The elbow joint is involved in so many of our everyday functions. It is no wonder that over 200,000 cases of golfer’s elbow are reported in the U.S. every year.
Golfer’s elbow is characterized by pain and stiffness on the inside of the elbow joint. Although most cases do not occur in golfers, the condition gets its name from the sport because the motions involved are known to cause golfer’s elbow.
So what is a golfer, or other human being, to do when they find themselves suffering from golfer’s elbow? A golfer’s elbow brace brings relief to many people.
Buying the garment is the easy part, the complicated part of a golfer’s elbow brace is how to wear it.
We have broken down the steps of choosing and wearing a golfer’s elbow brace to help you on your road to recovery.
How to Choose a Golfer’s Elbow Brace
There are two main factors to consider when choosing an elbow brace: style and fit.
Elbow Brace Styles:
- This style is a thinner, single band that wraps around the elbow with certain pressure points in mind.
- Full Size Brace. A full size brace will go over the entire elbow joint and is typically reinforced with sturdy fabric and metal or plastic pieces. The main goal of a full size brace is stability in the joint.
- Compression sleeve. Like the full size brace, a compression brace will cover the entire elbow joint, usually in the form of a sleeve. The compression elbow sleeve provides consistent pressure on the joint and surrounding muscles to encourage circulation. A compression sleeve also provides support, like a full size brace, but with more flexibility and wider range of motion.
How to choose the proper size of a golfer's elbow brace
Most manufacturers will provide size recommendations based on measurements. Use a tape measure around the arm near the elbow joint and utilize those measurements to ensure you get the proper size. A brace too big won’t provide enough support and a brace too small could cut off circulation. Both are bad news for your already sore elbow.
How to Wear a Golfer’s Elbow Brace
Once you have selected the proper size and style of brace, it is important to wear the brace properly. Utilize manufacturer recommendations to place the brace in the proper area of your arm. Additionally, listen to your body on the fit of the brace. If it is too tight, loosen it, too loose, tighten it, etc.
The time, situation, and duration of wearing the elbow brace matter as well. Primarily, elbow braces should be used for active situations like exercise or sports. Wearing the braces around the clock can lead to muscle atrophy and cause more problems in the long term. Give your muscles breaks from the brace to help rebuild strength around the joint.