Wearing an elbow support, may it be a sleeve, brace, or bandage, is proven to reduce the risk of injury or prevent one. However, the important part here is to know how to wear an elbow support properly. You have to target the right muscles to achieve optimal support. Another reason why you should pay attention to this is that improper elbow support positioning can actually worsen the injury or do nothing in protecting your elbows. It’s one thing you don’t want to happen, especially if you purchased an expensive piece.
Some would tell you that you have to consult your doctor to know how to wear one. But the fact that it can be bought over the counter and online stores means you’re free to wear it as you wish. Users wear elbow supports casually when running or accomplishing daily chores. If you don’t have any underlying injuries, it’s safe to wear a support on your own.
Almost all elbow sleeves and supports will come with an instruction manual or a free e-book guide. It’s important that you refer to this as every brace is made different from the other. But in case yours didn’t come with such instructions, here are some simple steps you can take to ensure that you’re putting it right.
Let the hook and loop loose
It may sound like a no-brainer, but trust me, some users tend to wear the brace with the hook and loop in a tight position. Some braces can be a pain to put on using one hand, but as much as possible, let the hook and loop loose first. That’s how to wear an elbow support properly.
Place it just before your elbow
The rule of thumb when wearing an elbow support is to place it an inch before your elbow. Some place it two inches below. The key here is to find the muscle you want to support or where you are feeling the pain. But one thing is for sure, it shouldn’t go down too much more than halfway below the elbow.
Put the cushion in the right place
Most braces have cushion padding on it. If you have one with an embossed gel pad, make sure to place it on an area facing out of your elbow. This is so you’ll target the right tendon in your arm. Another purpose of this is to protect your arm from impact and bumps from blunt surfaces.
Pull the strap
Once you have everything in place, pull the strap from the hook and loop. In case you have a plain Velcro strap, pull it the same way, but control the tightness. Don’t overdo the pressure, otherwise, you might cut the circulation in your arm that can result in numbness or difficulty of moving.
Wear it for a specific length of time
Wear the brace for a long time, say 8 hours or so. This is so you can have a good feel of it on your arm. However, it’s important that you take the brace off when sleeping to avoid hurting your arm. Knowing how to wear an elbow support will save you from other physical difficulties.
Check for pain
During the use of the brace, check if you’re feeling any pain or discomfort. If you think that the brace isn’t helping your elbow problem, discontinue use and consult a doctor. You might need a special brace for your condition or you might have an undiagnosed injury.
Wear it during physical activities
If everything is feeling fine, wear the brace when you’re performing strenuous physical activities and other elbow-taxing routines.
Slide the sleeve to your arm
Sleeves are the simplest support to wear. You just have to slide it in and fix the wrinkles until everything is snugly hugging your elbow. There aren’t many restrictions on how to wear an elbow support like this.
Place the compression area properly
If you have a sleeve with a special elbow compression, make sure that you place it on the spot of the joint. Take note that some sleeves have a special contour to fit perfectly to the elbow.
Check if the fit is right
If the sleeve feels too tight, there’s a chance that you got the wrong size. Take note that there’s a fine line between choking and compression.
Watch out for any discomfort
Like wearing a brace, make sure that you’re not feeling any discomfort or pain from the sleeve. Stop the usage if it’s causing you more pain than comfort.
Best Elbow Support For An Active Lifestyle
If you’re looking for the right support to use on your elbow, here are some of the commercial options for braces and sleeves you can choose from. Just remember how to wear an elbow support properly!
Simien Tennis Elbow Brace
If you’re a golfer, badminton player, or volleyball player, the Simien Tennis Elbow brace is the best choice. For the price of one, you’ll get a pair of this brace with compression pads to support your arms and elbows during very active routines including weightlifting and gym workout. Once worn, you will have relief for your muscles and tissues as well as your sore tendons.
One size fits most for this brace with a hook and loop structure for easier setup and steady grip. It’s also a combination of neoprene and nylon so you’ll have enough compression as well as a sweat-wicking feature. Aside from sports activities, this Simien support is effective for alleviating the pain of arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Aside from the brace, you can pick a package to get a freebie to complement the sweat wristband. You can get the package with the free twist bar for golf elbows or the one with the free pain relief cream. Any of the two, you will have a wise purchase. Unlike the other counterparts, this brace is easier to wear even by a single hand.
Sleeve Stars Elbow Brace with Compression
The Sleeve Stars Elbow Brace with Compression is the best catch from one of the leading providers of joint support. It is designed to reduce the force on your tendons and muscles if you know how to wear an elbow support the right way. It also has a compression pad to lessen the tension on your forearm for less fatigue and strain when performing activities.
