There are various types of tendonitis that can impact the elbow. These tendon injuries are often named after sports that commonly cause the condition. Golfer’s elbow involves the inner elbow tendon, and it can benefit from conservative treatment, such as wearing a golfer’s elbow brace.
What Is Golfer’s Elbow?
You will often hear of tennis and golfer’s elbow, and both are types of elbow tendonitis. Golfer’s elbow results in pain on the inside of the elbow due to repetitive flexing of the wrist that irritates the inner tendon. Golfer’s elbow can be inflammation or even tears of the tendon, requiring treatment for relief.
What Is a Golfer’s Elbow Brace?
Most people with golfer’s elbow can benefit from conservative treatments like physical therapy or wearing an elbow or forearm brace. A golfer’s elbow brace is a device that is meant to support the inflamed or injured tendon to allow it to heal. There are different types of elbow braces that can helpful.
If you visit your doctor for golfer’s elbow pain, it is likely you will be prescribed treatment, including a brace. There are a few different types of braces that can be useful for protecting the elbow and relieving pain. The following are the common types of golfer’s elbow braces, how to wear them and their benefits.
Counterforce Forearm Brace
One of the most common types of braces for golfer’s elbow is the counterforce forearm brace. This brace is a circumferential strap that fits around the top of the forearm right below the elbow. A counterforce brace can be used for both tennis and golfer’s elbow treatment.
If you have a counterforce golfer’s elbow brace, how to wear it is very important. You want to place the band in the correct position. It should be placed about a finger-width below where your elbow pain occurs. It should be tightened and worn all day during normal activities.
A counterforce forearm brace can give you immediate relief from golfer’s elbow pain and help the tendon heal. You want to ensure the band is tight, but not cutting off circulation in the forearm or hand. Most people can wear this brace for a few weeks until the tendon heals or use it to prevent injuries.
Compression Elbow Brace
You will see many different compression elbow braces or sleeves that can be used for minor golfer’s elbow injuries. These are usually made from a stretchy compression material like nylon, often infused with copper. The idea of the compression elbow sleeve is to support the elbow and reduce inflammation.
Compression elbow braces are simple to wear. They slip over the forearm and elbow, supporting the lower upper arm, elbow and top of the forearm. Wearing compression elbow sleeves can help reduce further injury and lessen pain for different types of elbow conditions, including golfer’s elbow.
The benefit of wearing a compression elbow brace is that it also can help with other elbow joint conditions besides tendonitis. If you have arthritis or joint conditions, you may get relief wearing this type of brace.
Adjustable Velcro Elbow Braces
There are Velcro elbow braces that fit over the elbow and can be adjusted to different sizes. These are typically one-size-fits all since the straps can be adjusted. You can find these braces at many drug stores and in health sections in box stores.
Velcro elbow braces are universal for support. They adjust above and below the elbow to ensure a proper fit. The downside of these braces is that they are bulkier to wear, which can be less comfortable than a compression or forearm brace.
Compression and Forearm Brace Combination
If you want full elbow protection and relief for golfer’s elbow symptoms, you may benefit from wearing both a compression sleeve and a forearm counterforce brace. There are some golfer’s elbow braces that come with both devices to provide ultimate support for the elbow.
If you have this type of golfer’s elbow brace, how to wear the devices is simple. Slip on your sleeve to fit comfortably over the elbow, then add the counterforce brace about an inch or more below your area of elbow pain. This works for golfer’s and tennis elbow, as well as other soft tissue and joint elbow conditions.
Choosing the Right Elbow Brace
Not sure which golfer’s elbow device will benefit you the most? You may want to visit your doctor or orthopedic specialist to discuss which elbow brace is best for your injury. Depending on the extent of your tendon inflammation or tear, your doctor may recommend a specific type for the best results.
Golfer’s elbow can be painful, but it usually does not require surgery or invasive treatment. A golfer’s elbow brace can be very beneficial to relieving symptoms and preventing further injury. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the best elbow or forearm brace for your condition.
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