Posts Tagged ‘tennis elbow’

Use The Thera-Band FlexBar

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

A Thera-Band Flexbar is a physiotherapy tool that is used to improve grip strength and as a remedial device for treating painful wrist or elbow injuries. The FlexBar is made from dry natural rubber and is 12”long with ridges along its surface so that it can be gripped securely. It provides resistance at difference levels of force and can be used in a number of ways whether bending it, twisting it or using it with an oscillating movement.

The big deal about using a Thera-Band FlexBar is that it provides you with the eccentric portion of your resistance training. Eccentric exercise is the part of weight training that involves the lowering of the weight and with the FlexBar, the effectiveness comes not so much from bending the bar or twisting the bar but controlling its return to its original position.

There are currently 4 different Thera-Ban FlexBars available: the Yellow FlexBar (1 3/8” diameter) takes 6 lb of force to bend, the Red Flexbar (1-1/2”) takes 10 lbs, the Green Flexbar (1-3/4”) takes 15 lbs and the Blue Flexbar (2”) takes 25 lbs. The level of force you require and therefore the color you buy will depend on your stage of rehabilitation as well as your body type.

It is possible to buy all 4 Thera-Band FlexBars or, if you only need a specific level of force you can buy the size that you need. Select one of the FlexBars to get more details and information on how to buy.

Buy A Thera Band FlexBar

6lbs force
1-3/8″ in diameter

10 lbs force
1-1/2″ in diameter

15 lbs force
1-3/4″ in diameter

25 lbs force
2″ in diameter

Thera-Band FlexBars available for sale

The Features and Uses of the Thera-Band FlexBar

  • Improves grip strength and upper extremity strength
  • Wrist, forearm, and hand rehabilitation
  • Upper extremity stabilization
  • Neuromuscular re-education
  • Massage therapy
  • Martial arts
  • Sports grip strengthening
  • Allows oscillation movements for neuromuscular and balance training
  • Provides soft tissue and joint mobilization
  • Used in Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Sport and Fitness

Recently a study was done by researchers at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City to develop an effective treatment for chronic tennis elbow. What resulted was an exercise now termed the “Tyler Twist”, after Dr Timothy Tyler, that was found to be an effective treatment for the condition. (You can read the New York Times article here).

Using the Thera-Band FlexBar as the exercise tool to treat what was previously a debilitating condition means that for less than $20 and a consistent exercise regimen, the pain of chronic lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) could be reduced.

The following video explains how the Thera-Band FlexBar is used in the Tyler Twist exercise for the treatment of tennis elbow.

Inevitably the question about the possibility of whether the FlexBar could be used to treat other types of injuries was raised. Golfers Elbow is a condition that is also known as ‘medial epicondylitis’ and the pain occurs on the inside of the elbow as opposed to the outside with tennis elbow.

An exercise known as the “Reverse Tyler Twist” was invented and is being researched to ascertain whether the same relief can be achieved as has been found with the Tyler Twist exercise.

Here is a demonstration of how the Reverse Tyler Twist exercise is performed.

Buy a Thera-Band FlexBar here.

Consumer Reviews


Good product. I’m using it to heal tennis elbow and it is a big help. Make sure, however, you select the right tension for your intended use. For tennis elbow therapy you pre-twist the bar and then release the twist with your hurt arm. The blue bar is very stiff and challenging to twist. It would likely be painful for a moderate to severe case of tennis elbow. I suggest the red or green bar for tennis elbow. For strength building by bending the bar, the blue is challenging but fine. For reference I am a 48 year old male, 6’3″, in good shape, who plays competitive tennis 5 times a week.

Use the Thera-Band flexbar as directed for “tennis elbow” and you should get relief as did I. Had to dig deep to find out the recommended regimen is 15 reps, three times a day. I bought both the red and the green bars, and found that either would work just fine–don’t need both.

I purchased this brand and model to compare against the Cando twist-n-bend, which is a very similar product. The Thera-Band Company makes quality products and some of them are designed for very fit individuals. However, the Flexbar heavy model is not a product for a person of even moderate strength. It is far to easy to twist and bend this model to get a decent workout. The Flexbar heavy, medium, and light models are better suited for people going through rehabilitation, those that lack upper body strength, and teenagers whose muscles have not fully developed. Although the material ingredients are a little bit better quality than the Cando twist-n-bend, the Cando extra heavy model, which Thera-band does not have a similar model, is designed for strong athletes, martial artists, boxer, wrestlers, bouncers and many others. The Cando model is also cheaper.

I tried the soft (red) bar somewhere for twisting motion and liked it but it was too soft for me. I purchased the meduim stiffness one and after trying it a few times for twisting motion I gave up using it. The twisting motion creates too much friction on palm of my hands and after a few minutes my skin starts burning. Now I only use it for flexing which works better without skin irritation. However, the flexing motion range is rather small and starts too easily and ends too hard. It is just a small range of motion that the resistance is just right. This is a problem with all spring-like devices as opposed to dead weight resistance. So, not a total loss but not as good as I thought it would be.


The Thera-Band flexbar is supposed to be the magic cure for tennis elbow, but I saw limited progress doing the exercise described on several sites. Others I know personally say it helped them though. Either way, I found the red bar to be too little resistance and changed to the blue. I’m guessing the green is right for most people.

Read more consumer reviews here.

Do You Play Tennis

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Tennis elbow is an excruciating condition – that is a fact! This injury of the arm is also referred to as lateral epicondylitis and it affects many tennis players either professionals or those who only play for fun. Then again, you do not need to pick up a racket and play tennis in order for you to get afflicted by this condition. In all actuality, this can be acquired by performing the little things that you usually take for granted. For example, if you fancy carpentry, the toll that you put in your hands every single day of the week can contribute to the development of tennis elbow.

There are also several factors that could cause this arm injury. If your job happen to involve spending long hours in front of a computer, you are also likely to acquire this troubling disorder. Some of the tennis elbow symptoms that you need to be aware of are weakened grip, tenderness and inflammation along your dominant arm and that extreme unending pain you experience every time you make use of your arm.

In order to address that nagging pain along your elbow and the rest of your arm, there are a handful of home solutions that you can try. One tennis elbow treatment involves applying ice over the swollen parts of your arm. Just remember never to put ice directly on your bare skin since doing so can do more harm than good. If you have an ice pack then the better, if not, then you can make a little improvisation. You can place the ice cubes on a plastic bag that you put your groceries in or maybe a thin piece of towel.

Apply the ice pack along your injured arm for at least three to five times per day. If you do this as advised, you will surely see a huge drop on the swelling. Not only that, this will also help immensely in reducing the pain. Why not try it out!

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