Tennis, badminton, ping-pong and other racket sports have similar characteristics with slight differences in terms of instruments and game movements, in these sports when playing constant movement is exerted with the arm causing a lot of pressure on the elbow and other joints, all this can generate serious injuries that could affect your health.
This article is a summary guide about elbow braces for tennis, badminton and racket sports, it will explain the most common elbow injuries, the best elbow braces, features, materials and much more. The aim is to clarify all your doubts so that you can acquire the compression garment you need.
What are the most common elbow injuries when playing tennis or badminton?
In racquet sports, repetitive and intense movements are usually performed for long periods of time with racquets of different designs and weights on a paved surface. Despite physical preparation, the athlete can injure the elbow and affect other areas of the arm. There is an extensive list of elbow injuries that are specific to the sport and others associated with everyday activities.
The following is a list of the most common elbow injuries:
The medical name given to these injuries is epicondylitis. It consists of the stretching or cracking of the extensor tendon that lies under the skin at the back of the elbow and is attached to the elbow. It occurs when the wrist is extended and the arm is repeatedly rotated, affecting the extensor tendon.
If activity is continued, it can progress from a simple strain to a tendon rupture, causing a shooting pain from the elbow or the outside of the elbow. The extensor tendon will be swollen but not noticeable to the naked eye, it can make it difficult to make movements with the racquet and depending on the severity, you may not be able to pick up the racquet with your hand.
The elbow ligament is a long, fibrous, tough strap that helps hold the joints together, allows natural, anatomical movement and restricts any abnormal movement of the arm, acts as a stabilising mechanism and can help prevent injury.
Trauma to this ligament is known as an elbow sprain. It consists of stretching of the ligament and in severe cases rupture of the ligament, if there is a fracture there may be detachment of the cartilage. It occurs when the wrist and arm are rotated forcing the ligament beyond what it allows, it is normal in sports such as tennis, paddle tennis, and any other practice with a racket. This causes severe pain, swelling, redness of the affected area and instability.
Bursitis of the elbow
There is a small pocket between the bones and muscles of the elbow called a bursa, which allows free movement of the arm and prevents wear and tear on the joints. Bursitis is one of the most frequent complications in racket sports, it consists of inflammation or irritation of the bursa, there is no clear reason for its origin.
It occurs when repeated and excessive movements are made for a long time, an example could be a tennis player who returns the ball to the opposite side of the court with the help of a racket for a long time, then the discomfort begins, stiffness of the joint and when you least expect it you will have an inflamed elbow. The symptoms are headache, tenderness, difficulty in movement, stiffness and if the case is severe, fever.
It is the inflammation or injury of the tendons in the elbow that connect the muscle to the bone. Athletes who play any racket sport are among the most affected. It occurs when you extend your arm and use the sporting instrument to respond to the opponent, this repeated and intense movement ends up inflaming the tendons in the elbow, it is also due to muscle weakness due to lack of warm-up exercise.
The symptoms depend on the severity of the injury, in the first 2 phases, you will have a lot of pain when stretching your arm, in phase 3 you will have trouble moving your arm, and in phase 4 you will not be able to move your arm. If you persist with mobility you may rupture the tendon.
Chondromalacia of the elbow
Cartilage is an elastic structure that has no blood vessels, it is present at the ends of bones throughout the body. Its function is very simple, to facilitate the movement of the limbs, to protect the bones against wear, friction and injury.
However, elbow chondropathy is the degradation of the cartilage. The cartilage softens, constantly decreasing its resistance, its origin can be degenerative, due to another injury, and it can also affect people who play racket sports. Cartilage damage is classified into grades I to IV, with the first grade being cartilage softening and the last grade being cartilage loss and bone wear. Symptoms begin with joint pain, stiffness and depending on the level of damage it can affect tendons and ligaments.
What types of sports elbow braces are best for tennis injuries?
