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Game, Set, and Match!! Dealing with Tennis Elbow

Game, Set, and Match!! Dealing with Tennis Elbow

Kevin Cleary

We all love getting out and being active. The weekend warrior in us always seems to think we can play all the old sports we use to when we were younger. Sometimes during these activities we have to deal with an injury on Monday such as tennis elbow. Many people do not understand what the actual injury is when we say “tennis elbow.”

What Exactly Is Tennis Elbow?

By the name, you would think that tennis elbow is an injury associated with playing tennis. That is unfortunately not always the case. This injury technically has the name lateral epicondylitis and is associated with soreness on the outside of the elbow. This is due to acute or chronic inflammation of the tendons that connect the forearm to the outside of the elbow (lateral epicondyle). Unfortunately, tennis players aren’t the only ones affected by this. Repetitive arm movement leads to the inflammation, so carpenters, mechanics, and assembly-line workers are not immune to this affliction. Below is a picture from web M.D.com detailing this injury:

 Game, Set, and Match!! Dealing with Tennis Elbow

It’s this soreness on the outside of the elbow that requires some form of compression or even a brace to get relief from inflammation and pain. Sufferers can use compression sleeves over the elbow or a neoprene strap that specifically targets the elbow area.

Elbow Compression Sleeves

A compression sleeve worn over the elbow can provide enough support in order to alleviate pain associated with “tennis elbow.” The FLA Orthopedics Prolite 3D Elbow Support provides anatomical contouring for gradient compression while offering targeted compression due to its medical grade silicone inserts. It is a lightweight, breathable option to neoprene while being comfortable and non-restricting. Another way to accelerate healing is to use the BMMI Elbow Support . It has a CoolMax lining and fits directly over the elbow while closing with a hook and loop tab. It also features 2 concentric magnets!! For those on a budget, the FLA Orthopedics Elastic Pullover Elbow Support is constructed of durable, lightweight elastic while still providing comfortable compression. One way to protect your elbow area is through padding and the Derma Heel and Elbow Protectors are perfect. With a tri-cot covered urethane foam pad stitched inside, it is worn comfortably and can protect your elbow against minor bumps. Originally designed for decubitis ulcers, the ReliaMed Heel and Elbow Protectors also provide simple padding to the elbow area minimizing pain associated with tennis elbow. Keeping your elbow sleeve dry during athletic endeavors is important. The Captain Elastic Elbow Support utilizes breathable elastic to provide firm compression and allow for air circulation to keep the sleeve dry. Tennis anyone!! Reducing pain and relieving tension as you move can be a big selling point for an elbow support. The Bauerfeind EpiTrain Elbow Support features a built-in visco elastic pad that stimulates the muscles and expedites healing. It massages the tissue during exercise and stimulates the metabolism, while providing targeted compression and comfort.

Elbow Wraps

 Game, Set, and Match!! Dealing with Tennis Elbow

For someone looking for exact compression on their elbow/forearm, they can choose smaller elbow wraps designed for tennis elbow. Straps such as the Scott Specialties Universal Vinyl Tennis Elbow Wrap with Loop-Lock, allow the user to relieve stress and pain at the extensor muscle. It applies user controlled compression right to the spot where it is needed. Incorporating concentric circle magnets, the BMMI Universal Elbow Wrap can target forearm and elbow pain and accelerate healing and still be comfortable. In the healing process, sometimes the application of hot and cold can expedite recovery. The Ossur Tennis Elbow Support with Hot and Cold Gel Therapy is designed for comfort over long periods of time, while maintaining the right amount of tension over the affected area. This allows the user the ability to heat and ice the affected area while still maintaining compression for pain relief and healing. Since targeting the extensor muscle is the ultimate goal, the Aircast Pneumatic Armband For Tennis Elbow achieves that perfectly. Featuring a single pre-inflated air cell, it applies direct compression to the extensor muscle (instead of the arm) providing more support with less construction. Another way to target the tendon pain associated with tennis elbow is to use the Bauerfeind EpiPoint Elbow Strap. It relieves pain associated with elbow epicondylitis by utilizing an integral elastic pressure cushion, which has three nubbed zones, providing targeted compression to the area affected.

Immobilizing the Elbow

Sometimes a tennis elbow injury can be serious enough to require immobilization. In order to facilitate healing and recovery, the elbow must stay in a static position or at least be supported. To accomplish this, the IMAK Universal Elbow Support provides effective compression while gently immobilizing the elbow in a neutral position. This prevents painful movements during rest and sleep while its breathable foam keeps your arm warm. If a more rigid brace is needed, the Aircast Mayo Clinic Elbow Brace can immobilize and support your elbow properly. Each of its straps (with air cells) securely holds the brace in position, ensuring patient comfort and avoiding pressure points. Depending on your severity of injury, the sleeve, elbow wrap, or brace you choose can get you back at center court or at least pain free in no time!!