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Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a frustrating and painful condition that occurs when the tendons in the elbow become overloaded and overworked.
In most cases, the condition results from repetitive motions of the wrist and arm and results in the joint pain and tendonitis.
While tennis elbow is not just limited to tennis players, the repetitive motion of swinging a tennis racket at a moving ball puts tennis players at a greater risk of developing it.
It also explains why lateral epicondylitis is so commonly referred to as tennis elbow.
While genetic factors and age do play a significant role, playing tennis regularly at any age puts you at risk of developing an injury in your forearm muscle or tennis elbow.
Chronic elbow pain can be somewhat debilitating.
Luckily, you can manage it by wearing a brace while playing tennis or performing other repetitive tasks that cause your tennis elbow symptoms to flare up.
Can a Brace Help with Tennis Elbow Pain?
While they are not miracle cures, wearing a brace and properly warming up before you play can help you manage tennis elbow pain and allow you to play through it without discomfort.
In some cases, wearing a brace can even prevent and reduce the severity of future flare-ups.
To help you deal with the frustration and pain that results from this condition, we will be taking a look at some of the best braces for tennis elbow on the market today.
We will review each and explain why wearing it could be beneficial if you are dealing with elbow pain. There really aren’t any bad choices on this list.
We will also explain some factors that may increase your risk of developing tennis elbow, so you can be aware of emerging symptoms and perform the correct stretches and warm-ups to protect yourself.
The Best Braces for Tennis Elbow Prevention and Treatment
Whether you are already suffering from tennis elbow, or you are just in the market for a brace to help cope with muscle fatigue, we can help!
The following arm braces are some of the best on the market for relieving tennis elbow pain:
Simien Tennis Elbow Brace Pack
This Simien brace takes our top spot for the best overall tennis elbow brace because it comes with everything you could need at an affordable price.
Not only do you get two braces (so you can change them out when one needs to be cleaned), you also get a compression sweatband for your wrist.
On top of that, you get access to their informative E-book titled Addressing Tennis Elbow Pain which tells you everything you need to know about using a brace to reduce pain and inflammation.
The E-book points readers in the direction of some useful online resources, such as an exercise and therapy guide.
This brace’s bands use durable materials that hold up well during a strenuous tennis match.
We were also impressed with the integrated gel compression pad, which offers soothing comfort and a much greater level of support than what you find with air-filled compression braces.
We also liked that it fits wearers of all sizes. The adjustable Velcro strap ensures that users will not have to worry about it being too loose or too tight.
To back up their one-size-fits-all claim, Simien even offers a full money-back guarantee if it doesn’t fit properly.
The fact that you get two braces for the price of one is also a major advantage.
With two braces, you have the option to keep a second in your tennis bag, so you will never have to worry about going to the court without it.
If you play more than one sport or you work out at a gym, you can also reserve your second brace for those purposes.
Another standout feature of the Simien elbow brace is that they use the highest quality materials.
Each of their braces uses a high-quality blend of 65% neoprene and 35% nylon.
These materials are durable, and Simien backs all of their braces with a money-back lifetime guarantee against excessive wear and tear.
If your brace begins to show visible signs of damage, Simien will replace it.
The brand also guarantees that its braces are 100% latex-free, which means even the logo and the gel pad use natural rubber rather than latex, which can cause skin irritation and trigger allergies.
Sleeve Stars – Counterforce Tennis Elbow Brace
Sleeve Stars offer a wide variety of support bands and compression sleeves for sport-related injuries. Their Counterforce tennis elbow brace works well and is available at a more than reasonable price.
The brace was specifically designed to relieve pain associated with tennis elbow by increasing blood circulation to the exact area where inflammation occurs.
Not only does this help with pain management, but it can also protect your vulnerable tendons from further strain and damage.
The main thing we liked about this tennis elbow brace is how comfortable it feels when it’s in place.
Even when you wear it for an extended period, the breathable, flexible fabrics ensure that you will not experience discomfort or irritation.
We also found that it does not restrict hand and wrist movement, which can be an issue with some of the lower-quality tennis elbow braces.
Whether you are playing tennis or another sport, like volleyball, golf, or basketball, the brace does not get in the way or restrict your ability to play to your full potential.
The brace uses a Velcro strap, so you can loop and tighten it to the exact dimensions of your arm, which ensures a comfortable and secure fit.
Each brace comes with three detachable Velcro straps, so you can use the exact length you need and cut down on excess materials you do not need.
Not only is it easy to adjust the brace for a comfortable fit, but it also has sweat-absorbent qualities so you do not have to worry about sweat rashes or overheating issues while wearing it.
As with the Simien arm brace, the Sleeve Stars brace uses a high-quality blend of neoprene and nylon.
With 65% neoprene and 35% nylon, users will not have to worry about breathability issues or it wearing down with regular use.
The Velcro adjustment straps are also constructed from durable materials, so they will not wear out.
The brace is 100% latex-free in case you have a latex allergy.
Vive Health - Tennis Elbow Brace and Compression Wrap
This combined elbow brace and compression wrap from Vive Health is perfect for those experiencing symptoms related to tennis elbow.
The brace offers 360 degrees of support around the entire elbow and surrounding arm area.
This full coverage is ideal for relieving the pain, swelling, and inflammation that often occur when someone suffers from tennis elbow.
It also offers effective relief if you are suffering from other arm strain issues and soreness.