The information contained in this point is very important and will help you to choose the right garment for the type of condition you have. For the execution of the list, a rigorous study was carried out on sports elbow sleeves for all racket sports, starting from the most common injuries and taking into consideration the experience of many users with respect to certain products and their effectiveness in treating the aforementioned injuries.
Here are the best elbow braces for tennis injuries:
Elbow compression sleeve
This is a compression elbow brace that combines anti-slip silicone inside to prevent slippage of the device, absorbent fabric to remove excess moisture and adjustable two-way Velcro straps for a precise fit in any direction. Once in use, you will notice the instant compression effect relaxing muscles and relieving pain. It is comfortable, lightweight, compact and can be worn under your uniform without being noticed, used as a protective measure for muscles, ligaments, as part of medical treatment. Complementary equipment to enhance performance in tennis, badminton or any other racket sport.
Straps for epicondylitis
Its base material is neoprene in combination with breathable fabric, maintain the necessary temperature and compression to accelerate the healing process and sends excess moisture to the outside, thus avoiding any sweating and irrational, will help keep the skin fresh and free of fungus regardless of the intensity of the activity. Its design puts pressure on the affected part, thus reducing tension and pain in the tendon, you can wear it all day long without any inconvenience, just place it 2 centimetres away from the elbow and you will notice the changes from the first moment you wear it.
Neoprene elbow brace
This is an elbow brace made of neoprene, it produces a therapeutic thermal effect that helps to improve blood circulation, it has an anatomical design that adapts to the surface of the garment that produces a uniform compression over the entire elbow, it is excellent for protecting the joint that is injured. It has a bi-directional velcro fastening strap with hook and loop fastener and padded edges for comfort, which stretch or retract for a custom fit. It can be used as part of a treatment or as a protective accessory for sports and the best thing is that it does not reduce mobility.
Orthopaedic elbow support
One of the most outstanding features of this elbow brace is its anatomical and lightweight design with high quality neoprene and velcro straps for a custom fit to the arm and forearm muscle pressure, you can wear it under your uniform if you prefer and no one will know the difference. It has the ability to retain body temperature to improve blood circulation and strengthen the joint. It can be worn on the right or left elbow, its compression support is adjustable and is suitable for treating inflammation, tendonitis, sprains, tennis elbow and other conditions or discomfort.
What features should you consider before choosing the best sports elbow brace for racket sports?
A sports elbow brace can make the difference between victory and defeat. It will help treat, prevent or reduce the risk of injury, thus saving you a lot of money in medical expenses, making it one of the best investments you can make for sport and your health. If you are already aware of the list with the best sports elbow sleeves, you should also check their characteristics, so that you can acquire the right one, and so you can practice normally and without fear of accidents.
According to their function
Tennis is perhaps the origin of many racket sports such as tennis and badminton, among others. If you compare them, you will see that they are very similar in terms of gameplay and regulations, it is incredible the level of popularity that these sports have achieved, something in common between them is that they require athletes with good physical and mental preparation. Depending on the case, elbow braces are required for training and sport competitions with specific functions.
In this section you will get more details about what you can use them for:
- Elbow braces for pain relief: Neoprene sports elbow braces are ideal for pain relief, their anatomical shape adapts perfectly to the shape of the elbow, thanks to their thermo-body effect and compression they help to improve blood circulation, they are the best alternative for racket players who are looking for a quick solution to stop pain.
- Elbow braces to strengthen muscles and ligaments: Elbow sleeves made from non-slip silicone can help improve the condition of muscles and ligaments after an operation or injury, they exert even and distributed pressure on the affected area, prevent lateral movements of the elbow brace on the muscle while protecting the player from injury.
- Elbow braces to increase sports performance: Tennis is a sport that requires great agility to perform multiple movements, sports elbow braces can strengthen muscles and ligaments which is of utmost importance to generate in the athlete a better sports performance, as it prevents any ailment or inflammation caused by overuse or effort. In this way, you will not have to stop training and therefore, the evolution of the discipline, creating greater competitiveness.
