Learn why a tennis elbow strap is valuable to athletes

Lateral epicondylitis, also referred to as tennis elbow is a common injury experienced by tennis players. As much as possible, an individual would want to avoid having tennis elbow since it is not only painful but counter-productive as well because it prevents a person from doing simple tasks such as lifting, carrying, or even simply opening doorknobs. It is also important to note that even people who do not play tennis can also suffer from tennis elbow. Individuals with jobs that involves tasks such as hammering or gripping can also acquire this injury.

Using a tennis elbow strap is one way of addressing tennis elbow injury. Further research has been made which claims the usefulness of tennis elbow strap which could hasten the recovery period of injured players. A study published in a recent issue of Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy measured the effectiveness of tennis elbow strap using a group of people with lateral epicondylitis. Two important factors were determined in the study -the amount of pain-free grip strength and maximum grip strength using different kinds of tennis elbow strap where a placebo strap was also included. The most ideal material for a tennis elbow strap would be Velcro because it attaches itself easily.

The tennis elbow strap is mainly used to apply pressure over the tendons that can reduce the painful condition associated with tennis elbow. The counter-bracing theory is being applied using a tennis elbow strap which can be likened to a guitar’s mechanics. The tennis elbow strap counter force exerted is similar to the fingers on a guitar’s neck ( your forearm) and the extensor muscles, mostly the extensor carpi radialis brevis, would be the guitar string, thus tension of the muscles are minimized as they attach to the lateral epicondyle. Indeed, the study can be considered as well-designed because it has practical applications.

The result of the study stated one important concept – that strapping is a good measure in decreasing pain when force is exerted. When the subjects in the study used a tennis elbow strap, their strength increased by as much as 16%. It was concluded in the study that between the strap and a sleeve with a built in strap, there was no difference at all which shows that the strap is the main factor. In short, using a tennis elbow strap can can greatly help in recovering from injuries. However, medical advice should be the first step in seeking treatment.