Which tennis elbow brace is best?
Tennis elbow is a condition where the elbow’s tendons are overloaded, causing pain. It usually builds up over time due to the repetitive motions of tennis, golf and similar activities. It can also occur instantly due to a direct injury.
One of the better treatment methods — outside of giving your elbow plenty of rest — is to use a tennis elbow brace such as the Simien Tennis Elbow Braces. These braces use a large and comfortable gel compression pad to directly target your tendons for quick and meaningful relief.
What to know before you buy a tennis elbow brace
Tennis elbow brace types
There are four types of tennis elbow brace.
- Strap braces are the most common. They consist of a padded strap secured on the arm just below the elbow. They directly pressure the tendon to reduce strain and vibration while offering the widest range of motion.
- Dual strap braces are used when your pain becomes markedly severe. One padded strap each is placed just below and just above the elbow. This reduces your range of motion and can be uncomfortable. In return, your elbow is nearly immobilized for maximum relief.
- Compression braces are similar to sleeves. They apply pressure to the tendons while supporting the entire elbow, keeping it warm and improving circulation. However, it somewhat reduces your range of motion.
- Combo braces use compression sleeves and either a separate or built-in strap to combine the benefits of both brace styles. They’re expensive and must be carefully fitted to provide proper support. They’re mostly for those who wear braces daily.
Many tennis elbow braces come in one-size-fits-all styles, but better models will have adjustable straps or come in specific sizes. Targeted sizing will always provide better relief, but one-size-fits-all models will be more affordable.
What to look for in a quality tennis elbow brace
Tennis elbow braces typically use neoprene or nylon as their main material.
- Neoprene is more affordable and as such is the most common. However, it’s known to cause some irritation for some people.
- Nylon is more expensive but more breathable and flexible. However, it’s more expensive.
Many braces combine the two materials — in addition to others such as spandex — to keep costs affordable while still offering an effective product.
The best compression braces use graduated compression. These braces apply less compression on the edges of the brace. This keeps the support directly on the elbow while preventing the edges from cutting off your circulation.
The best tennis elbow braces carefully place seams to prevent chafing. It’s especially important to check the seams on compression braces. Make sure the ends don’t have rough, pronounced seams. Look for braces with only one seam down the middle as opposed to two.
How much you can expect to spend on a tennis elbow brace
Tennis elbow braces typically cost $10-$100. Basic braces cost $15 or less while most cost no more than $30. More feature-heavy braces can cost up to $50 while the very best cost up to $100.
Tennis elbow brace FAQ
How tight should the brace be?
A. The brace should be tight enough to put constant pressure on your tendons without cutting off circulation. If the brace can move easily it’s too loose. If you lose feeling in your arms or they begin to feel tingly, it’s too tight.
How should I measure my arm for sizing?
A. Most manufacturers base their sizing charts on relaxed arms held at 90-degree angles with measurements taken at different parts of the arm depending on the brace. Always double-check your prospective tennis elbow brace’s sizing chart to avoid ordering the wrong size.
How should I maintain my tennis elbow brace?
A. The biggest maintenance step is making sure you’re washing it properly every time you take it off. This usually means hand-washing and air-drying — your brace should include specific washing instructions. You should also store it unsecured and untightened to help its compression last as long as possible.
What’s the best tennis elbow brace to buy?
Top tennis elbow brace
What you need to know: It uses gel compression pads for maximum comfort and effectiveness.
What you’ll love: Hook-and-loop closures make fine-tuning the fit a breeze and the neoprene and nylon construction is durable and breathable. The braces come with a sweatband for your wrist and an E-book to help you understand tennis elbow. They have a lifetime guarantee.
What you should consider: The narrowness of the brace requires precise placement but movement throughout the day will shift it away from the target area.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top tennis elbow brace for the money
What you need to know: These are effective and cost-saving for less severe pain.
What you’ll love: The compression gel pad is soft but effective and the design is light and breathable. A little spandex is used to add some stretch and comfort. It can be safely worn all day or just while active to prevent repetitive stress.
What you should consider: A few customers found them to be a little itchy. Others had issues with the hook-and-loop closures wearing out after a few months.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: These sleeves eliminate the need for precise placement.
What you’ll love: It comes in five sizes from small to 2XL. Moisture-wicking materials help you stay dry and a copper infusion helps fight off bacteria. It only has one seam to help prevent chafing and it can be safely and comfortably worn all day.
What you should consider: The compression is low and the sleeves will eventually stretch out. A few purchasers had issues finding the right fit.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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