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How To Deal With Stiff Elbow Joints When Playing Tennis

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Protect your elbow when you serve and play

Have you heard of lateral epicondylitis? Probably not… but you’ll know about tennis elbow. This is the common term for lateral epicondylitis. It got the common name because tennis players are prone to suffering from the condition.

It won’t surprise you to learn that it tends to be more common in a player’s serving arm. Think about the movement you need to make to take the racket head back. Consider how you bend your arm and then straighten it to follow through and strike the ball to complete your service action.

It's not surprising tennis players end up overusing the tendons and becoming affected by this condition. It leads to pain and stiffness – far from ideal when you’re serving. You don’t need to be a professional player to suffer either.

Reducing Elbow Stiffness

Rest is advised to help eliminate symptoms of tennis elbow. However, there are other steps you can take to protect and support the joint too. If you’ve got a match coming up, these tips might help.

Many players wear compression sleeves to help aid recovery. These are tight enough to support the joint and create warmth. Inflammation is a common symptom of this condition. Increasing blood flow to that area via a compression sleeve can help reduce it.

It’s ideal to start wearing one of these the moment you notice any discomfort or stiffness around your elbow joint. The sooner you protect it, the better the outcome.

Wearing Supportive Sleeves

The supportive nature of a sleeve ensures the risk of further injury is minimised. You would pull it on before the match, to give your arm time to warm up and to encourage better circulation in that area.

Wearing it during and after the match is good too. Again, you’re giving support to the injury and providing protection. You’re aware you’re wearing a compression garment, but it doesn’t feel uncomfortable. If you buy a good quality one, it shouldn’t move during the match either.

Continual warmth helps the tendon repair itself even when you’re resting. As such, these garments are not just for the match itself.

Reduce The Vibration Felt By Serving

Anyone with a decent serve knows the speed the ball is served at. All that power comes from your shoulder and goes through your elbow, wrist, and hand. As you strike the tennis ball, you’ll feel it vibrate through your arm.

Fortunately, a compression sleeve does a terrific job of reducing the vibration. It cannot eliminate it, but you’ll notice the difference. When you consider how many times you serve during a match, any reduction in vibration is a good thing. Over the space of an hour or two, you’ll feel more confident and should retain better motion in that arm.

It's not just serving you need to think about either. Protecting your playing arm from damaged tendons is vital if you’re going to keep playing. Tennis compression sleeves help you do just that.

Have you worn these garments during a match? If not, are you curious to know how they might reduce elbow stiffness?

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