a brace once you have significantly healed from the injury.

Conclusion

A tennis elbow brace is vital for athletes, such as tennis and football players, as supports an injured elbow in the healing process. It aids in the reduction of pain by minimizing the muscle tension, which allows you to return to work or your sport while wearing the brace. The brace absorbs the pain-causing forces exerted on the site of injury. This implies that you will experience less pain and will quicken the healing process.

There are various advantages of wearing braces, which include they are less expensive than doctor visits, relieves pain caused by tight muscle tension, eases pain and helps you avoid any further painful injuries. A brace also promotes the healing process. Braces are not just worn for protection and relief. They also provide warmth on the injured forearm which promotes the healing process.

However, there are cons of using braces. They are not medically supervised, are unproven, and if you are not properly diagnosed could lead to further extensive injuries, which could cause more scar tissue. We hope that this article has adequately addressed what a tennis elbow brace is, along with the pros and cons.

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