T Nation

Does Bracing Make Joints Weaker?

Does bracing your elbows actually make your joints and tendons more prone to injury ? Or do the muscles in your forearm get somewhat compressed, and does this lead you to be more injury-prone ?

The reason I ask is, I’ve been wearing braces on my elbows for 4 years, during every workout on the gym.(Not during bodyweight-only workouts outside.)
I always wore them because of an elbow tear, and they made the joint feel safe and warm during a workout.
However, sometimes the injury comes back.

4 months ago someone jerked my arm behind my back and the tendons have been overstretched. Now, I’ve been working back towards my previous strength, but I haven’t been using my braces the last 2 weeks(I lost them), and my elbow actually feels better. Is there any connection between the two ?


Was this an actually hard brace with hinges or just a neoprene sleeve?

Braces are similar to lifting straps.

If you deadlift with straps, your grip wont hold you back from deadlifting more, but it sure as hell wont improve your grip.

Lifting with braces will strengthen the joint for heavy movements, but wont strengthen the tendons.

IMO you should use the brace for heavier movements, but for lighter higher reps dont use it, this way the tendons will be able to be strengthened.

Have you done any rehab work for your tendons?

PS… this is just my idea, I’m far from being a doctor, though.

[quote]obatiger11 wrote:
Was this an actually hard brace with hinges or just a neoprene sleeve?[/quote]

It was a neoprene sleeve, with belts around the forearm which I could tighten or loosen.

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:

Have you done any rehab work for your tendons?


Yes, of course.

This is an injury I’ve been dealing with for years, and which sometimes comes back up again. However, this time it was caused by something else than lifting(some fuck twisting my arm behind my back), and the tendon apparantely took some serious damage.
I’ve rehabbed my way out of many injuries, but that’s the one who’s always stuck by me.

If you can recommend anything for rehab, you are very much allowed to give the advice though, I welcome it wholeheartly.