The Tennis Elbow (Tendonitis) Brace: 2018 Buyer’s Guide

Tennis is a great hobby, a lot of fun, and a full body workout. But any avid tennis player knows how much strain it can put on your dominant elbow. Tennis elbow is no joke, it can be extremely painful and limit your abilities. Unfortunately, tennis elbow isn’t limited to just tennis players. Anybody who puts repetitive stress on their elbow – whether it be a tennis player, golfer, painter, table tennis player, badminton player, or typist – is more likely to experience tennis elbow. Whether you are already experiencing symptoms of tennis elbow, or just want to be proactive, it is a good idea to consider purchasing and wearing a tennis elbow brace. However, there are different types of elbow braces and lots of them that aren’t worth your money. Keep reading for some tips of choosing the best elbow brace for your needs and some of our top recommendations.

Why Buy a Tennis Elbow Brace?

Prevent injury

Without a brace, you will eventually do some damage and start experiencing pain, which is why you should consider getting a brace before you even get to this point. However, once you start experiencing pain, if you continue to not wear a brace you can do more damage and cause a more serious injury, including permanent nerve damage. Tennis elbow braces’ main purpose is to prevent injuries from happening. Whether you are already injured or not, wearing a tennis elbow brace can prevent you from doing serious damage and save you lots of time, money, and pain down the road.  If you get more seriously injured down the road, you will have to take more time off to heal it and may even have to spend money on expensive treatment.

Maximize Comfort

If you are already experiencing pain in your elbow, you know how unbearable it can be. It can be a constant dull pain when you’re at rest and an excruciating pain when you try to use your elbow. Depending on how bad your injury is, a brace may not be able to totally get rid of the pain, but it will relieve it and maximize your personal comfort. A tennis elbow brace pads your elbow and puts pressure in certain points to help relieve the stress that you put on your elbow during your normal routine. A brace can also prevent you from having to change your routine too drastically since your elbow won’t be totally immobilized or useless, although you should still take it easy.

Speed up Recovery

A tennis elbow brace can also speed up the recovery time of your injury since it is taking the stress off of it. If you continued using your elbow, you will only exacerbate the injury, but by taking the pressure off of it and allowing it to rest, it is able to heal properly and quicker than it would without a brace. A brace may not be enough depending on how severe your injury is, your doctor can give you better treatment advice than anyone on the internet, but an elbow brace will almost certainly be included in treatment. 

 

The Top 5 Best Tennis Elbow Braces

1) DashSport Copper Compression Elbow Sleeve and Brace

Dashsport tennis elbow brace and compression sleeve

SEE MORE REVIEWS

Key Features

Compression Sleeve and Brace: Instead of just coming with one or the other, this elbow support system comes with a compression sleeve and an elbow brace, which you can use together on the same arm or separately, one on each arm. The elbow compression sleeve offers even, constant compression on your elbow, gentle enough for all day wear. The elbow brace allows for even more targeted compression and support and can help greatly reduce the pain from an overused elbow. The fact that it comes with both a compression sleeve and an elbow brace is a huge plus because it means you can get exactly what you need, whether it’s just a little bit of support or a lot, on one arm or both, it’s up to you.

Copper Nylon Material: Both the brace and compression sleeve features copper nylon material, which is itch and odor resistant. This is a huge plus if you’re an athlete that is likely to get very sweaty while using this brace. Since it is both itch and odor resistant, you don’t have to worry about washing it every day after practice or after you work out so that it doesn’t stink, although you should still wash it regularly. The material also has anti-bacterial properties, so you don’t have to worry about any bacteria growing inside of the sleeve and coming in contact with you.

Comfortable to Wear: The durable yet breathable 200GSM fabric is comfortable to wear, not adding any unnecessary pressure on your elbow. The brace and compression sleeve do squeeze you a bit, but if you get the right size, it just feels a little snug, it’s not uncomfortably tight. Even playing sports, your arm won’t get super sweaty, which can cause chafing and itching, thanks to the breathable fabric and flat lock seam stitching. When it comes to braces, comfort and how it feels while you’re wearing it may very well be the most important part.

