the flexbars - do they really work???

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by jimanuel12, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Another great stretch that mimics the Flexbar

    If you're on court and don't feel like bringing your Flexbar with you :)... simply do this exercise which basically imitates a portion of the Flexbar's stretching action...


    Right arm TE example:

    Hold your right arm straight out in front of you (palm down) - be certain arm is straight and not bent.
    With the opposite hand grab your middle finger and stretch it downward... curling your wrist and finger under.
    Stretch your middle finger toward your arm (as the wrist is is in flexion)

    You should be able to feel the stretch in the "TE tendon" that attaches to the elbow area. As you work with it... you'll be able to focus directly on stretching that muscle/tendon.


    It works great if you feel tightness or twinges in your elbow while playing a match.
     
  2. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I think I get your drift, I'll give it a shot.
     
  3. tennytive

    tennytive Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for that link. I ordered the green and it arrived yesterday. I'm glad to see how substantial it is, I was afraid it might be too spongy.

    Maybe I'm twisting too much, but when I try the exercises, it stretches my wrist quite a bit as well. Maybe that's good?

    Ah, I just noticed Bud's post. Maybe that's what I'm doing. Will back off a little and hope that helps.
     
  4. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    week 5 with the flex bar, so far so good.
    played this past saturday for the first time in 6 months,
    arm is a little swollen, but iced it down and now it is better.
    took it easy on saturday, scheduled to play this wednesday and will see how it goes.
    the flex bar really has helped.
     
  5. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    So you guys recommend using the flexbar before playing to warmup and also right after playing to stretch out the tendon?
     
  6. mark999

    mark999 Rookie

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    another good stretch for the tendon is to hold both arms out straight in front of you with palms facing out. cross your hands with the left hand on top. link fingers together. use left hand to pull right hand towards you. you will feel the forearm muscle and tendon stretch. this assumes the right arm needs the stretching, reverse for left handed people or if you want to stretch both arms.
     
  7. sidzej

    sidzej Rookie

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    ChezUno, I am sure they are available in the UK. Just google Thera Band Flexbar using google.co.uk and you will find a few online stores. You can also get in touch with Thera Band UK directly.
     
  8. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    i played last week and no arm pain at all!!!!!!!!
    finally, my arm feels much better, thanks to the flex bar and the exercises.
    and i used my beloved fischer racket.
    i tried the kennex 5G but it hurt my arm, i was very disappointed in it.
    i am a fischer fan for life!!!!

    still doing the exercises with the flexbar also and the stretching exercises as well every day.
     
  9. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    That's great news! My wife has stopped using it after 4 weeks and had no pain after a light 1 hour lesson last weekend. Of course I strung her racquet with TF TGV at 44 lbs which might have helped. She said its like hitting the ball with a pillow.
     
  10. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    I've been using the FlexBar religiously for over 4 months now and it's enabled me to play as much tennis as I want without TE problem. However, the problem's been replaced with a minor triceps muscle problem on my playing arm. Nothing serious, but it takes longer to warm that part of the muscle up before I can play uninhibited, and also it feels more sore afterward at home. I can't really say it's caused by using the FlexBar. I might have had a minor tear in it coincidentally after I started using the FlexBar and it's just taking longer to heal.

    But I just thought I'd throw it out here to see if there might be a pattern going on with others.

    I'd still definitely trade a little muscle soreness than tendon pain in the elbow. At least the muscles heal more easily.
     
  11. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    severl weeks now with the flexbar, and it has really helped my bad case of TE.
    played several times this year with little or no arm pain, what a relief.
    the arm is still not what is used to be before the TE, it may never be the same, but at least i can play.
    still using the flexbar, will continue to use it until the arm is 100% pain free after a match.
    but, those things really seem to work.
    also switched to a fischer arm fiendly racket, that may have helped also, i am sure it did.
     
  12. sidzej

    sidzej Rookie

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    Same here. Since I am using flexbar, I can play 2-3 times a week with no pain so far. I have a lot of matches coming up in April/May/June - let's see if it helps me to get to July tournament break without pain. I hope it will.
     
  13. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    My elbow continues to slowly get better as I keep playing 3 times a week. I'm trying to get a buddy of mine on the flexbar program who has just recently developed GE.
     
  14. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    glad to hear that you are improving. i am also, thanks to the flexbar and the stretching exercises and the arm friendly fischer racket.
    i don't if after you have had a bad bad case of TE, if your arm is ever the same again.
    anyone who has had TE really bad --- does your arm ever really heal back to what it once was? or does it always hurt a little after playing for several games or a long match?
    jsut wondering.
     
  15. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    I had it so bad I couldn't lift a glass of water for a month or play tennis for 9 months. I didn't touch a racquet until it went away completely and was able to use a PDGT with reckless abandon soon afterwards. Now I have almost a year of intense tennis under my belt after my recovery and no hints whatsoever of elbow pain. I did outgrow the PDGT and now use the arm friendly PSLGT. I often put in 3 or more hours a day, 4 or more days a week, and spend a lot of time on intensive drills or playing against two people, and my hitting elbow is the same as my tossing elbow.

