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. Given the choice, nobody wants to suffer from tennis elbow because it is painful and prevents a person from performing 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. Some individuals who perform tasks such as hammering or gripping increase their chance of having tennis elbow.

One of the most typical approach to treatment involves the use of a tennis elbow strap. There has been studies made that suggests that tennis elbow strap could enhance the recovery process of injured tennis players. In a recent issue of Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy , a study was made with its main purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of tennis elbow strap using a control group 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. A tennis elbow strap can be made up of Velcro because it can be easily fastened.

The tennis elbow strap is mainly used to apply pressure over the tendons that can reduce the painful condition associated with tennis elbow. The theory behind this is known as counter-force bracing somehow similar to a guitar's mechanics. Think of the counter-force tennis elbow strap as your fingers on the neck of the guitar ( forearm) and the extensor muscles, especially the extensor carpi radialis brevis, would be the guitar string, thus minimizing tension of the muscles as they attach to the lateral epicondyle. Truly, the study is well researched because it has practical applications.

The outcome of the study highlighted one important fact - that strapping is a good measure in reducing pain when force is exerted. When the subjects in the study used a tennis elbow strap, they could exert 16% more strength. Another significant fact pointed out in the study shows that between the strap against a sleeve with a built in strap, there was no difference at all asserting that the strap itself is likely the crucial factor. In short, using a tennis elbow strap can be an effective means to recover from tennis elbow. However, medical advice should be the first step in seeking treatment.

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