How does a Compression Elbow Sleeve Work?

Compression elbow sleeves and their variations, the body sleeves, calf sleeves, etc., have become common wearables with all athletes. To the layman, these sleeves can look like any other fashion accessory or sportswear but that’s not the case. Athletes wear it for protection against a problem called Tendonitis, commonly known as tennis elbow. The term tennis elbow is a misnomer as this condition can affect all places of the body where tendons are put under great strain but the elbow area is most prone to this problem. Surgery and rest are the only cures for this problem, which affects all athletes; the compression elbow sleeve may not cure Tendonitis but it does something else, which is as vital as a cure. In this article, we’ll take a look at what this sleeve does.

The Straight Facts Regarding a Compression Elbow Sleeve

Increases Blood Flow

When muscles are strained and wrung out to their maximum capacity, they get fatigued. When they are fatigued, they pull more nutrients and oxygen from the blood, leaving other parts of the body in their vicinity, very vulnerable. When athletes exercise, their muscles are constantly working and becoming strained. The compression elbow sleeve constricts the blood vessels, thereby forcing the heart to pump more blood with more force to that part. This increased blood flow and force of blood makes sure that the tendons and elbow joint gets its fair share of nutrients and oxygen from it, which otherwise would have been hogged by the strained muscles of the arm.

Compresses Muscle Tissues

An example of a compression elbow sleeve.

The elbow sleeve clamps the muscle tissues tightly, which prevents the muscles from becoming overly strained to the point of pain. This is not to be confused with constriction of muscles – constriction hampers function but compression only prevents over exertion of muscles. This is essential because during hardcore exercise, the players can easily over do it with their competitiveness and adrenaline and end up straining their muscles to the point of injury. The elbow sleeve prevents this kind of muscle strain and saves athletes from serious muscle and tendon injuries.


The elbow sleeves can also assist athletes in the muscle recovery process. When athletes are coming back from an injury layoff, they need to take extra care of their muscles and tendons, which still may not be up to desired fitness standards. The sleeves forms a protective cover and helps prevent strain, new injuries and minimize aggravation of existing injuries. In fact, most athletes use the sleeves for these very purposes. Most of them carry small nagging injuries and the sleeves help prevent those nagging injuries from exploding into major injuries.

Regulates Temperature and Energy

The compression elbow sleeve is made out of breathable, stretchable material and it delivers an unforeseen benefit to the players. The elbow sleeve maintains optimal body temperature and helps reduce excessive sweating in the area. The body loses a lot of energy due to sweating but with the compression sleeve, players are able to conserve this excess energy and use it more productively during exercise. If you see an athlete wearing an elbow sleeve, you now know why!