Best Golfer’s Elbow Brace
Reviews - Best Golfer's Elbow Braces
To get straight to the point, this section will provide our top picks for the best braces for golfer's elbow, where we will highlight some of our favorite elbow braces at different price points. Therefore, this list shouldn't be considered ranked in any particular order, but rather, it should give you a sense of what is available, and what to expect in an elbow brace at different price ranges.
Below our reviews of the best golfer's elbow braces, we will provide more general information about golfer's elbow, how it's commonly treated, and how elbow braces can help with various degrees of golfer's elbow, so feel free to explore that information as well.
All of the recommendations below are opinion-based. If you have questions about your specific golfer's elbow issues, we highly advise that you consult with your physician as well.
This is a simple, but sturdy, counterforce brace with a compression pad. The compression pad is gel-based which means it may be more comfortable than other braces, but it may also not provide the amount of compression that some people prefer, as it is a little more forgiving. This elbow support is a simple Velcro design and slims down in the non-compression portion of the strap. This means that it doesn’t feel bulky or interfere with normal range of motion in the elbow joint.
Generally speaking, elbow straps like this provide a great starting point for any golfer looking for a little extra elbow support and pain relief while golfing (and after golfing), particularly when your golfer's elbow isn't too extreme. The minimalist design is effective, yet cheap enough that it's often worth giving a shot if you're on the fence.
The materials used in the DashSport elbow support strap are 65% neoprene and 35% nylon, where the neoprene is largely what assists with an anatomical fit and slight thermoregulation capabilities. In addition to the strap itself, you also get a free e-book with tutorials on the strap and some additional information about tennis elbow and golfer's elbow, but we wouldn't look too much into this, as the strap itself is really what counts (often times these things are kind of gimmicks to enhance perceived value).
Overall, this is a basic, yet effective, elbow strap for golfer's elbow. Some people find it makes a huge difference, but for some people they find they need a little more support. In any case, if golfer's elbow is giving you pain, it's definitely worth considering especially since it's one of the cheapest elbow straps you can get.
The Tiger Balance Athletics golfer's elbow strap, like the DashSport elbow strap above, is also a really good elbow strap for golfer's elbow. It's minimalist in nature, but provide effective support and relief from pain and swelling due to golfer's elbow or tennis elbow.
However, unlike the DashSport golfer's elbow strap, the Tiger Balance Athletics elbow strap is made of 100% neoprene (as opposed to a combination of neoprene and nylon). Given the neoprene is the stretchy component, it allows for an even tighter anatomical fit with less risk of cutting off the circulation. Not all people will need this, but if you want to wear the elbow strap really tight, this could be a solid option.
This strap is quite thick, especially in the gel compression pad area, which helps provide a wider area of compression. For lots of people this will be a good thing, but some prefer a pinpoint style targeting mechanism, which is difficult to find regardless. The velcro strap is intended to be used without coming apart, which makes it easy to put on and take off, and it also doesn't irritate the skin like a lot of cheap elbow straps.
Overall, there's nothing too fancy about the Tiger Balance Athletics elbow strap, but it serves its purpose and is solid bang for your buck. When comparing it to the DashSport elbow strap above, one could consider it a tiny bit more robust, allowing for a slightly tighter fit, assuming that's what is desired.
The CopperJoint Elbow Sleeve is one of the most popular compressive elbow sleeves for golfer's elbow on the market. It's extremely well-reviewed by customers and provides an alternative to traditional elbow straps.
This compressive sleeve offers 4-ways stretch, implying that the "stretchiness" isn't limited in any direction, so it really provides a great anatomical fit. However, if you need compression that is highly targeted to a specific area of your arm, then you're likely better off with an elbow strap that has a gel pad localized to one area. In this case, the CopperJoint compressive elbow sleeve offers general compression and support for moderate relief of pain due to golfer's elbow and other similar conditions.
This sleeve is made from 88% top quality copper infused nylon, which assists greatly in its anti-odor technology, which as anyone who sweats a lot knows, this can be a deal breaker. The fabric is highly breathable, but also keeps enough warmth in to help with golfer's elbow and maintain mobility, so it's a nice optimal balance. Additonally, the fabric can be considered moisture-wicking and provides anti-itch technology as well.