In addition to the fact that it offers relief from the symptoms of tennis elbow, this brace is so breathable and lightweight.
Despite the impressive level of arm and elbow coverage you get while wearing this brace and wrap, it feels comfortable and does not impede arm and wrist movements.
This comfort is partially down to the interior padding, which is webbed and cushioned to ensure a comfortable fit.
The comfortable fit means you can still play tennis or other sports without having to worry about the brace getting in the way. We also really liked that the entire brace is reversible.
Athletes can wear it on either arm without it feeling uncomfortable or out of place. To make sure the wrap remains comfortable and soft, it is machine washable.
In addition to the non-slip interior lining, the brace comes with three adjustable straps. The straps have a stronghold, and the high-quality fastening material ensures a secure fit, even during strenuous activities, like a game of tennis.
The comfortable fit and arm stability make this an excellent choice for anyone lookinf for effective relief from tennis elbow pain.
This brace is made from a high-quality nylon material and has a completely latex-free construction.
Interior silicone ribbing keeps the brace in position and prevents slipping, twisting, and sliding, even during activities that involve significant amount of arm movement.
Kunto Fitness - Compression Elbow Brace
Compression sleeves are an excellent option for those that are looking to prevent future tennis elbow flare-ups.
This sleeve from Kunto Fitness works by applying pressure across your entire elbow joint, which helps with pain relief and can prevent future tendon injuries and muscle strain.
We liked how comfortable this sleeve feels and how little it interferes when you are playing tennis. Due to its comfortable and secure fit, users will notice that they barely feel the sleeve after they have been wearing it for a while.
Unlike lower-quality compression braces, this sleeve will not slip or sag down your arm because they used a unique zero-slip interior weave.
Having the brace stay in position without being overly constricting is ideal for those that want to wear it while playing sports.
We also liked that Kunto Fitness backed their brace with a 100% money-back guarantee.
If you do not like the feel of the brace or you find that it is beginning to wear out and slip, they will give you your money back or replace the sleeve with a new one.
The sleeve uses a blend of flexible and breathable materials.
Using 70% nylon, 15% spandex, and 15% natural rubber, Kunto Fitness created an effective tennis elbow compression sleeve that does not feel uncomfortable or irritating.
That’s our recommended list of 4 tennis elbow braces. I’d be surprised if one of these braces didn’t fit your needs, but since pain is no fun, do your due diligence to find the best brace for you.
Tennis Elbow FAQs
What Causes Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is caused by overuse and repetitive strain of the tendons located near the elbow.
Essentially, the repeated contraction of the forearm muscles used to straighten the wrist and raise the hand can strain the tendons and surrounding tissue.
With enough repetition, a series of small tears can occur in the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the bony part of the outside of your elbow.
Tennis-Related Tennis Elbow Causes
Unfortunately, playing tennis puts strain on these muscles and tendons, hence the name tennis elbow.
While general tennis play strains your arm and elbow, doctors suspect that the backhand groundstroke is the main cause of tennis elbow.
That doesn’t mean you should avoid hitting backhands altogether, but it is something you should be aware of if you play tennis regularly.
Improper technique, especially when hitting backhands, increases your risk of developing tennis elbow. It is important to use the proper technique and hold your tennis racket correctly.
Whether you are a beginner or have been playing tennis for years, it could be worth taking a lesson or asking for some pointers from a more advanced player to make sure your technique is correct.
While tennis is a major cause of tennis elbow, it is far from the only reason why people develop the condition.
Any repetitive motion can cause or worsen the symptoms of tennis elbow.
This motion could include many daily activities, like regularly using tools for renovations or automotive repair, painting the interior or exterior of a home, cutting and prepping food for cooking, using a computer keyboard for extended periods, and much more.
If you frequently play tennis and perform other repetitive motions with your hands, you may want to keep an eye on tennis elbow symptoms and avoid overdoing those things.
What are Some Potential Risk Factors?
Just because you play tennis does not mean you’ll develop a case of tennis elbow. With that said, the following factors can potentially heighten your risk:
Tennis Player Age
The older you are, the higher your risk of developing a tennis elbow. The condition does affect people of all ages.
If you are older, though, you are at higher risk, which is something you should be aware of.
Doctors and physiotherapists find that severe cases of tennis elbow are more common in tennis players that are over the age of 50.
Frequency of Play
As you would suspect, the more often you play tennis, the higher your chances are of developing tennis elbow symptoms.
If you only play on occasion or during a particular season, you have a lower chance of having a serious case of tennis elbow than someone who plays year-round.
If you play regularly and for long periods, you should be aware of your risk and take the necessary precautions, such as engaging in a proper stretching and warm-up routine before you begin playing or wearing a tennis elbow strap or tennis elbow sleeve.
It can also help to take breaks between games and try to play for shorter periods if you notice some of the symptoms becoming more pronounced.
Activities Outside of Tennis
You can develop and worsen symptoms by engaging in any activity that involves repeatedly straining your arm muscles and tendons.
If you have an occupation that involves repetitive motions of the wrist and arm you should take extra precautions when you play tennis.
Investing in a tennis elbow band or tennis elbow support to avoid elbow tendonitis is one way to ward off an elbow injury and elbow pain.
No More Elbow Pain
I hope you’ve found this information helpful for determining the best brace for tennis elbow. Many options exist and the goal is to keep you out of pain and on court enjoying the sport!
If you’re interested in the differences between tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow, check out this post.