Can I treat Tennis Elbow with a Massage Gun? + best Massage Guns for a Tennis Elbow

Nowadays, many people suffer from epicondylitis radialis humeri, commonly known as tennis elbow. In the treatment of this, among other things, people rely on massages. Accordingly, the question often arises whether you can treat tennis elbow yourself with massage guns. I would like to answer this question as comprehensively as possible in this article.

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition.

 

Short Answer

Yes, basically a massage gun can be used very well for the treatment of tennis elbow. Massaging with the massage gun in the right places stimulates the regeneration of the muscles and loosens the muscles. Especially the latter is very important, because tennis elbow cannot heal completely if the tensions of the shoulder as well as neck muscles are not released.

Before you treat your tennis elbow with a massage gun, you should always consult your doctor. You should also consider the contraindications of a massage gun. The device may not be used in various cases. These include open wounds, osteoporosis, arterial occlusive diseases or acute illnesses.

In my opinion, the best massage gun for a tennis elbow is the Ekrin B37. It is one of the best massage guns on the market and combines an amplitude of 12 mm with a powerful motor and good operability and handling. ↳ Buy here and save 20% (Code: MGG20)

A very good tutorial on how to treat a tennis elbow with a massage gun gives you the following YouTube video from Rehab and Revive:

  1. Turn on the massage gun in a low to medium setting.
  2. Sit down and rest the affected arm on your lap.
  3. Move the massage gun slowly and without pressure from the center of the upper side of the forearm towards the elbow. Repeat this movement again and again for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Next, move the massage gun in circular motions over the affected forearm muscles (upper side) and elbow. Repeat this movement for 1-2 minutes as well. Be sure to use a gentle, slow motion.
  5. If you feel a trigger point, you can also leave the massage gun on the spot for a few seconds or massage the area with small circular movements.
  6. Next, work on the underside of the forearm. Again, you can use circular and stroking movements.
  7. Next, massage the biceps. Work both the inside and the outside of the arm.
  8. Massage the triceps for 1-2 minutes. Put your hand to the back of your head. Move the massage gun in stroking or circular movements from the triceps towards the shoulder.
  9. Have a second person massage your neck and shoulder muscles with the gun for a few minutes.

 

Long Answer

You have now briefly learned that a massage gun could very well be used to treat tennis elbow. I would now like to go into this in more detail. I will explain how tennis elbow manifests itself, what causes it and how it can be treated. I will also explain how a massage gun is used for treatment.

 

What is a Tennis Elbow, and how does it appear?

Tennis elbow (epicondylitis radialis humeri) is a painful irritation of the elbow. More precisely, it involves irritated tendon insertions of the forearm extensor. The tendon insertions are located on the outside of the humerus.

Typical symptoms of tennis elbow are mainly different types of pain.1

These can manifest themselves as follows:

  • pain that radiates to the hand or even into the upper arm
  • pressure pain when touching the outside of the elbow
  • reduced grip strength, e.g. when grasping objects
  • reduced mobility of the arm
  • possibly swelling of the elbow

 

What causes a Tennis Elbow?

The tennis elbow is caused by microtears at the tendon insertions. These, in turn, are caused by a one-sided and/or heavy load on the arm. Such movements are typical for the sport of tennis, for example. This is where the tennis elbow gets its name from.

But also in other activities that little trained forearm muscles suddenly strongly stressed, can cause tennis elbow. These include lifting heavy objects, playing musical instruments, or doing manual work.

Furthermore, tensions of the shoulder, as well as neck muscles, are often apparent in advance of the tennis elbow. If these are not released, the tennis elbow cannot heal. Due to the tension of the musculature, the tendon at the elbow is also overstretched and thus becomes so irritated in the long term that it becomes inflamed.

 

How is Tennis Elbow treated?

All treatments for tennis elbow are aimed at relieving the pain and increasing the load-bearing capacity and mobility of the forearm. In most cases, however, the affected arm is first given a break from exertion. In addition, the forearm muscles are stretched and strengthened through special exercises.

Massages are also used in the treatment of tennis elbow. Massages relieve pain, promote regeneration and ease tension.

As part of the massage or independently of it, ointments can be used to treat tennis elbow. Here, ointments with analgesic and anti-inflammatory active ingredients are used.

Normally, the tennis elbow thus disappears by itself in a few weeks to months. Only in the case that the tennis elbow does not disappear surgery is used as a last resort.2

 

So can you treat Tennis Elbow with a Massage Gun?