Included e-book: If you’ve never used an elbow brace before, or just aren’t totally sure what to do, don’t worry, the brace and compression sleeve also comes with a downloadable e-book PDF guide, which tells you everything you need to know. The guide will show you how to correctly put on the brace and adjust it so that it’s comfortable for you. If you ever have a problem with your brace, the e-book is always there to consult. And once you are well acquainted with the brace and sleeve, you can use it to properly take stress off your elbow and heal whatever elbow injury you may.

The Good

  • Full range of sizes and easy to follow size guide
  • Fits either arm
  • Aids in the recovery process
  • Increases circulation
  • Helps prevent muscle fatigue
  • Can help athletes of any kind
  • 100% money back guarantee for any problem you have

The Bad

  • If you have two bad elbows, you’ll need to buy two of these since only one sleeve and brace is included

 

2) Copper Tennis Elbow Brace Forearm Strap by Copper Compression

Copper Tennis Elbow Brace Forearm Strap

SEE MORE REVIEWS

Key Features

Copper Infused: This elbow brace forearm strap by Copper Compression is infused with copper, which may sound strange at first, but is actually very clever. Infusing the fabric with copper helps it go even further than using just plain compression to relieve pain. Copper has been used as an anti-inflammatory for a long time and can even help improve blood and oxygen circulation, all of which are very imprint when trying to heal and overused elbow. Copper Compression also claims to have the highest amount of copper in their products, with 88% copper nylon, compared to other copper infused products, meaning they are more effective and may work faster.

Adjustable: Although I warned about one size fits all braces earlier, this brace is one of the exceptions to that. Since this is just a forearm strap and not a full forearm length brace, it is possible for this brace to fit different size arms. You can make this brace bigger or smaller depending on the circumference of your arm, not the length. Since this one size fits all brace really does fit all, this is a huge bonus because it saves you time trying to determine the right size before ordering. It also eliminates any hassle with the wrong size being delivered or you accidentally ordering a size too small, all these problems are remedied by the easy to adjust strap.

Great for Everyday Use: This elbow brace is comfortable and durable enough to wear all day long. It is super comfortable and breathable, and since it takes pressure off of your elbow, it also allows you to have a greater range of motion. Using this brace every day is a great way to support your sore joints and muscles and prevent further injury. Using this brace can speed up recovery time, thanks to the combination of compression, copper infused nylon, and just the decreased amount of stress on your elbow.

100% Money Back Guarantee: If you get this brace and it wasn’t what you were hoping for, or you just decide you don’t like it, don’t just throw it out or stuff it in the back of your closet. Copper Compression is dedicated to customer satisfaction and allows you to return the brace for a full refund, no questions asked. This makes buying this brace virtually risk free and helps gives you some peace of mind that the brace you’re ordering is actually worthwhile. And while other companies may get you stuck in a customer service limbo, customers have reported Copper Compression having very fast and helpful customer service.

The Good

  • 88% copper infused nylon
  • Snug compression for joint and muscle pain relief
  • Affordable
  • Effective
  • 100% Money back guarantee
  • Good for both men and women
  • Fully adjustable for any size arm
  • Compact and lightweight, weighing less than a few ounces

The Bad

  • There is no compression sleeve included
  • It is unclear if the money back guarantee ever wears off

 

3) Sleeve Stars Tennis Elbow Brace with Compression Pad

Sleeve Stars Tennis Elbow Brace with Compression Pad

SEE MORE REVIEWS

Key Features

Eliminates Pain: This elbow brace was designed with a unique compression pad, meant to support your arm and elbow muscles and prevent injuries. The compression pad helps prevent muscle fatigue and helps you keep going farther than you could without a brace. It also allows your muscles and joints to heal faster since it makes it so they don’t have to work as hard. Lastly, this cleverly engineered brace can actually support tendons that are not yet injured but vulnerable to injury and protect them from extra strain or injury.

High-Quality Construction & Materials: A good test of a great brace is how long it will hold up. No matter how great it feels when you first buy it, if it’s made from cheap materials it won’t hold up. This elbow brace is made from a super strong blend of 25% nylon and 75% neoprene. If you don’t know, neoprene is a synthetic rubber that is known for being incredibly strong as well as water and weather resistant, which are two indicators it is very durable. Neoprene is also used as cushioning and is what takes a lot of the stress off of your joints in this elbow brace. This brace is durable enough to wear all day long without having to worry about wearing it out.

