An elbow sleeve will provide compression and warmth over a broad area of your elbow and forearm and will help treat muscle soreness and tiredness. It is also useful in the treatment of mild elbow strains as well as bursitis (e.g. olecranon bursitis). However, it will not provide the precise or adjustable compression that some prefer for treatment of tennis or golfers elbow. This type of elbow brace is generally more economical than an elbow sleeve with strap but is also somewhat less versatile.
Elbow sleeves made from neoprene are particularly effective at retaining body heat and using it to help keep your muscles, ligaments and tendons warm. This will in turn make them more supple and stretchable and will reduce the risk of overstretching, tearing, rupturing or other incidents that could cause a sprain or strain. Although we should all ensure that we are properly warmed up before starting any strenuous activity, we are not always able to do this. An elbow sleeve will compensate for those times when we have to commence our activity before we have had a chance to properly warm up.
The compression from an elbow sleeve can also be effective at promoting optimal blood circulation and keeping muscles from prematurely becoming sore and tired.You will find it easier to keep performing at your best level for longer.
One potential disadvantage of an elbow sleeve is the fact that it can be more difficult to put on or remove than an elbow strap (particularly one with a Velcro attachment, for example). This is particularly true in the case of individuals with compromised manual strength and/or dexterity.