Yes, massage guns can be used to massage tennis elbow. However, before you grab the massager and start massaging, you should know that massage guns should not be used for certain medical conditions, among others. Thus, you should refrain from using a massage gun in the following cases:

  • Illness (fever, cold, etc.)
  • Inflammation
  • Injuries
  • Skin rashes/diseases
  • Varicose veins
  • Placental diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cancer
  • Osteoporosis
  • Acute diseases and herniated discs
  • Arterial occlusive diseases
  • Open wounds or fractures

 

What are the best Massage Guns for a Tennis Elbow?

If you don’t already have one, you should also purchase a suitable massage gun. The gun should have a low number of impacts at a low level in order to be able to gently work on the tennis elbow. At the same time, a powerful motor should be available so that it does not block so easily. A damped attachment in the scope of delivery is also recommended.

I have tested over 30 massage guns myself and can recommend the following for tennis elbow massage:

 

#1 Ekrin B37

Ekrin B37 is one of the best massage guns on the market. Accordingly, it is not a surprise that it is at the same time one of the best massagers for treating a tennis elbow. For this, it has optimal features.

On the one hand, the depth of impact is 12 mm. On the other hand, the B37 has a stall force of approx. 40 lbs. This makes it very suitable for a deep-tissue massage.

The different speed levels are also very well thought out. So they already start at a low frequency. This allows for a fairly light massage, which is also suitable for beginners. On the higher levels, on the other hand, the massage is very intense and loosens even the hardest muscles.

Furthermore, the massage gun has a rather narrow, long handle. This is not only very easy to grip but also allows massaging hard-to-reach places (e.g., the lower back).

Specifications

  • Number of Attachments: 4
  • Motor Power: not stated
  • Amplitude: 12 mm
  • Speed Levels: 5
  • RPM: 1,400 to 3,200
  • Noise (from 40 cm Distance): 47 to 64 dB
  • Weight (without Attachment): 2.13 lbs (965 g)
  • Battery Capacity: 2,500 mAH
  • Battery Life: ca. 4 to 6 h
  • Battery changeable: no

Scope of Delivery

  • 1 x Ekrin B37
  • 1 x Ball Attachment
  • 1 x Flat Head Attachment
  • 1 x Fork Attachment
  • 1 x Bullet Attachment
  • 1 x Carry Bag
  • 1 x Charger
  • 1 x Manual

Pros of the Ekrin B37

  • space-saving transportable
  • carrying bag included
  • simple operability
  • appears stable and of high quality
  • well thought-out power levels
  • 4 attachments included
  • very well processed
  • long, narrow handle
  • fair price with discount code

Cons of the Ekrin B37

  • rather high weight
  • battery not replaceable
  • no pressure sensor
  • comparatively loud on high settings

Save 20 % with my code MGG20

View on ekrinathletics.com* Read the review

#2 Ekrin Bantam

The Ekrin Bantam is the mini massage gun from Ekrin. Accordingly, it is cheaper than the other devices of the brand. But this is not its only advantage. It is also very compact and lightweight. So you can take it with you everywhere. So nothing can stop you from massaging your tennis elbow several times a day.

Although the massager is very compact, it has quite a lot of power. Specifically, a stall force of up to 35 lbs can be achieved. Also, the impact depth of 10 mm is sufficient to reach the deep tissue, although there are better models here.

The scope of delivery of the Bantam includes, among other things, a ball attachment and a fork attachment. Thus, the most important things for massaging the arms and back are delivered.

Specifications

  • Number of Attachments: 4
  • Motor Power: no information
  • Speed Levels: 3
  • RPM: 2,000 to 3,200
  • Noise (from 40 cm Distance): 53 to 63 dB
  • Weight (without Attachment): 1.08 lbs (490 g)
  • Battery Capacity: 1,600 mAH
  • Battery Life: ca. 3 to 5 h
  • Battery changeable: no

Scope of Delivery

  • 1 x Ekrin Bantam
  • 1 x Ball Attachment
  • 1 x Flat Head Attachment
  • 1 x Fork Attachment
  • 1 x Bullet Attachment
  • 1 x Carry Bag
  • 1 x USB-C Cable
  • 1 x Manual

Pros of the Ekrin Bantam

  • light and compact
  • space-saving transportable
  • easy to operate
  • very good handling
  • stable and valuable
  • well thought-out power levels
  • perfectly processed
  • powerful motor
  • deep, intensive massage
  • comes with 4 attachments
  • fair price

Cons of the Ekrin Bantam

  • battery not replaceable
  • quite loud
  • unpleasant smell on some attachments
  • only 3 power levels

Save 20 % with my code MGG20

View on ekrinathletics.com* Read the review

#3 Achedaway Pro

Like the two previously mentioned devices from Ekrin, the Achedaway Pro is also supplied with the necessary attachments for a massage. Among other things, a ball attachment, a flat head, and a fork attachment are included.

