How to Choose the Best Wrist & Elbow Braces
You know Kintec as the expert in feet, ankles, and knees, but did you know we also have many braces for wrists and elbows too?
There is a wide variety of braces available for the wrist or elbow, and the most helpful information to determine what brace would be best is a proper diagnosis from a health care professional, such as a doctor or physiotherapist. Because these joints are complex, it is important to ensure we are targeting the correct area for the brace to be effective.
The most common injury that we see at Kintec in the elbow area is epicondylitis, otherwise known as “tennis elbow”. You certainly don’t need to be a tennis player to experience this painful condition as most cases of ‘tennis elbow’ occur in people working in the trades or who have to maintain a closed-grip hand position for prolonged periods of time. Epicondylitis causes pain where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to the bone on the outside of your elbow. The pain may also spread into your forearm, or up into the biceps area.
One of the most common treatments for epicondylitis is a counterforce brace, such as the Band-it Forearm Strap, the MedSpec Epigel Strap, or the Bauerfeind Epitrain Elbow Sleeve. These braces are designed to work by compressing the upper forearm and absorbing the forces which are transmitted through the soft tissues to the point of pain on the outside of the elbow. They also help distribute the forces which are applied to the tendon attachment allowing the injured area time to recover. These braces are simple to put on and can be adjusted for a snug fit.
If you have recently had surgery on your elbow or biceps tendon, you may be prescribed a Donjoy X-Act ROM Elbow Brace to wear post-operatively. This brace is typically only used when the joint needs to be immobilized.
The wrist is a complex area with many tiny joints. The most common injury we see at Kintec is carpal tunnel syndrome that is caused by pressure on the median nerve. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of your hand. When the median nerve is compressed from overuse of the surrounding tissue, the result can be numbness, tingling, pain or weakness in the hand and arm.
There are many braces available for carpal tunnel, but they all work from the same premise – restricting how much your wrist can bend during activities or sleep to allow the carpal tunnel, and the compressed tissues within its space, to rest and reduce inflammation.
Common braces to support the wrist in the case of carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist sprains, or post-fracture-cast recovery are the Kintec Actifit Wrist Brace and the MedSpec Tripod Wrist Brace. Both are lightweight and comfortable options to wear during the day or at night, with a simple Velcro closure, and can be hand washed.
For more severe sprains, fractures, or cases of carpal tunnel that are recurring and refuse to get better, the Exos custom heat molded wrist, thumb, and hand braces can provide more immobilization and support. These products are only available at certain Kintec locations, so please call us if this is something you are interested in.
Need a wrist or elbow brace?
If you have any questions, reserve a One2One appointment today. A qualified brace fitter will help you find the right brace for you based on your lifestyle and measurements.
Our new One2One program will provide you with the highest level of safety and personalized service for all of your bracing needs.