When it comes to tennis elbow, a common overuse injury, some treatments are more effective than others.
The E5 Fiix Elbow device from Stā Active is a new therapeutic solution for tennis elbow. Another popular way to relieve pain is through percussion therapy. Both interventions are non-invasive and non-drug, and can be conveniently used at home. But their ultimate efficacy is different. So, which is better for tennis elbow, the Fiix Elbow or percussion?
Professionally Designed Protocol
An FDA Registered Medical Device, the Fiix Elbow was developed by physical therapists to automate and maximize accessibility to a proven clinical procedure known as instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM).
Historically, physical therapists, chiropractors, and acupuncturists administer IASTM manually using a stainless-steel tool to deliver deep, repetitive strokes to the forearm tendon, thereby applying controlled microtrauma. This process breaks down scar tissue, releases adhesions, stimulates circulation and promotes collagen synthesis to decrease pain and encourage healing at the cellular level.
The Fiix Elbow enables people to replicate this treatment conveniently and easily at home. Individuals simply strap the device onto their forearm for 10 minutes per day, three days per week for eight weeks while the steel massage elements automatically treat the injured tendon. In addition, the Fiix Elbow protocol includes physical therapist-prescribed stretching and strengthening exercises to improve forearm flexibility and strength.
Because the Fiix Elbow is specifically designed to promote healing and functional restoration of the injured tendon in tennis elbow, it has proven to be quite successful. Trials have shown that 96 percent of users experienced reduced pain, with an 85 percent increase in grip strength and a 76 percent improvement in functional activities.
Addressing a Symptom, Not the Cause
Percussion therapy involves delivering quick bursts of pressure into muscles and soft tissues using a massage gun with an oscillating head that touches the skin and come off of it very quickly – as much as 40 times per second. The depth of pressure and the speed of the bursts are adjustable.
Percussion devices (link to What’s a Percussion Device and What Exactly Does It Do? page when posted) work because the rapid frequency of the pulses actually interrupts the pain signals sent by the nerves to the brain. In addition, the repetitive pulsing helps release tension in the muscles.
This treatment also breaks down adhesions and scar tissue, as well as stimulates circulation of blood and lymph to increase delivery of oxygen and nutrients and facilitate removal of waste and lactic acid.
Limited research on the effectiveness of percussion therapy shows that it can provide short-term pain relief. However, regarding tennis elbow, percussion therapy only addresses a symptom – pain – and not the cause of the injury, which is damage to the tendon. As a result, it’s not a viable stand-alone therapy option for tennis elbow.
Therefore, the Fiix Elbow is better than percussion for effective tennis elbow treatment.