Tennis elbow sleeves—or compression sleeves—are commonly used to help treat arm pain caused by lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) and medial epicondylalgia (golfer’s elbow).
Maybe you’ve seen athletes or friends wearing them and are curious if they will work for you. You might wonder if they really help treat the injury, or if tennis elbow sleeves are more about preventing overuse in the first place.
Compression sleeves can be an important part of tennis elbow treatment. If your doctor or physical therapist recommended wearing a sleeve, you may need some guidance before buying: how do they work, what types of sleeves are available, and how can you pick the right one?
How Do Tennis Elbow Sleeves Work?
Elbow sleeves help manage pain and aid recovery by improving blood circulation and preventing muscle soreness. The increased blood flow supports faster injury recovery, while the sleeve also provides greater skin protection and temperature regulation than other support band options.
Support sleeves are intended to help with stiff joints and reduce elbow pain. Some sleeves include a brace or strap for muscle relief and more versatile, adjustable daily use. This can also allow you to target additional compression to specific areas, increasing circulation while reducing inflammation.
Standalone straps and braces differ from compression sleeves, and serve a different purpose. A strap wraps around a specific part of the arm, typically just below the elbow, to compress the forearm and absorb soft tissue shock in the wrist, elbow, and forearm.
By combining a strap with a sleeve, you cannot only stay active during recovery, but the sleeve + strap combination can also change the angle from which your muscle tendons work, which allows inflamed tendons to relax and recover without further discomfort.
Compression sleeves can be worn every day, or as recommended by a doctor or physical therapist. Sleeves, bands, and other elbow support options, however, are only designed to offer temporary comfort, and will not cure a diagnosis of tennis elbow. They can offer invaluable comfort and support as you follow a larger recovery plan developed by your doctor or physical therapist.
Keep in mind that compression sleeves come in many different materials, and each one may have a slightly different fit.
Types of Tennis Elbow Sleeves
The standard elbow sleeve is designed to put direct pressure on the outer side of your elbow—where the skin is thickest on your forearm. By putting pressure on your extensor muscles, tension is reduced, helping them attach to the lateral epicondyle.
Dual support sleeves cover more skin than just straps, so they may not feel as comfortable to some people. However, dual support braces provide elbow joint support in addition to targeting the usual symptoms of tennis elbow. Dual support sleeves/braces are ideal for people who experience tennis elbow pain in more than just one location (the wrist and forearm, for example).
Some sleeves include a gel insert or pad inside the sleeve to push down on both tennis and golfer’s elbow problem areas, allowing for more therapeutic effects and serving as a preventative measure against further injuries. This gel insert feature allows you to continue playing or working out at your hardest in increased comfort and without fear of worsening existing injuries.
If you aren’t sure what type of elbow band you need—or how to identify the best tennis elbow sleeve for your particular injury—you may want to consult your doctor about which one is right for you.
Simien Tennis Elbow Compression Sleeve (2-Count) Review
The Simien Tennis elbow sleeve soothes aching muscles resulting from rigorous athletic activity by administering compression on a specific, targeted part of the arm. The sleeve is lightweight, versatile, and won’t impede your full range of motion as it provides relief for joints and muscle tissue.
And the Simien compression sleeve isn’t just for tennis elbow!
- tennis elbow
- golfer’s elbow
- computer or mouse elbow
- rower’s elbow
- fishing elbow
- pool or billiards elbow
- luggage elbow
- weightlifting elbow
- and other injuries caused by repetitive stress motion
This product has an average rating of 5 stars, and you can order one here.
Reviewers of the Simien compression sleeve have said it feels as soothing as putting on Bengay or some other sports cream; they can be worn even during flare-ups without causing further discomfort. And because the Simien comes with adjustable straps, users can accommodate any arm size and pain level—something other compression sleeves don’t offer.
Whether you are preparing for an athletic competition or need a little therapeutic help to continue doing yard work, vacuuming, or lifting luggage while traveling for work, the Simien tennis elbow compression sleeve offers fast relieve and optimized healing (especially when combined with a doctor or physical therapist recommended treatment plan).
Relieve Pain and Stay Active With a Tennis Elbow Sleeve
Perhaps the greatest benefit of wearing a tennis elbow sleeve is that it’s the most cost-effective way to manage your condition without having to pay expensive medical bills, stop your game, or spend excessive time sitting on the bench.
The Simien compression sleeve is comfortable, easy to use, and allows for multiple adjustments depending on arm size and the type of injury. And because you get two for the price of one, you won’t ever be caught without one, whether you’re at home or on the go.
Learn more about tennis elbow symptoms, treatment, and prevention with our Tennis Elbow Support ultimate guide.