What is a Tennis Elbow Brace and What are Its Benefits?

There are many pieces of equipment that are built and designed specifically for tennis players, and one of these pieces is the tennis elbow brace. This kind of tennis equipment is particularly used by players that are suffering from “tennis elbow,” a condition where a section of the arm’s muscles is swollen and sore. To learn more about the tennis elbow and the accessory you need to treat it, here is a guide to the tennis elbow brace and its benefits.

What is a Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is a condition wherein pain and soreness are felt right around the elbow. The clinical name of tennis elbow is “lateral epicondylitis,” and this condition appears when there is a lot of repeated action on the forearm muscles around the elbows or near the elbow joint. When the pain occurs on the inner side of the elbow instead of the forearm muscles, this condition is called the “golfer’s elbow.” [1]

The reason why the condition is popularly called tennis elbow is that tennis players are more prone to getting this condition since they are the ones that constantly move their elbows to move their tennis racket and hit the ball during games. In addition, a tennis elbow would also occur when you are twisting your forearms, which is what most tennis players do when they perform a backhand grip.

Symptoms of tennis elbow include soreness in the muscles around the elbows, a sharp pain whenever you move your arms, and difficulty in straightening your arms due to immense pain. Fortunately, tennis elbow can heal even without treatment, although it may take several days for it to fully heal, which is actually a long time if you are a tennis player that trains regularly. 

However, to hasten the healing process, you can apply a cold compress on the affected areas on your elbow several times each day, and this cold compress can help in reducing the swelling and soreness of the muscles. After a few days of treatment, you can then wear the tennis elbow brace during training to aid in the recovery of the muscles near and on your elbow.

The Tennis Elbow Brace

The tennis elbow brace is an accessory that is worn on top of the forearm muscles near the elbows. This accessory is primarily used to apply compression or a little bit of pressure on the forearm muscles, which can then help in the recovery of the said muscles. 

The brace can be worn in different ways, as it can be clasped, strapped, or simply worn, and all of these methods are still effective in applying pressure to the muscles that were affected by the tennis elbow. Tennis elbow braces come in various forms, and to know more, here are some details for each type or form of a tennis elbow brace.

Tennis Elbow Strap

The tennis elbow strap is arguably the most popular form of tennis elbow brace today, as it is inexpensive and can be worn easily. The strap of this tennis elbow brace wraps around the forearm, and to customize the fit of the brace, you would need to insert the strap in the hook on the center and pull on the strap until you feel compression on your muscles. Then, to close the brace, the end of the strap has tiny nylon hooks that can easily stick to a loop fastener at the surface of the brace.

Tennis elbow straps are perfect for people that want to make easy adjustments in terms of how much compression they want on their muscles. In addition, tennis elbow straps are also the most affordable option, so it may also be suitable for people that don’t really experience tennis elbow frequently, so braces for the forearms may be useless to them for weeks and months. Unfortunately, tennis elbow straps are the worst when it comes to temperature retention, which is important for better muscle recovery.

Tennis Elbow Clasp

The tennis elbow clasp is the type of elbow brace that is much thinner and smaller compared to the tennis elbow strap but is still effective in applying compression to sore muscles on the forearm. Instead of having a strap and a hook to fit the brace, the tennis elbow clasp has a clip at one end that can close the brace and provide a better fit. [2]

Besides applying pressure on the sore muscles, the tennis elbow clasp also allows you to transfer the force created by your movements from the painful muscles to the healthy muscles. So, with a tennis elbow clasp, you can have a much easier time resting the muscles affected by tennis elbow since you don’t apply too much force on them.

What’s great about tennis elbow clasps is that you can apply pressure to the exact point where the muscles are aching, and then once you put on the clasp, it will offer firm compression that won’t loosen or tighten over time. But, the downside to tennis elbow clasps is that they are more expensive compared to the tennis elbow straps, so these should only be purchased by people that are regularly experiencing tennis elbow since the clasp would be more worth it for them in terms of faster recovery.

Tennis Elbow Sleeve

The tennis elbow sleeve is significantly larger than the tennis elbow clasp, as it covers the top part of the forearms, the elbows, and the lower section of the biceps and triceps. This tennis elbow sleeve works similarly to an arm compression sleeve, as it provides compression while also retaining body temperature, which can also aid in recovery for the muscles. [2]

Tennis elbow sleeves are also worn like compression sleeves, as it goes through your hands and straight to your elbows. But the lower part of the sleeve that covers the upper forearm still has a strap that you can adjust to apply compression to the sore muscles. The drawback to tennis elbow sleeves is that they don’t offer the same level of compression as the clasps and the straps.

These are all the details about tennis elbow braces and their different types and benefits. Choose the most suitable type of tennis elbow brace for you so that you will have a much better and easier time healing or treating a tennis elbow. 


[1] NHS. (2020, November 10). Overview: Tennis Elbow. NHS UK. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tennis-elbow/ 

[2] Walden, M. (2022, November 16). Tennis Elbow Brace. SportsInjuryClinic. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/elbow-pain/lateral-elbow-pain/tennis-elbow-brace