The term "tennis elbow" can be misleading, as all athletes that use their arms, including golfers and baseball players, can suffer from the injury. Lateral epicondylitis, the proper name for tennis elbow, causes pain and inflammation around the elbow joint. While the area itself may not appear swollen, the pain receptors become extremely sensitive, resulting in pain while performing simple tasks such as shaking someone's hand. Athletes can choose from a variety of supports to help aid in recovery from lateral epicondylitis.
Wear an elbow support or heat retainer directly on the elbow joint for two to three hours a day to treat pain or weakness. These supports improve blood circulation in the area, reducing pain.
Attach an epicondylitis clasp around your forearm 1 1/2 to 2 inches from your elbow joint. The largest part of the clasp should be closest to the elbow. This type of support compresses the tendons in the arm, applying more strain to the muscles of the forearm than those near the elbow.
Wrap a tennis elbow brace in the same location as the epicondylitis clasp. Wrap it tightly, so it exerts pressure on your arm, but not so tight as to reduce circulation to the forearm. This type of brace applies generalised pressure to the forearm instead of direct pressure to the elbow tendons.
Wear your chosen support system for two to three hours per day or when performing everyday tasks as a pain reliever. Do not wear these supports for extended periods of time, as they can result in elbow muscle deterioration or strain to the muscles on which they redirect energy.
Consult a physician or sports therapist regarding which support option is best for you. You may need someone to help you apply the support pieces to your forearm.
Wearing supports to aid with healing is not a substitute for proper medical treatment or rest for a tennis injury. If the joint hurts, it must be rested, or you could worsen the injury.