Braces vs. Sleeves
Although there is some crossover between tennis elbow braces and sleeves, they’re more different than many people realize.
Here are a few of the areas where you can expect a distinction.
Tennis elbow braces, otherwise known as counterforce braces, apply targeted pressure to an individual’s arm just below the area of discomfort.
On the other hand, compression sleeves apply gentle all-over pressure to the area covered by the sleeve.
Furthermore, while you can adjust the force or pressure a tennis elbow brace applies, a sleeve’s pressure is not adjustable.
One of the benefits of compression sleeves is that they stimulate blood circulation, which may help aid recovery and healing.
Tennis elbow braces, on the other hand, do not improve blood circulation. Instead, the pressure applied is purely for reducing discomfort.
Compression sleeves, which come in varying lengths, cover an individual’s skin, much like a long sleeve shirt. As a result, they can create warmth while tennis elbow braces do not.
Depending on the conditions, players may or may not perceive the added heat as a benefit, so that’s worth considering when evaluating the two.
Duration of Use
Generally, tennis elbow braces aren’t recommended for extended use, i.e., wearing them for hours on end. Instead, people will usually only wear them during an activity that causes discomfort.
However, people often wear compression sleeves for extended periods as they offer more general support.
Ease of Use
Compression sleeves are incredibly straightforward to use. Slide the sleeve over your arm, and you’re good to go.
Although tennis elbow braces aren’t overly challenging to use, they present some difficulties for individuals to achieve the proper placement.
Furthermore, elbow braces are more likely to slide on an individual’s arm during an activity such as tennis while sleeves stay in place.