How to Put on a Brace for Tennis Elbow

How to Put on a Brace for Tennis Elbow

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Tennis elbow afflicts people who overwork the tendons in their outer forearm -- even if they've never held a racket. You may feel the pain primarily near your outer elbow, or the discomfort could extend to your wrists and lower arms. Along with pain, tennis elbow makes it difficult to manage the simplest of motions, such as opening a door. See your physician to verify that you have tennis elbow and to discuss your course of treatment. A tennis elbow brace will likely form a crucial part of your recovery. This type of brace restricts the kind of motions that put additional strain on your overworked tendons.

Step 1

Measure your elbow joint with measuring tape that notes both centimeters and inches. Wrap the tape around the crook of your arm to get the closest possible measurement.

Step 2

Purchase the brace that is closest to your measurement, noting whether the company marks sizes in centimeters or inches or both. Typical sizes start at extra small for people who measure less than 23 centimeters, or about 9 inches, around their elbow. On the other end of the spectrum, an extra large fits people with elbow joints up to 33 centimeters, or about 13 inches.

Step 3

Remove the brace from the packaging and unfold it so that the brace is spread to its full length.

Step 4

Position the unfolded brace just below your elbow. The thickest, or bulkiest, part of the brace rests on your outer forearm -- the side facing away from your waist.

Step 5

Wrap the straps of the brace around your forearm, and fasten it over the brace with the clip or fabric fastener used in your particular brace.

Step 6

Adjust the brace if it is too tight or too loose. It should fit snugly enough to provide muscle support and not slip out of place but not so tightly that your circulation is restricted or you find it difficult to bend or move your arm.


  • Ask your physician or physical therapist to show you the best way to position your brace if the brand of brace you chose seems unusually complicated or if the injured arm is your dominant one.
  • Use the brace in conjunction with the other classic "RICE" treatments for tennis elbow and similar injuries: Rest your elbow -- don't overwork your affected arm; ice -- use a cold pack soon after experiencing the injury and as pain flares up; compression -- use your tennis elbow brace as directed by your doctor; and elevation -- prop your arm on stacked pillows or an armrest as often as possible during recuperation.
  • Physical therapy and over-the-counter pain medications are other classic treatments in addition to braces for physical therapy.