Of course, this is not the only reason the Achedaway Pro is on my best list. It is also one of the strongest massage guns on the market. Thus, it achieves a stall force of up to 80 lbs. The impact depth is 16 mm, which is an absolute top number. This ensures a particularly intensive massage of the deep tissue.

If I had to name a downside, it would primarily be the high weight. This makes transport and handling unnecessarily strenuous.

Specifications

  • Number of Attachments: 4
  • Motor Power: no information
  • Speed Levels: 5
  • RPM: 1,700 to 2,800
  • Noise (from 40 cm Distance): 52 to 71 dB
  • Weight (without Attachment): 2.63 lbs (1,194 g)
  • Battery Capacity: 3,200 mAH
  • Battery Life: ca. 2 to 4 h
  • Battery changeable: yes

Scope of Delivery

  • 1 x Achedaway Pro
  • 1 x Ball Attachment
  • 1 x Flat Head Attachment
  • 1 x Fork Attachment
  • 1 x Bullet Attachment
  • 1 x Carry Bag
  • 1 x Charger
  • 1 x Manual

Pros of the Achedaway Pro

  • space-saving transportable
  • carrying bag and pouch included
  • simple operability
  • appears stable and valuable
  • well thought-out power levels
  • 4 attachments included
  • very well processed
  • strong motor
  • good impact depth
  • exchangeable battery

Cons of the Achedaway Pro

  • very high weight
  • handle too wide
  • very loud on high levels
  • comparatively “expensive”
  • unpleasant smell at the beginning

Save $25 with my code MGG20

View on achedaway.com* Read the review

 

How do I treat Tennis Elbow with a Massage Gun?

Before massaging the tennis elbow, you should use the right attachment for the massage gun. The most suitable attachment is a particularly gentle one, i.e. the dampener or air cushion attachment. If you get used to using it after a while, you can switch to the ball attachment if necessary.

Cushion Attachment of the Mebak 3.

 

The procedure of the massage:

Step 1: Turn on the massage gun in a low to medium setting.


Step 2: Sit down and rest the affected arm on your lap.


Step 3: Move the massage gun slowly and without pressure from the center of the upper side of the forearm towards the elbow. Repeat this movement again and again for 1-2 minutes.


Step 4: Next, move the massage gun in circular motions over the affected forearm muscles (upper side) and elbow. Repeat this movement for 1-2 minutes as well. Be sure to use a gentle, slow motion.


Step 5: Next, work on the underside of the forearm. Again, you can use circular and stroking movements. Next, massage the biceps. Work both the inside and the outside of the arm.


Step 6: XXX.


Step 7: Massage the triceps for 1-2 minutes. Put your hand to the back of your head. Move the massage gun in stroking or circular movements from the triceps towards the shoulder.


Step 8: Have a second person massage your neck and shoulder muscles with the gun for a few minutes.


This routine should last 10 to 15 minutes. Treat the area slowly and carefully. If the pain is acute, you can treat the tennis elbow daily with such a massage.

If you feel a trigger point, you can also leave the massage gun on the spot for a few seconds or massage the area with small circular movements.

At this point I would like to refer to the YouTube video linked above. There, the use of a massage gun for tennis elbow is clearly explained.

You can learn more about trigger point massage (point 5) here: How can I loosen Trigger Points with a Massage Gun?

 

How do I prevent a Tennis Elbow?

Even better than treating tennis elbow is, of course, preventing it. To prevent tennis elbow from developing, you should avoid heavy, recurring one-sided strain. In addition, you should strengthen and stretch your forearm muscles even without a tennis elbow. It is also important to warm up the muscles properly before putting them under stress.

An epicondylitis brace* can also be used as an aid against the tennis elbow. This special pressure bandage relieves the muscle insertion at the elbow.

If your tennis elbow is caused by working at the computer, switching to an ergonomic mouse (vertical) can help. By using such a mouse, the hand and thus the forearm is in a better position when working at the PC so that the forearm muscles are relieved.

 

Conclusion – Can I treat Tennis Elbow with a Massage Gun?

Massage guns are considered a true miracle cure among athletes to accelerate the regeneration of muscles. But the massagers can also be used to treat tennis elbow. However, it is important to know how to use the massage gun correctly and when it is better not to use such a device. I have summarized the most important information in this article. I hope that I could help you with it!

 

References

Array
  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/175848#symptoms
  2. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/lateral-epicondylitis-tennis-elbow
Marcel

Hi, I'm Marcel! Here at massage-gun-guide.com, I review different massage guns to find the best device on the market. All the massagers I have held in my own hands, so I can always report from my own experience. In addition, I clarify all myths and questions about massage guns. More about me.

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