Hinged Elbow Brace
Hinged elbow braces are categorized as a moderate to maximum level of support. Most people would not wear a hinged elbow brace as a precaution or for prevention of an elbow injury because these braces tend to be a larger and more expensive. However, if you are someone who has already experienced an elbow injury and are recovering, a hinged brace is a great way to protect the elbow joint from further injury.
What is a Hinged Elbow Brace?
A hinged elbow brace is a fully supportive fitted brace that is used to control the range of motion in the elbow joint. Hinged on either side are designed to stop the elbow once it reaches 0 degrees and prevent is from moving back more and injuring the joint. Some braces also provide crossing straps that help with later/medial movement.
Depending on the type of brace, some will also offer thermal support. This means that the heat associated with the material wrapped around the elbow joint leads o increased circulation. When there is more blood flow through a joint it leads to quicker recoveries.
Who would benefit from a hinged elbow brace?
A hinged elbow brace offers maximum support and protection to the soft tissue in your elbow joint. This means some braces will be a bit bulkier then a typical elbow sleeve or strap. This type of brace is most commonly used by someone who has already had an injury occur.
Someone who suffers from chronic elbow injuries would benefit from a hinged elbow brace to help prevent the elbow joint from moving into the risky positions that have injured it in the past.
The main feature of a hinged brace is to prevent the elbow joint from moving into hyperextension. This is when the elbow bends backwards beyond its normal range of motion. This motion can be damaging to ligaments, bones and muscles within the joint. This type of injury is common in contact sports like football and martial arts as well as gymnastics. So anyone who has experienced an elbow injury similar wanting to return to sport but not 100% healed should consider some reinforcement by wearing a hinged elbow brace.
If you have suffered from an elbow injury that requires surgery, then a post-op elbow brace is highly recommended. After surgery these braces are worn to protect and limit the range of motion in the elbow. This allows the elbow to heel quicker therefore allowing the athlete to return to sport sooner.
Lastly, specific hinged elbow braces can be used to reduce valgus overload stress. This is the stress associated with repeated forceful overhead motions. Baseball pitchers, tennis players, and volleyball players are common athletes who would benefit from an overload brace.
Here are 4 top hinged braces:
Breg HEX Hinged Elbow Brace
This is a great option for athletes competing in high intensity activities who have suffered from an elbow injury. The HEX brace will prevent hyperextension and support your elbow joint through a normal range of motion. For comfort the brace is made of half neoprene and half Airmech material to allow for breathability. Another feature includes a padded elbow for protection. This brace would work for any athlete working with one of these conditions: chronic elbow injuries, elbow hyperextension, elbow tendonitis, post-elbow dislocations, minor lateral epicondylitis (a.k.a. tennis elbow) and ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (a.k.a. Tommy John surgery.
Thermoskin Hinged Elbow Support
The Thermoskin hinged elbow brace is an inexpensive brace used for treatment and rehabilitation of elbow injuries. It contains hinges on both sides that prevent the joint from moving past 0 degrees into hyperextension. This brace also contains crossing straps that limit motion and rotation. It has the added feature of heat therapy to speed up recovery. Reviews show this brace can withstand high activity levels and salt water conditions.
Ossur Innovator X PostOp Elbow Brace
Ossur is one of the leading brands for producing high quality braces required for post-operation. They use proven technologies to design a brace with maximum protection for patient satisfaction. There are multiple aspects to this brace. First off is the hinged brace that is easily adjustable and will limit range of motion. Second is the optional arm bar to prevent anti-supination/ pronation movements. Both the brace and the added arm strap are padded for comfort and to help prevent the brace from migrating.
If you are someone who has recently had elbow reconstruction, ligament and tendon repairs, surgical repair of a fracture and biceps repair this is a highly recommended post-op brace.
DLX Post-Op Elbow Brace
Very similar brace to the Ossur PostOp brace but sold for a slightly lower price. The hinged brace provides a one touch button that can finely adjust the degree you wish to have your elbow stopped at. The brace can be adjusted as the lower and upper arm which offers a great fir for all sizes of arms. This brace is very comfortable with washable lined padding.