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A forearm injury can not only cause pain and discomfort, but it can also impact an individual’s mobility. As such, treating these ailments with a proper forearm brace is especially important. The effectiveness of a forearm brace is usually dependent on the nature of the injury. Other considerations like pain control and arm movement capability should also be considered when choosing an efficient medical treatment.
When an individual sustains injury to the forearm, whether due to a sudden accident or another longer-term wear-and-tear condition, many medical professionals will recommend a forearm brace. An orthopedic brace is a device made of either soft or hard material that is placed on a limb to help correct an injury. As it relates to the forearm, this device usually fits over the portion of the arm between the elbow and the hand — the forearm — but in some cases it may cover the elbow and even the entire arm. The best type of forearm brace often depends upon the nature and extent of the initial injury.
In some muscle or tendon inflammatory conditions like tennis elbow, one may wish to maintain the ability to move the arm in a reasonable fashion. Physical movement may help increase the flow of blood to the injured areas and thus promote tissue healing. Therefore, a compression brace may provide the best means of forearm support. These braces are usually sleeves that wrap around the arm and provide protection for connective muscles and tissues. They can reduce swelling as well by pressurizing and blocking fluid buildup in the area. The brace is typically made of soft, pliable materials and covers less of the arm so that movement is not restricted.
Other injuries like broken bones or sprains may necessitate forearm immobilization, and such injuries may require that arm movements be restricted to prevent further damage and to encourage healing. Hinged braces that cover and connect the upper arm to the lower arm may prove more therapeutic in these cases. Different degrees of braces focus on different injuries and movement restriction. For example, a hyperextension brace prevents the elbow joint from bending abnormally and causing more injury while an overload forearm brace combats the harmful force caused by motions that certain athletes may endure, such as throwing. Maximum immobilization is achieved through the forearm splint: a tough, mostly inflexible device that extends up the wrist and is commonly made of elastics, plastic, or fiberglass.
Various models of forearm brace contain additional materials that may also prove beneficial. Many brands are made of thin material and contain easily applied Velcro® straps for convenience of use. In addition, forearm braces can hold air or adjustable magnets to provide an extra means of elbow support and to reduce pain. Gel packs and other temperature-controlled features can also help with pain. If aesthetics are a concern, a wide array of colors and designs are available for forearm braces. As with any medical issue, all potential treatments should be discussed with a certified medical professional.
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