Versatile: Since this brace is not designed for a specific arm, you can use it on whatever arm you need. If you need it on your right arm one day, but two weeks later you need it on your left arm, you don’t have to buy a whole separate one to get support on your left arm. It is also versatile in the sense that it can be used by men or women, playing just about any sport, and of any age. There aren’t really any limits when it comes to this brace, and with an adjustable circumference of 9” to 23”, it fits most arms. This brace can be used for all sorts of injuries and just for preventative measures.

Easy to Use: This brace was designed to be easy to put on, adjust, and take off. The hook and loop straps are convenient and easy to adjust, so it can easily support any point on your arm that you need it to. And if you’re unsure of exactly where to put the brace, the manufacturer provides an easy to follow picture guide to ensure proper placement. Having a brace that is easy to put on is pretty much a must, who wants a brace that they have to struggle to get on every day? You can slip this one on in the morning in just a few seconds and wear it all day long.

The Good

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to put on
  • Comfortable enough to wear all day
  • Reliable
  • Adjustable from 9” to 23”
  • Stays in place and doesn’t slide around on your arm
  • Relieves pain from a wide variety of injuries and speeds up the healing time

The Bad

  • There is no copper infused fabric in this brace, although it still seems to be effective

 

4) BandIT Therapeutic Forearm Band by Pro Band Sports
BandIT Therapeutic Forearm Band

SEE MORE REVIEWS

Key Features

Simple Design: This is another forearm strap brace, so there’s nothing complicated about it, but its design is still praiseworthy. Rather than just one compression pad, this band features two padded compressors, one on either side of the band. This allows the brace to support even more muscles, taking the majority of pressure off of your elbow. The padded compressors are the perfect density, not too soft and not too firm, which makes it super comfortable to wear. Its simple design shouldn’t be overlooked because it’s what really makes this brace shine. At first glance, you can’t see all of the thought that went behind this design, but when you wear it, you sure can feel it.

Pain Relief: If you’re suffering from tendonitis, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, or just an achy elbow, this elbow brace can take the stress off of your injured and vulnerable muscles and relive a lot of the pain you’re feeling. Easing the pain and redistributing the pressure on your elbow will make it so you can keep giving it your all, whether you’re playing volleyball, tennis, golf, badminton, or ping pong. Not only is it relieving the pain you already have, it’s also preventing you from getting furthered injured and experiencing even more pain. Along with relieving and preventing pain, this brace can help reduce joint stiffness and ultimately increase mobility. This is a huge benefit since limited mobility is pretty much guaranteed to negatively impact your performance in any sport.

Perfect for Any Time of Day or Activity: There isn’t a specific time of day that you should use this brace, or even a specific activity you should use it for. Although it’s on our list of best tennis elbow braces, you don’t have to play tennis, or sports at all, to use this brace. Athletes are certainly more prone to injuries, muscle sprains, and muscle overuse, but long hours typing behind a desk can lead to arm and elbow injuries as well, like carpal tunnel syndrome. No matter what it is that’s putting strain on your elbow, this brace can help relieve it.

Adjustable: This band is fully adjustable and fits most size arms, so you don’t have to worry about finding the right size. The adjustable hook and loop straps also allow you to put more or less compression on your muscles depending on what you need on any given day. The dual compression pads allow you to fully support overused muscles without cutting off circulation, this is very important because if you cut off circulation to any extremity for an extended period of time it can have serious consequences. If you buy an elbow brace that is too small and don’t bother to get the right size, it could decrease blood and oxygen flow to the rest of your arm and do more damage than good, which is another reason to love the fully adjustable nature of this brace.

