Elbow sleeves weren’t always a staple item for individuals with elbow injuries. In fact, it was the National Basketball League that seemed to make the elbow sleeve as popular as it is today. Players like Allen Iverson who suffered from elbow bursitis started wearing compression sleeves in 2000, and they have since then grown wildly in popularity.
Regardless of the level of sport or skill, elbow sleeves can be worn by any individual.
Athletes like those in the NBA often wear elbow sleeves for warmth and compression of the area, but some also admit to wearing them for style and confidence. Whether you’re a high-level athlete or you’re simply looking for protection around a sore elbow for everyday activities, consider the following information as a handy guide for elbow sleeves.
Elbow sleeves are used for a variety of issues and ailments in the elbow. Simply put, elbow sleeves are worn to keep the muscles compressed, warm, and flexible. They are form-fitting and fairly tight around the arm, and they’re made of flexible, breathable materials to ensure that comfort is not surrendered. The tight fit is designed to squeeze the blood vessels in the area, forcing them to open up more fully. As a result, more oxygenated blood reaches the muscles, allowing for the muscles to work more efficiently.
As mentioned, elbow sleeves can also be used for issues such as elbow bursitis, which causes inflammation of the bursa in the elbow. They can also be used to help prevent possible injury and to help protect the area in the case that it has been injured before.
For individuals who are looking for relief from elbow ailments, a quality elbow sleeve is a great way to protect the elbow and surrounding areas. If you’re not sure which elbow sleeve to invest in, there are a handful of styles to suit your needs.
Simple Heat and Compression
If you’re looking for a simple design that offers warmth and compression, consider a design like the ProCare Neoprene Elbow Sleeve. This sleeve is made with a smooth, warming neoprene material that fits snug on the elbow without riding up.
Individuals with some discomfort might consider a sleeve like this to offer mild comfort and protection. The simple design is best for relieve pain and discomfort, while also promoting healthy circulation.
High Impact Sports
Individuals who play high-contact sports, such as football, rugby, and basketball, might consider an elbow sleeve with a little more protection around the elbow. Many athletes in professional leagues use an elbow sleeve like the McDavid HexPad Power Shooter Sleeve because of the extra padding. This helps to prevent or lessen injury from contact, falls, excessive shooting, etc.
A quality sleeve like this design is also ideal for high-level sports because of the moisture-wicking material, which helps to keep athletes cool and dry throughout play. The elbow padding has the same density and collision resistance as that of the pads used in football and other contact sports, so this type of elbow sleeve is ideal for high impact.
As with a lot of different sports accessories, there isn’t solid research to suggest that elbow sleeves can repair injuries or ailments. It is difficult to find concrete evidence, as elbow sleeves are so universal and can be worn for all kinds of activities, whether sport-related or not.
Regardless of the research, many individuals swear by their elbow sleeves, and it is believed that, in its simplest form, the elbow sleeve does, in fact, help to increase circulation and heat to the area, and does help to improve mobility and efficiency.
Choosing a Sleeve
If you’re shopping for an elbow sleeve, be sure to measure your arm length ahead of time. Braces will vary in size and length from brand to brand, and knowing your measurements will be extremely helpful to choosing the correct size.
It’s also important to find out ahead of time what level of compression you need for your injuries or ailments. Seeing your doctor beforehand is ideal, so that they can determine the level of swelling you have, if any, and what level of compression is required.
If you’ve been wearing a new sleeve for a few days, and it is becoming noticeably uncomfortable or painful, do not continue to wear it. Wearing a sleeve that is too tight can be dangerous because of blood loss and loss of feeling, while wearing something that is too loose will not protect the area at all. Be sure that you know your measurements, and that the elbow sleeve you choose fits snug and comfortably to avoid further injury.
Elbow sleeves are a much more popular item than they used to be, but it’s important that you learn about them before deciding if a sleeve is right for you. Speak with your doctor about the problems you’ve been having and whether or not a sleeve is your best option. For those searching for elbow sleeves, consider the information mentioned above to understand how elbow sleeves work and whether they’re a fit for your needs.