Tennis Elbow is one of the most common sporting injuries, but how is it caused and how can a tennis elbow support help to relieve pain and get you back in action?
What is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis Elbow is clinically known as lateral epicondylitis, and is a form of elbow tendonitis.
It occurs when there is a swelling of the tendons that connect the muscles of your lower arm to the bone, causing pain around the outside of the elbow.
Tennis Elbow is usually caused by the overuse of these muscles, which are attached to your elbow and are used to straighten your wrist. This is a common action in a tennis swing, hence the name tennis elbow – however tennis elbow can also be caused by other activities such as decorating, playing the violin or other racquet sports like squash and badminton.
The main symptom of tennis elbow is pain or tenderness on the outside of your elbow, although this can extend right down your forearm.
Although the damage is to the tendons in the elbow, you are most likely to experience pain when doing things with your hands such as gripping small objects, bending your arm or twisting open a jam jar.
You can read more about the causes and symptoms of tennis elbow on the nhs website.
How to Treat Tennis Elbow
Tennis Elbow can be a very painful condition, so if you think you are suffering from this condition then the first thing to do is to get some physiotherapy treatment and to avoid any further activity that causes pain.
It is also usually advised to follow to apply ice packs to your elbow for a few days, which will help to reduce swelling and pain. The best practice is to apply an ice pack for about 15 minutes at a time, several times a day. You should always wrap the ice packs in a thin towel to protect the skin.
If tennis is the cause of your condition, then you may wish to review and improve your tennis swing to avoid overworking the elbow area. It is also advised to thoroughly warm up and stretch the area when you are playing again.
How does a Tennis Elbow Support Help?
A good quality tennis elbow support can help to alleviate pain by taking some of the pressure off the tendons in the elbow.
There are several different types of tennis elbow supports and braces available, all of which are available as part of the LP Support range.
Best Tennis Elbow Supports and Braces
LP Tennis and Golfer's Elbow Wrap
LP Tennis and Golfer's Elbow Wrap / 751 - £8.50
The most common type of tennis elbow supports are simple, strap type braces which are wrapped around the forearm just below the elbow.
This is a feature of the LP 751 Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow Wrap, which includes a triangular pressure point for extra pressure on the muscles in the forearm.
This helps to absorb some of the forces that transmit through the tissue, relieving the pain associated with tennis elbow.
The nature of this strap means that the pressure point can be applied to the precise area required, and as this is a ‘one size fits all support’, the adjustable hook and loop strap can be adjusted according to the tension required.
This support is also available as part of our Extreme range, with a silicone pad for extra pressure on the forearm. The Extreme Tennis Elbow Wrap is slightly more expensive at £9.99.
Tennis / Golf Elbow Brace
LP Tennis / Golf Elbow Brace / 551 - £20.99
The LP Tennis / Golf Elbow Brace consists of a moulded rigid shell which fits around the arm, and is secured by a strap which provides even pressure on the tissue around the elbow.
The foam pad helps relieve discomfort on both sides of the elbow, and the adjustable hook and loop strap ensures a comfortable fit and stabilisation during activities.
This brace is more expensive than the previous tennis elbow wrap, and has the advantage of extra comfort and that it can be more precise as long as it is fitted accurately.
This type of brace is recommended for players requiring precision support and experiencing high impact forces.
LP Tennis Elbow Support with Strap
LP Tennis Elbow Support with Strap / 723 - £10.50
The third type of tennis elbow support in the LP range is the Tennis Elbow Support with Strap.
This support provides support to the entire elbow region, while the strap is used around the forearm in the same way as the Tennis Elbow Wrap.
An advantage of this support is that the neoprene sleeve provides warmth and retains body heat, so this can help with other injuries related to the elbow joint.
However, the extra sleeve means that the support is more cumbersome than a single strap and is not as precise as the tennis elbow brace.
Tennis elbow supports play an important part in managing pain from the condition and helping with recovery. While all of the supports available in the LP range are recommended for those suffering from tennis elbow, the best support for each person will be down to personal preference and injury situation.
LP offers a wide range of supports for all elbow conditions, and most of the products mentioned here can also be used to manage Golfer’s Elbow.
This is a similar condition to Tennis Elbow, but differs in that pain is experienced on the inside of the elbow rather than the outside.
You can view our full range of Elbow Supports elsewhere on our website.