The Good

  • Sleek white design
  • Two compressor pads
  • Easy to adjust hook and loop straps
  • Good for use on either arm
  • Can be used by men and women of any age
  • Good for any kind of elbow pain
  • Made with durable neoprene

The Bad

  • This elbow brace is the most expensive on our list, but only slightly
  • This brace may not fit everyone, but it will fit most

 

5) Venom Elbow Strap Compression Brace

Venom Elbow Strap Compression Brace

SEE MORE REVIEWS

Key Features

Durable Construction: Everything about this brace was designed to stand the test of time. The brace is made from a super durable fabric that can withstand regular usage, so it can provide pain relief when you need it, for as long as you need it. The straps are also double reinforced, so you don’t have to worry about them wearing or ripping with constant use or slipping around your arm throughout the day. This brace stays in place exactly where you put it and gives you maximum support all day long. The Velcro used in this brace is also super strong, overlapping for maximum strength and support so that it can stay in place all day.

Gel Compression Pad: Rather than just a dense foam, this brace features a gel compression pad. The gel provides the perfect density to support your achy muscles all day long without wearing out. Gel can keep its shape and form much longer than foam, which is what makes it such a great choice. Also, anyone who has worn gel inserts in their shoes or anywhere else knows the refreshing, initial cool feeling there is. When you first put this brace on I the morning, it’s a little cool and then warms up throughout the day because of your body heat, but it never loses its shape. The gel compression pad can help reduce pain and swelling by eliminating the repetitive trauma on your elbow or forearm.

Complimentary PDF Guide: Getting an elbow brace is a great first step in healing an overused elbow, but it’s not the only thing you can do. There are certain stretches and exercises you can do to speed up the healing process and gain back mobility even faster. When you order this arm brace, it comes with a complimentary PDF of several of these exercises and tips on how to effectively use the brace. While this doesn’t directly add to the brace itself, it certainly increases the value of the product as a whole and saves you the time of having to look up the exercises and figure them out yourself. Many people don’t even know that there are exercises that can help heal your arm, so without this complimentary PDF, they would never know.

Versatile: Another great thing about this brace is how versatile it is. It can be used on either arm, and since it is adjustable, you can get the exact fit you want. Whether you want the brace a little more snug or a little looser, you can achieve that using this brace. This brace truly embodies versatility because it can also works just as good for men as it does for women, which makes this a great gift, and on any injury. You already know that there are tons of injuries that could plague your elbow and arm, such as carpal tunnel, hyperextension, arthritis, golfer’s elbow, tendonitis, and of course, tennis elbow, but no matter what it is that’s cauing you arm and aelbow pain, this brace can take care of it.

The Good

  • Unique design
  • Allows you to pinpoint where you get compression and relief
  • Gel compression pad
  • Durable and designed to last a while
  • Reduces tendon inflammation
  • Protects muscles during healing
  • Two different sizes (small and large) so you can get the best fit for you

The Bad

  • Doesn’t come with any kind of compression sleeve, although most elbow brace bands do not
  • It’s easy to order the wrong size if you don’t know your arm measurements

 


What To Look for While Shopping

Forearm Brace or Band?

Tennis elbow braces are usually either full length forearm braces, or smaller bands that just go around a few muscles on your forearm. One is not necessarily better than the other, but bands tend to let you have more mobility while you are using them. With bands, you still have lots of movement in your forearm and don’t have to keep it as rigid as you would with a full length brace. Band braces are also easier to get the right size of, since most of them are adjustable within at least a few inches. Forearm braces work best if you get the exact right size, but you have a little bit more wiggle room when it comes to band braces. Band braces also tend to be less expensive than full length braces since it takes less material to make them, so they are a great choice for anyone on a budget.

One Size Fits All?

Some braces claim to be one size fits all, but there’s good reason to be skeptical of this claim. While one size fits all braces may work, a better fitted brace would almost certainly work better. Everyone has different size arms, even if it’s not by much, so it’s important to find a brace that is the correct size. One way to ensure you get the right size is to measure your forearm before you begin shopping and then keeping an eye on the dimensions of different braces. You should also keep an eye out for size guides on braces, as they can provide even more information to get the best fitted brace for you. You should mainly be wary of full length braces that claim to be one size fits all, because that’s nearly impossible. However, some band braces are adjustable enough to truly fit all or nearly all people.

