Tennis elbow is a type of tendon inflammation. It occurs when the forearm muscles that raise and straighten your hand when you hold a tennis racket are overused. Over time and with repetition, the motion creates tiny tendon tears and inflammation along the forearm where the muscle is attached to the bone. If you suffer from tennis elbow, you know that the little bump on the outside of your elbow is extremely painful after only a few minutes of play. Rather than giving up tennis, however, you can play while wearing a tennis elbow strap.
Buy a strap specifically made for tennis elbow that will fit you. Wrap the tape measure around your forearm at approximately one inch below the elbow to determine what size you need. Since tennis elbow straps come in many lengths, this measurement will help you achieve the correct fit.
Make a loose loop with the fastening strap so that the cushion is on the inside of the circle and slide the loop over your hand and up toward your elbow.
Position the strap so that it rests loosely around your forearm, with the fastening strap away from your body and pointing upward through the buckle. The cushion edge should be positioned about half an inch away from your elbow.
Hold the cushion in place against your body and with your free hand pull the fastening strap down over the buckle and until it feels snug. Wrap and fasten the strap against the cushion. This has the effect of making the strap bear the pressure of your tennis stroke, rather than your elbow.
- Remember to ice your elbow for at least 10 minutes after you finish playing and remove the strap. This promotes healing and discourages more tearing in the lateral epicondyle of your arm.
- There are several effective tennis elbow straps on the market, and they take several forms. Follow the manufacturer's advice about how to best use them.
- You must ensure that the tennis elbow strap is secured tightly on your arm, or it won't relieve the pain when you hold or swing your racket.