August 13, 2020

Safely treat tennis elbow at home

During a pandemic, trying to treat your tennis elbow can be challenging. The massive impact of the coronavirus pandemic worldwide has led to many changes in healthcare. People are now perceived as potential threats to one’s health, offices have suffered staff reductions and telehealth has replaced some in-person doctor visits.

For on-site medical appointments, face masks are mandated, COVID-19 symptom screenings are conducted and capacity is limited. Some people now are reluctant to visit a physician’s office or hospital for exams and tests for fear of possible virus exposure.

However, medical care should not be put off indefinitely, as lack of treatment over time can lead to worsening issues. While some conditions may benefit from telehealth sessions, others require meeting in-person with medical and allied health professionals.

Given the ongoing concerns about visiting doctor’s offices and healthcare settings, how can people safely manage painful conditions?  

Tennis elbow overview

Take tennis elbow, for instance, which is estimated to impact 6.5 million to 9.5 million people annually in the United States, typically aged 40-60. It does not just afflict those who play racquet sports, but affects people who perform repetitive motions with their forearms and wrists, like golfers, fitness enthusiasts, DIY-ers, musicians, gamers and construction and manufacturing workers.  

This overuse injury typically starts gradually with pain at the outside of the elbow and forearm, but can worsen over time as tendons in the forearm become inflamed or tear. Symptoms include a dull ache, sharp pain when using the forearm and wrist, stiffness at the elbow, weak grip strength and numbness or tingling in the fingers.

Initial recommended treatment is rest, ice and pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, which may provide short-term relief. Other over-the-counter options include straps, compression braces, cryosleeves and elbow splints, which can temporarily mask symptoms.

Physical therapists can oversee a regimen of strengthening and stretching exercises, combined with manual therapy such as instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM). Healthcare professionals also can administer ultrasound, TENS/EMS and acupuncture to alleviate pain, but these treatments must be ongoing to be most effective, and they’re not done at home. Injections of steroids and platelet-rich plasma are used as well, but are costly, and offer varying durations of effectiveness.

A last resort is surgery, which involves detaching parts of the forearm muscles or separating and destroying the nerves that transmit pain signals. This invasive procedure is followed by a rehabilitation program.

Ultimately, tennis elbow sufferers are left with over-the-counter tools that don’t ultimately cure their condition; ongoing and time-consuming in-office therapies with healthcare providers; expensive injections that may not deliver lasting results; or surgery, which generally is only warranted in five percent of cases.

New at-home tennis elbow treatment

Now available, the new E5 tendonitis recovery device from Stā Active solves many of the challenges that frustrate those seeking relief from tennis elbow, especially amidst a global pandemic. Unlike anything available today, this unique product automates IASTM by delivering concentrated, repetitive linear strokes that break down adhesions and scar tissue to provide pain relief and promote functional restoration at home.

Benefits of the E5 include:

  1. Effective – IASTM is a research-backed, clinically proven therapeutic process used for years in healthcare settings.
  2. Convenient – At-home treatment can be performed anytime, anywhere with this wearable, lightweight, portable device. No need for appointments or juggling schedules with a medical office, and no insurance paperwork.
  3. Simple and safe – Non-invasive, drug-free regimen is 10 minutes, 3 times per week for 8 weeks, and no visits to busy professional healthcare settings.
  4. Long-term value – Pay for the device and use it over time if necessary, as flare-ups sometimes occur with tennis elbow. No insurance deductibles, co-pays, prescriptions or recurring expenses.
  5. Risk-free – With a 90-day money-back guarantee, the E5 fosters patient confidence and satisfaction.

Nate Stier MPT, LAT

Owner of Orthopedic & Sports Rehab Physical Therapy Clinics. Former Director of Rehabilitation for the Minnesota Vikings and Graduate of the Mayo School of Health and Sciences.



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