Many physios, hand therapists and surgeons recommend an elbow strap or counter-force brace to help manage the symptoms of Lateral Epicondylitis or Tennis Elbow.
But does an elbow strap actually help Tennis Elbow?
The simple answer is yes, it can. And there is research to back this up, click here to read. This article published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy 2009 concludes that use of an elbow strap produced 16% more pain-free grip strength when compared with the use of a placebo or a wrist splint.
How does an elbow strap work?
Wearing an elbow strap just below the elbow, in theory, takes some of the load off the damaged tendons at the elbow. Put simply;
But be warned...
There is no guarantee that using an elbow strap for tennis elbow will help!
The overall resounding message from the research surrounding non-operative treatment of tennis elbow is- that there is no consensus about what works and does not work!
And, in fact, if used incorrectly or for prolonged periods of time, counter-force braces can cause unwanted issues, including compression of the Radial Nerve.
So, whats the take home message?
Taking load off the tendons will decrease symptoms in tennis elbow- now that's the golden nugget! For other golden nuggets - follow this blog space!