Construction

You should always consider how durable something is before you buy it, and a tennis elbow brace is no different. It’s especially important to consider the durability and construction of elbow braces because they’re something that you use pretty frequently and you want to know they’ll last. A good way to get an idea of how durable a brace is, is to look at the materials it’s made out of and how it is built. Reading customer reviews can also give you a good idea of what to expect. I recommend avoiding braces that are known for being cheap or falling apart within a couple months because these are just a waste of money. A very durable material that is often used in braces is neoprene. If a brace has neoprene it’s usually a good indicator that the brace won’t fall apart any time soon.

Price

Elbow band braces don’t tend to be very expensive, it is easy to find great braces for under $20. Even though they aren’t expensive, that doesn’t mean price can’t play a role in choosing an elbow brace. So, if you ever see an elbow brace band that looks ridiculously expensive, it’s probably not worth the money. The opposite is also true, if an elbow brace is really cheap and it seems too good to be true, it probably is, and it isn’t worth the money either because you’ll just be replacing it soon. However, if you’re looking for a full length brace, they can be more expensive, although I wouldn’t spend much more than $50 on one.

Other Tennis Elbow Treatments

Tennis elbow has a range of treatments options but mainly depends on factors such as the duration of the pain and if any treatments have been attempted prior. The main treatment rule is to rest your arm in general and not force yourself to conduct activities that you know will cause pain and make tennis elbow much worse. Not only does resting reduce inflammation slowly but also allows for your muscles and tendons to heal quicker. Tennis elbow can take up to a year to heal and allows them to slowly go back to their lives and perform everyday activities the way they were able to before.

Medication

When tennis elbow has no improvement in one’s life and persists with severe pain it is important to be referred to a GP that can provide you with medication such as steroid joint injection. The injection should almost immediately relieve the pain and allow you to use the arm again but still be careful and use It with caution. One thing that has been noticed it that the pain will be reduced for a week or so using the injection but then after a couple of weeks, the medicine will cease working and the pain will be back. Overall it is a medication worth trying especially if you have severe pain and require using your arm for a certain period of time without feeling pain and discomfort.

Physical Therapy

Another treatment option is seeing a physiotherapist that is professionally trained to help with improving the use of your muscles and regaining strength. With this treatment there will be a range of methods they will use to decrease the amount of pain and it has been shown to help a lot. The therapy has a different exercise that will be used, along with deep tissue massage, laser therapy and also ultrasound therapy. The pain should decrease somewhere along the treatment process and pain in the arm area will reduce.

The treatment can then move onto stretching your arm especially the elbow area and regaining mobility and strength in those areas. Advice will also be given to start doing tasks every day that will aid the treatment and enable everyday action with your arm and prevent further pain from occurring after. There will also be exercises given that can be done at home.

Orthopedic Consultant

An orthopedic consultant is a specialist in aiding musculoskeletal issues such as tennis elbow and they are able to go through options of treatment that are less invasive and not surgical. Most of the options are safe to use however not as effective as other options but is a good way to ease yourself into the treatment process and test the waters.

One of the options is having a Botox injection that will be injected in the arm, elbow area – the pain will decrease and the muscles should have more time to heal without much discomfort, however, this treatment can cause issues as you will not have the ability to move your fingers and this effect can last up to 2 months.

Who’s the Winner?

Although we recommend any of the braces on this list, our top recommendation is the DashSport Copper Compression Elbow Sleeve and Brace. This brace has everything you could ask for, including a compression sleeve to go with it. The combnation of the compression sleeve and strap brace is super effective and closely resembles the support you would get with a full length arm brace, without limiting your mobility. You can choose not to use the compression sleeve, but it’s always nice to have on hand because sometimes you do need a little extra support. What pushed this brace to the top though, is the fact that both the sleeve and brace have copper integrated into them, which can help improve circulation and aid in pain relief. Many braces have copper, but it’s not every day that you see a company going above and beyond to infuse their compression sleeves with copper as well, so if you’re wearing the sleeve on one arm and the brace on the other, both of them will be getting the benefits of the cooper infused fabric. Lastly, DashSport’s commitment to great quality and customer satisfaction has made this our top brace. It’s virttally risk free to buy thanks to the 100% money back guarantee that is included with every purchase.