New Small Business Delivers COVID-Friendly Self-Care by Bringing Physical Therapy into Homes to Alleviate Pain
Minneapolis, Minn. Launching a new start-up company and contending with a global pandemic, four passionate entrepreneurs are poised to deliver treatments that typically are performed in physical therapy (PT) clinics to homes to provide relief for common painful conditions.
“With stay-at-home orders and social distancing, now there is greater interest in home solutions versus repeated visits to doctors’ offices and physical therapy clinics,” explained Tim Porth, president and co-founder of Stā Active and a co-founder of Octane Fitness.
Light Bulb Moment
Up to 10 million people in the U.S. are affected annually by tennis elbow, but less than five percent actually get it from a racquet sport. Misnamed and misunderstood, this condition, which is marked by debilitating pain, afflicts many individuals who perform repetitive motions with their arms, such as golfers, fitness enthusiasts, musicians, gamers and construction and manufacturing workers. It more accurately should be called workout elbow, gamers elbow, construction elbow, etc.
The Fiix Elbow is the brainchild of physical therapist Nate Stier, MPT, LAT, the co-owner of OSR Physical Therapy clinics in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, conceived when he was treating Porth for tennis elbow.
Stier recommended a proven clinical therapy – instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), also known as Graston Technique®, HawkGrip® or Gua Sha. But adhering to two to three appointments each week for eight to 10 weeks was virtually impossible for Porth and other busy adults who are prescribed this regimen. Additional drawbacks include health insurance restrictions, rising deductibles and co-pays; and now, due to COVID-19, operations limitations and patients’ concerns about personal safety in public settings.
Stier and OSR co-founder Rusty Wallman, MPT, ATC, knew there had to be a better way. They had previously worked with Porth on Octane’s fitness equipment designs, and the three, along with Octane Fitness co-founder Dennis Lee, combined their collective expertise to automate the IASTM process for treatment at home.
A Smart Solution
The E5 Fiix Elbow device automates IASTM by applying a deep tissue massage with repetitive linear strokes to break up scar tissue, boost circulation and repair the injured tendon. The treatment protocol is a combination of using the E5 wearable device for 10 minutes a day, three times per week, for eight weeks, along with specific exercises. It’s like having a personal, portable physical therapist – users benefit from professional-grade treatment while helping their kids with homework or enjoying a movie.
Statistical analysis by the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota of Fiix Elbow Phase 2 trials showed that 96 percent of participants reported a reduction in pain, with an 85 percent average increase in grip strength and a 76 percent improvement in functional activities using the arm.
Now available at staactive.com, the Fiix Elbow is priced at $399 and comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee.
About Stā Active
Stā Active is a new company on a mission to alleviate chronic pain. We create automated devices based on science, proven with research and validated by clinical experience to resolve pain. The company is committed to helping people treat painful conditions conveniently at home for long-term success so they can get back to doing the activities they love.