The construction of this brace has two hook and loop straps for better stability. Although it can be hard to put on, the brace is still value for money. You can wear the brace on both arms alternately depending on which experiences the most strain. It has a combination of neoprene and nylon that are latex free for durability and total comfort. It’s surely made to last and can pit on expensive counterparts.
One great feature of this Sleeve Stars brace is its soft texture that’s comfy to wear on the skin. It will give compression without impeding the circulation on your arm or the mobility of your joint. As long as your arm fits on the 9-23 inches of circumference, you’ll enjoy the benefits of this brace.
KYUSport Neoprene Tennis Support
For more coverage than what you’ll get from a narrow brace, you can check out the KYUSport Neoprene Tennis Support. It has an open elbow construction but with more compression fabric to cover the upper and lower part of your joint. This is best to wear if you’re experiencing excruciating pain from playing tennis, golf, and performing repetitive arm movement. Just know how to wear an elbow support and you’re golden.
Even if it’s thicker and larger than other braces, the KYUSport support is breathable and will stimulate the blood flow on the limb. You’ll enjoy protection from hyperextension, cubital tunnel, tendonitis, and arthritis. It will speed up the recovery of your elbow so you can go back to your game wearing it. The brace is lightweight so no worries about your mobility.
One size fits most on this KYUSport brace, but if you have very large and meaty arms, you might find it a bit finicky to put on. The Velcro straps might easily move out of its place if you wear it with a very tight compression. Anyway, it works as advertised and the best bargain for the price.
Mava Sports Sleeve Recovery
In case you prefer sleeves over braces, I suggest that you get the Mava Sports Sleeve Recovery option. It’s made of charcoal fiber fabric that doesn’t smell like rubber (which is sometimes the downside of neoprene) and is very soft to wear. The Mava Sports brace also keeps the arms fresh even if you’re sweating too much as long as you know how to wear an elbow support. It’s the best choice for someone looking for durability and those with a very sensitive skin.
What’s unique about the Mava Sports sleeve is the reinforced elbow support for added protection. You can see that there’s a gray patch on the joint part which is intended to support weak elbows. It’s so comfortable you might forget you’re wearing it while doing some arm exercise. The material won’t snag or pill easily even if you wear and handwash it every day.
It works for alleviating pain and avoiding injuries. If there’s swelling happening in your elbow, this compression sleeve would be a perfect recovery aid. However, this may not be best for very heavy weightlifting. The likes of kettlebell and dumbbell lifting would be supported well.
A pair of sleeves for a price of one, nothing beats this offer.
Kunto Fitness Elbow Brace
Do you want a stylish option? The Kunto Fitness Elbow Brace might be the one you’re looking for. It has a tight form-fitting design intended to target the pain of injuries and protect the elbows from injuries. The best part is you can enjoy all these benefits in the prime of your sports performance. Even if you’re not into sporty activities, the Kunto Fitness Brace will serve you well in terms of alleviating pain from continuous elbow use or the usual conditions like arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
The Kunto brace has a special 4-way stretch fabric weave that makes it stay in place even if you’re constantly moving your arms. To add on this feature is that the sleeve isn’t too tight and just the right mix of compression. You don’t have to worry about having that “muffin” arms if you know how to wear an elbow support. It’s also breathable so your arms stay fresh even after a very sweaty session in the gym.
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty sleeve that won’t tear even if you lift heavy weights, the Kunto brace is the best pick. Just take note that it’s a bit pricier and you would have to buy two separate units to have a pair.
Copper Compression Elbow Sleeve
The Copper Compression Elbow Sleeve has 88% of copper ions infused on its fabric. This feature is said to enhance the oxygen supply and blood flow in the arm area. The ultra-comfortable fabric of this sleeve is famous for athletes and gym goers who want added support for their joints. It loosens stiff muscles and reduces the soreness after a tiring activity.
This Copper Compression Sleeve can help aid a variety of injuries like bursitis, arthritis, tendonitis, and even osteoporosis! It doesn’t slip away from your biceps so you experience secure support whatever you’re doing. And the best thing is you’ll have a 100% money-back guarantee if you’re not happy with your purchase.
Before purchasing this product, beware that there are knock-off versions in the market. These imitations don’t have the same quality plus it doesn’t offer the same guarantee as what you’ll get from the original one.
Take note that this product comes in a single piece so you have to purchase two for a pair. The price could be a bit higher than the other sleeves and braces.
Knowing how to wear an elbow support is important aside from buying the right piece. Follow the simple steps above and you’ll surely find comfort as long as the brace or sleeve isn’t too small or big for your arms. Do you have suggestions or reactions? Let us know below in the comment section!