When you get a new brace for your elbow, specifically for tennis elbow, you may wonder how to put it on properly. These can be of all different sizes, depending upon the severity of your condition, and the type of pressure that needs to be applied to your elbow and arm. This condition can arise as a result of playing tennis, but it can also show up doing any type of repetitive motion that involves the use of your elbow. When your doctor looks at your condition, they will make a decision as to which brace you will need to get the best results. Here is an overview of how you can make your tennis elbow brace fit properly.
Why is a brace necessary at all?
A brace for tennis elbow is only necessary if you have a condition that merits this extra amount of pressure. For example, if you are sitting at the table, or in your chair, and there is no pain, it may not be necessary to get a tennis elbow brace. However, if you are unable to stop moving your arm in a repetitive way to allow it to heal, the brace will certainly be necessary. Therefore, if your doctor has recommended one, you will need to know how to put it on properly.
How to put a Tennis Elbow brace on properly
When you first see a tennis elbow brace, it may look very easy to put on. It is an elongated tube, made of flexible material, that will have straps on the exterior that you can adjust. The straps are designed to increase or decrease the amount of pressure that is placed on your arm and elbow. There is a whole that is in the middle, or somewhere close to that area of the brace, where your elbow will go for flexibility. When you strap it on, you must first adjusted very gently. You are going to make sure that the bottom portion toward your wrist is firm but not to compressive. At the top, you will do the same, and in the middle this will self adjust as a result of how you have put on the straps.
What if there are more than two straps?
In most cases, there are only going to be two straps. However, there are those that are designed for more severe cases where three straps may be on the brace. If there are, you will use the same strategy when adjusting it. However, you may want to make the one in the center a little more loose than those that are on the opposing sides. Once you have situated at properly, and tighten the straps, you will then want to begin testing it out. This begins by simply moving your elbow, back-and-forth, to see if you have enough mobility and a reduction in pain while you are making these movements.
How to know if you have done this wrong
You will likely know that you have done this improperly if the brace begins to slide off. Some people are afraid of tightening the straps to much. For others, they may notice that there is an indentation in their arm where the brace is far too snug. It is also possible for the pain to increase. You must remember that this area of your arm is going to be tender because you have pushed the muscles and tendons beyond their capacity. Additionally, you may have a lack of cartilage in the area where your elbow is, and this can cause it to rub differently causing you more pain. Therefore, adjustments must be made until you can feel comfortable wearing the brace.
Should you get one from a doctor or a store?
If you obtain one from a local store, you will have a higher probability of needing to get a new one within a few months. They are not designed with the same durable materials that you will get from a local physician because they are likely not made for those that suffer from tennis elbow. Additionally, if you go to a physician, they can give you tips on how to put it on, how long you should wear it, and what your prognosis actually is will be discussed. If you are able to do this early on, before the tennis elbow becomes unbearable, there is the potential of reversing portions of this condition.
This simple overview of how to put on a tennis elbow brace will allow you to complete this task within a minute. If there are two straps, or even if there are three, make sure they are snug but not too tight on your forearm or near your bicep. Make sure that you have plenty of flexibility in your movements, yet the brace itself needs to be relatively tight. By wearing this on a regular basis, you may start to notice a decrease the overall pain that you are feeling because you have learned how to put on a tennis elbow brace properly.