Overall, this is one of the most popular compression sleeves, and in our opinion, should definitely be considered one of the best compression sleeves for golfer's elbow. It comes in at a very affordable price range, especially considering sports medicine products are usually quite expensive, especially when they look sleek and fashionable. Therefore, if general compression around the elbow is what you're looking for, we would highly recommend this compression sleeve, but if you need more specific targeted compression for your golfer's elbow, you may be better off with a strap.
This is another elbow strap to help address pain associated with golfer's elbow, but in this case, you actually get two straps, so it's pretty good value. Even if you are only experiencing the symptoms of golfer's elbow in one arm, havng a spare is always nice especially if you pick up a tee time while one is in the wash.
Additionally, you will receive an e-book entitled "Addressing Tennis Elbow Pain", which provides instructions for the elbow straps, as well as more general information on treating tennis and golfer's elbow and preventing further problems. Again, these e-books can be useful, but when evaluating the elbow brace, we would recommended to focus just on the brace itself. There is one additional bonus as well, which is a wrist sweat band, but we didn't really factor this into the review due to the fact that it doesn't really matter for golfer's elbow.
This Simien golfer's elbow strap comes with a compression gel pad, which are usually better than air pads that you may commonly see in similar elbow straps. The design itself is fairly basic, which can actually be a good thing, because it allows for versatility in how you wear it. For example, if you have problems with tennis elbow and golfers elbow, you can wear them differently to address each problem.
The material is 65% neoprene and 35% nylon, which allows it to be considered "one size fits most". However, do keep in mind that the actual logo is natural rubber, so if you're sensitive to latex, you may want to be careful of this elbow strap.
Overall, these Simien elbow straps are highly popular, arguably the most popular elbow strap for golfer's elbow, and it is very well-liked by customers. You may notice the price is a little higher than similar elbow straps, but this is mainly because you receive two elbow straps instead of just one, so if good value is what you're after, then we would consider this one of the best elbow straps for golfer's elbow.
This elbow support system is basically the same as the DashSport elbow support strap that we reviewed above, but this one comes in two parts: an elbow compression sleeve and a simple elbow brace. The compression sleeve helps to stabilize and provide comfort to the general area, designed to provide relief of sore muscles and improve blood flow. The brace, like the other simple designs, is a small, sleek unit that compresses a small area of the forearm.
In general, elbow sleeves are not one-size-fits-all so make sure to select the proper size for your body type. The elbow sleeve helps to prevent the brace from slipping and also provide general compression. This compression can help with reducing inflammation but also helps with support of the joint area.
The nylon elbow compression sleeve is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and odor resistant, which is a huge bonus, especially if you plan on wearing it while golfing. It may not sound like a big deal, but having something that you don't need to constantly wash after every use is definitely a practical consideration. Of course, we would suggest washing it if possible, but if you don't have time, leaving it hanging up to dry should allow you to get a few uses out of it before definitely needing to wash it.
The compression band (elbow strap) has a fairly wide gel pad, so while it still provides targeted compression, it is also a little more comfortable and can provide some forgiveness with placement. Both of these in combination can be worn on either the left or right side.
Overall, this is a really good elbow brace system for golfer's elbow. It's a little more complex in that there are two components, but in reality it's as simple as putting on a sleeve before the elbow strap. Even though it's simple, many people have come to appreciate the added comfort and stability of the elbow compression sleeve, so if you know you will use it often, we would definitely suggest considering this elbow brace system.
Elbow Injuries in Golf
Although golf is not considered to be a high-impact or strenuous sport, golfer’s do get injured at surprisingly high rates. Much of this is due to the extreme levels of torque placed on the body's joints throughout a swing, as well as the repetitive nature of the sport (remember, you're probably taking practice swings, too!). As the demands of the sport increase, we can expect the rates of injuries to rise as well.
