Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Elbow FAQ

Question:

I work as a seamstress to make a living mostly doing clothing alterations. Lately I've been having a lot of tennis elbow. Would a splint help me?

Answer:

Splints are used to reduce pain, cushion the area, and support the weak muscles. Patients most likely to get splints for tennis elbow are women in moderate to severe pain during the early phase of the condition.

Studies don't support the use of splints. Researchers report worse results with splints. The inactivity leads to worse deconditioning. The rate of return to previous activities is the same with or without splints. The cost of treating patients wearing splints is higher, and the final outcome is no better than without splints.

Splints may help a patient remember to use the hand and forearm correctly to avoid further problems. But a splint sends the message that the arm is injured and needs to be rested. It looks like normal movement may help more to heal the injury.

V. Jane Derebery, MD, et al. The Effects of Splinting on Outcomes for Epicondylitis. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. June 2005. Vol. 86. No. 6. Pp. 1081-1088.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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