A recent elbow injury can prevent you from doing a lot of things that you normally find easy. Participating in sports is obviously off the table, as well as doing any heavy lifting. After all, doing these things too soon after an injury can cause you to injure yourself further. But an elbow injury can make even the most everyday tasks more difficult. Reaching for something on a high shelf, taking the laundry out of the dryer and cooking yourself a meal are all made more challenging when you are healing from an elbow injury.
Even sleeping can be made difficult after an elbow injury. Discomfort and stiffness in your elbow can make it difficult to fall asleep comfortably. Pain can also wake you up in the middle of the night, preventing you from getting a good night’s rest. So what are you supposed to do?
Physical therapy experts recommend wearing an elbow brace as one of the solutions that can help you sleep soundly while recovering from an elbow injury. However, the elbow braces you might find at the drugstore may not offer enough support for injuries such as tennis elbow, elbow surgery or a serious stress fracture. That’s why they recommend custom elbow braces for sleeping.
Why do I need a custom elbow brace for sleeping?
While off-the-shelf elbow braces offer mild support and compression, they don’t keep the elbow immobilized enough for sleeping with an elbow injury. Here are four reasons why physical therapists strongly recommend using a custom elbow brace instead:
- It reduces swelling and inflammation — An elbow brace compresses the area surrounding your elbow from all sides. This helps to reduce the inflammation and painful swelling that often follows an injury or surgery.
- It immobilizes joints during sleep — While you are sleeping, you may roll over onto your injured elbow or otherwise move it in a way that causes pain. Wearing an elbow brace while sleeping immobilizes your elbow so that it does not accidentally bend or move the wrong way when you sleep.
- It protects reconstructed joints after surgery — If you have recently had surgery on your elbow, the joints that were operated on will need to be protected. Your custom elbow brace will protect and cradle your injured elbow while sleeping so your elbow can heal.
- It’s lighter than commercial braces — Off-the-shelf braces often weigh more due to extra materials that are used to adjust their size. A custom brace is made to perfectly fit your elbow so that it can be lighter and more comfortable when sleeping.
Where can I turn for a custom elbow brace after an injury?
Custom splints and braces are just a few of the services that we offer our patients at Performance Physical Therapy. Our specialists can help determine the most effective type of elbow brace for you and then create one that perfectly fits your measurements.
A free screening can help you to learn more about our custom splints service or get fitted for a custom splint.
Contact us today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.