In a study of amateur golfers at an English golf club, 32 per cent of golfers reported an injury. The most common complaint described was an injury to the wrist, followed by the back and elbow. Of male golfers injured during the study, about 8 per cent sustained an injury to the elbow.
This study also found that female golfers injured their elbow more than male golfers. The researchers concluded that poor swing mechanics and overuse were the predominant causes of these elbow injuries in both male and female golfers. Most often, injury to the elbow suffered by golfer’s results in pain and inflammation of the medial (inside) part of the elbow, termed golfer's elbow.
What is Golfer's Elbow?
Golfer’s elbow, also called medial epicondylitis, is the aggravation of the inside part of the elbow. The elbow is a hinge joint formed by the meeting of the humerus bone (upper arm) and the two bones of the forearm (the radius and the ulna). The structure of the joint is maintained by a series of ligaments that run in different directions across the elbow.
The muscles of the forearm attach to various points on the elbow. These muscles move the wrist through the regular range of motion. One of the main areas these forearm muscles attach, particularly muscles of the forearm that flex the wrist, is the lateral epicondyle. The lateral epicondyle can be thought of as a rough, raised area on the inside of the humerus, right at the elbow joint. When the muscles of the forearm are overused, the site at which they attach can become inflamed and may result in degeneration of the tendons in the area.
Golfer’s elbow may also be referred to as a tendonosis, easily confused with tendonitis. Tendonitis is an inflammatory response to injury or damage involving the immune system, while tendonosis is a degeneration and repair of the tendon.
Similar to Golfer's elbow, tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is the aggravation of the muscular attachment point on the outside of the elbow. Golfer’s elbow is much less common than tennis elbow and occurs about 7-10 times less than tennis elbow. The cause of medial epicondylitis is usually overuse of repetitive stress of the forearm and elbow area.
However, sometimes, but much less commonly, golfer’s elbow can results from a sudden blow or unexpected, forceful flexion of the wrist. Golfer’s elbow is not just found in athletes, but can also occur as a result of repetitive and forceful work tasks.
Furthermore, golfer’s elbow does not just occur in golfer’s. Any athlete that repetitively flexes their wrist can be at risk for golfer’s elbow. People who participate in racquet sports, such as tennis or racquetball, can experience golfer’s elbow as a result of repetitive forehand shots, for example.
How do you treat golfer's elbow?
Like with tennis elbow, treatment for golfer’s elbow varies on a case-by-case basis. From a short-term perspective, ice should be used while resting and avoid pain. Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs are also often used. For long-term treatment, there are a number of options. Corticosteroid injection is a common method. This treatment helps the body heal the affected area and can be effective.
Non-surgical treatment of golfer’s elbow is best split into 3 phases. Phase 1 is about relief of pain, this is achieved through icing and anti-inflammatory medication. Phase 2 is a rehabilitative program to build strength and range of motion through the elbow and wrist joint without aggravating the injured area. Phase 3 is the return to sport. This phase usually consists of modifying technique and/or equipment to prevent pain and re-injury.
Throughout these phases, the use of a brace, sometimes called a counterforce brace, may be recommended to limit injury symptoms. On rare occasions, surgery may be required to treat golfer’s elbow to allow pain-free return to pre-injury levels of performance. During this type of surgery, the inflamed, malfunctioning area of the tendon may be removed or repaired, the attachment site of the muscle may be modified or moves, and any damage to the nerve in the area would be addressed.
How do braces help golfer's elbow?
Basically, a brace for elbow injury reduces the load on the epicondyle by stopping the forearm muscles from fully expanding. In the case of golfer’s elbow, the brace is placed just past the elbow but close to the bony site where the muscles attach. By preventing the muscles of the forearm from fully expanding, an elbow brace reduces the muscular force.
Most elbow braces for golfer’s elbow are small bands that are placed around the forearm muscles. Occasionally, these straps come with a neoprene sleeve that is worn under the strap. Less commonly, a brace that goes around the entirety of the elbow joint may be used.
It is important to recognize that improper placement and use of a brace can cause aggravation of the nerve in the area. For this reason, it is important to understand how to properly use this equipment. Below is an informative video about both tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow and how to properly use an elbow brace.