A recent article that appeared on the New York Times blog revealed the “secrets” of a new treatment that should make those who suffer from tennis elbow very happy.

For many people who play racquet sports, tennis elbow has been the bane of their existence. This painful – and in many cases chronic – condition is characterized by pain and inflammation, typically in the area of the upper arm near the elbow. It a classic overuse injury and one that has been really tough to treat.

For years athletic trainers and physical therapists, along with their patients, have struggled to contend with tennis elbow. Even though the condition is associated with tennis, those who have never come within a country mile of a tennis court, or a racquet of any kind, have suffered the pain and discomfort experienced by the racquet toting crowd.

The treatments are varied and range from acupuncture to surgery, but the only thing these treatments have in common is their limited success. So anyway, a group of researchers from the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma at Lennox Hill Hospital in New York City have developed a cheap and effective way of treating tennis elbow.

It’s a simple series of exercises using eccentric contractions (when the muscle lengthens as it tenses) and an 8-inch rubber bar. The researchers at Lennox Hill Hospital had such phenomenal success with this series of exercises that they stopped the study early, as subjects were improving as early as three weeks into the treatment, showing increased strength and decreased pain. The best thing about this tennis elbow protocol is that you don’t have to be a doctor, physical therapist or athletic trainer in order to perform this series of exercises. If you are a tennis elbow sufferer you need to check out the story on the New York Times blog.


  1. There’s an app for that (if you have an iPhone) called iTennisElbow. Don’t know if it’s the same exercises as these and I don’t know how good it is but it might be worth a try. A tennis buddy who has tennis elbow swears by it though (although he’s not as good as me at tennis!). http://tinyurl.com/itenniselbow

  2. Great post. The “rubber bar” that they are referring too is called a Flexbar.
    I just found a site that offers more information on the Flexbar with a video on how to use it…Tennis Elbow Flexbar
    Game, Set and Match


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