- Elbow supports for protection against blows: The elbow is the most affected member on the tennis court, due to repetitive movements, which is why an elbow support is required that protects but does not limit the player’s mobility. Many of these sports accessories use neoprene with a thickness of no more than 2mm as an insulating agent, in conjunction with silicone pads as a protective measure. Providing safety and confidence in every movement.
Material of manufacture
The design and manufacture of the elbow sleeves was possible thanks to breathable, elastic, resistant, hygienic and excellent quality materials such as neoprene, absorbent fabric, nylon, non-slip silicone, plastic, among others, the end result is a product with incredible characteristics, capable of exerting uniform pressure on the muscle, protecting it and improving sports performance.
Some of the materials are:
- Neoprene: It is so flexible that it can resist temperature changes and degrading agents present in the environment, regardless of its use, it will always keep its original shape. It can stretch or bend without inconvenience, it is an insulating material that will maintain body temperature and help improve blood circulation.
- Absorbent fabric: This is a microfibre made up of very thin threads. It has amazing abilities to absorb liquids without deforming, can keep the surface clean and free of germs, and can be washed without fear of damage.
- Anti-slip silicone: It is an anti-slip, flexible and very resistant material used in the manufacture of elbow braces, thanks to its anatomical shape it produces compression and a thermo compressor effect that maintains body temperature and improves blood circulation, its use in elbow braces can vary depending on the combination of materials.
Type of support
The support in sports elbow sleeves are indispensable, they improve the level of compression, they keep the product firm in the place where it is installed. The materials must be resistant, flexible and light, in this way it will be very comfortable and will fulfil its function. Some of them are:
- Bidirectional Velcro straps: This is one of the most effective fastening systems used in sportswear and other products. It is elastic, very resistant, low cost, easy to clean and comfortable. It is very easy to use, you only have to press against the other strap and that’s it, you will have a personalised pressure and the security that the garment will be in the same place.
- Nylon straps: They are generally used together with Velcro, to give elasticity to the closure system, it can adapt perfectly to the shape of the elbow and exert uniform pressure on the area of use. It is resistant to heat, cold and abrasion, it is also lightweight and easy to clean.
A very important aspect to consider is the size of the elbow brace, it cannot be too big as it will be too loose and it must not be too tight as it will be uncomfortable. When you choose the right size, it will hold and adapt perfectly to the surface of the elbow and allow free movement. The ideal garment should be sized according to the width and length of your elbow. To know the exact measurement, use a tape measure and pass it around the joint.
The elbow braces shown here are fully functional, with shock protection capabilities, they can help treat and prevent injuries and other damage. They aid in arm mobility and agility, but are also notable for offering an eye-catching design, due to the diversity of colours accompanied by a variable surface texture, the aim being to achieve a balance between design and functionality.
The above mentioned products were selected due to the interest of the users regarding their quality and design. All this information serves as a reference to buy an updated product in terms of fashion, once you buy it, no doubt, you will stand out from other athletes.
For many users this is one of the most important points, since depending on its value, it will be possible to acquire it. It should be noted that the cost of products vary according to their functionality, materials and even the local currency, therefore a market study of the products mentioned in this article was carried out, from the lowest to the highest price you can get.
Do compression elbow sleeves really work for tennis and badminton?
The sports elbow braces for tennis, but also for any other racket sport. They are effective for treating and preventing the different injuries typical of these activities, they are highly recommended by therapeutic professionals and outstanding athletes, due to all the benefits they have provided throughout their use in sports, which have been corroborated by different studies to verify the efficiency and quality of the same.
One of the objectives of the elbow sleeves is to offer compression on the affected muscle, but all this is accompanied by other series of features and functionalities that make this product ideal for treating various conditions that damage the health of people and therefore, an obstacle to the good performance of the athlete.
The articles mentioned here are possible thanks to the constant study of fibres and materials that are combined to provide the protection, safety or function that you need, always thinking in favour of the evolution for the benefit of each consumer. Undoubtedly, elbow supports are indispensable for every racket player, as they not only ensure well-being, but also protection in every movement.