Choosing an Elbow Brace

Elbow brace picture

Elbow braces come in the form of bands, braces, and sleeves. Choosing the right one will increase the chances the elbow brace will provide the relief you need for tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and other ailments that affect the elbow. Providing the elbow with the proper support during healing with an elbow brace, band, or sleeve will prevent further injury and aid in healing of injury.

There are several features available to meet the needs of different injuries. Elbow braces came in a large variety of types and several different manufacturers include them in their product line. Some elbow braces have gel packs that can be heated or cooled, depending on the need of the user for additional therapeutic value. Other inserts include silicone or air to provide targeted pressure without compromising circulation around the bone. Lightweight elbow braces are best so not to stress other muscles in the arm. This is especially important when using the brace during an activity. Breathable material will reduce irritation to skin and prevent odor. Adjustable elbow braces will assure comfort and they can be adjusted if there is swelling present or if circulation is impaired. Velcro straps are easy to use, but pull straps may provide a more secure adjustment. Elbow braces with thermal properties will assure the elbow stays warm which will reduce injury risk. These can raise temperatures from 3-6 degrees.

Elbow braces help the symptoms of the following:

  1. Tennis elbow-inside elbow injury
  2. Golfer’s elbow-outside elbow injury
  3. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome-wrist injury effecting hands
  4. Arthritis-joint inflammation, pain, and stiffness
  5. Sprains-ligament injury
  6. Strains-muscle or tendon injury
  7. Bursitis-bursa (pads between tendons and bones) inflammation
  8. Olecranon fracture-elbow joint bone fracture

An elbow brace can be chosen by an individual, recommended by a healthcare professional, or suggested by a peer who has the same ailment. To choose your own elbow brace take the time to identify what you want the elbow brace to do based on the details of your injury. Consider the activities you will be doing while wearing the brace. Monitor the success of the brace and the stage of healing so you can change the elbow brace as need. Healthcare professionals have experience with the specifics of your injury and will have recommendations based on their experiences. Peers that have the same injury and who have used an elbow brace that you are considering, will be able to give a recommendation based on personal use.

Elbow braces provide support to the elbow to protect from further injury and help speed healing. An elbow brace will attach to the arm above and below the elbow. It mobilizes the tendons. Properly designed braces will provide warmth to the elbow and will not hinder circulation. They are usually made of breathable, washable material.

Features available for elbow brace:

  • Liner that will absorb moisture
  • Lightweight
  • Air cell with targeted pressure
  • Duel strap
  • Large range of sizes
  • Adjustable
  • Color choice
  • Velcro or pull strap

Elbow braces that are bands are worn just below the elbow on the forearm. They can be conforming to the forearm without being restricting when designed properly. There is targeted therapeutic pressure provided to the tendons so they are held parallel for quicker healing. Quicker healing means pain elimination sooner and a return to normal activities sooner.

Features available for elbow brace band:

  • Liner that will absorb moisture
  • Gel pack that is built in or can be inserted.
  • Lightweight
  • Air cell with targeted pressure
  • Padding
  • Duel strap
  • Large range of sizes
  • Adjustable
  • Color choice
  • Velcro or pull strap

Elbow sleeves

An elbow sleeve that is a sleeve will cover the elbow, part of the forearm, and part of the upper arm providing support. It assists with joint stabilization. Cotton elbow liners can be worn under the elbow brace to make it more comfortable for extended wear.

Features available:

  1. Silicone inserts
  2. Breathable knit
  3. Padding
  4. Thermal properties
  5. Contoured

Many manufacturers carry a variety of elbow braces. Some of the manufacturers are Bioflex, McDavid Sports, Henly and Weber, Innovation Sports, ProCare, and Silipos. Read as much as you can and shop around to get the right elbow brace at the best price.

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