    Hopefully that brings a ray of hope for you!
     
  16. mark999

    mark999 Rookie

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    i can presently use the green flexbar with absolutely no pain, but i still have a tender elbow after playing (only hitting against the wall at present). i've done numerous exercises over the winter strengthening the elbow, forearm, and wrist, but it's still not completely healed. any suggestions on what to try next.
     
  17. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    i played last week for several hours, a long match, the first time in a long time.
    the arm was a little sore afterwards, but iced it down and rested the arm.
    went back to the flexbar after a couple of days and now the arm is much better.
    it does not feel 100% healed even after a 9 month lay off but it is improving. i would say about 90-95%.
    will it ever be the same after a mean case of tennis elbow????
     
  18. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I can do the flexbars the night after I play in the morning. I won't do it after an evening match though. Is your elbow too sore for that many days that you can't use the flexbar? Sprained my knee last weekend, so now my elbow will get some more time to heal. :(
     
  19. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

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    I had a bad case of TE last year that under my physician's and physical therapist's advice had to stop playing for a few months. A year later, TE is completely gone.

    So, yes, there is the possibility for you to heal completely. Each case however is different. Hopefully, yours is the kind that also heals completely with no lasting or recurring effects.

    r,
    eagle
     
  20. sidzej

    sidzej Rookie

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    I am currently playing 3-4 times a week, using flexbar each day 3 times and I managed to play 3 league matches in the last week. Two of them were 3 sets matches (2+ hours each) and except general muscle tiredness I felt no pain in my elbow (I played with full nat gut or hybrid of gut and syn gut). However, in the 2 set match I played with nat gut/poly hybrid and I started to feel my elbow again (this match was first in the sequence of my 3 matches, hence overuse is out of question). That was for me a definitive good-buy to all (even soft)
    co-polys (even if used only in crosses with gut in mains). I like to feel of gut/co-poly hybrid, but I decided to try to go through 2010 season without TE problems. I had enough of it last year and don't want to get back. Gut is expensive, but it is well worth it.
     
  21. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    no, it is just sore after a match. i usually wait until the next day or maybe 2 then i start with the flexbar again.
     
  22. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Why not use it every night you don't play a match?
     
  23. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    i do use it every nite when i don't play a match.
    i guess i did not explain myself very well.
    i use it every day, 2-3 times a day. after a match, i wait until the arm is rested, then start again.
    it has made a world of difference, at least i can play now.
    last year, i could not pick up a cup of coffee for a month after i first hurt the arm.
    it has been a long painful experience, one i will never forget.
    i have learned my lesson on the light weight, heavy head rackets.
    i did not realize that the hammers are really beginner rackets, too light.
    but man, they have got the power!!!!
     
  24. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The previous post made me think you waited a day or two after each match until you used it again. It's hard to remember how bad my elbow hurt 6 months ago and for that I'm glad!
     
  25. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    I wonder if complete recovery is possible if you start to play before there is no pain at all. I didn't actually play tennis until a month or two after I noticed the pain was completely gone. Instead of tennis I spent a lot of time hiking, cross country skiing and mountain biking (for some reason aggressive mountain biking didn't bother my elbow at all) plus I did muscle toning exercises in the gym.

    My point is, if that last bit doesn't go away with light tennis, maybe you could explore another fun sport that keeps your mind off those fuzzy balls for a month or two?
     
  26. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    jimanuel12,

    I got your e-mail but I think my response is best put in this thread. You were asking if you returned to tennis too soon, even after a long long lay off. It's hard to say whether to take the KenC approach or keep playing. For my case, I've been able to keep playing for several months now with little pain. A few shots every match still hurt but the pain goes away quickly. I hurt my knee last weekend, so that is going to allow my elbow to get some further rest. Right now, there is almost zero pain in my elbow since I have not played in almost a week.
     
  27. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    i guess the main thing is, that i love to play, and i lost almost all of last year. due to the weather here, we can play about 7 months (tops) out of the year.
    i am not sure that even if i stayed out for another year, the arm would get any better. due to my computer work, that may also added to my elbow problems.
    but as long as the pain is not too bad, i am going to play.
    i can rest it again this winter, and if the pain does not go away 100% by then, i may see my doctor and have some tests run and go from there.
    i may have hurt it so bad, it may never heal on it's own but surgery will be a last resort.
    but thanks for the information, i appreicate it.
     
  28. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Can you afford ultrasound and electrostimulation therapy? Mine was $40 per session. That is what got me back on the court. I used to think of chiropractors as witch doctors, but so many people recommended one in our area that I gave in and tried it. Had I not tried to come back too soon, I think about 3 appointments per week for a month would have completely gotten rid of my elbow pain. It does not take away the pain right away, but each session probably makes it 5-10% better.
     
  29. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    i meant to add that i have been doing the ultrasound and electrostimulation therapy since october and i can see a remarkable improvement. about once per month most of the time.
    i still continue to do this along with the flexbar and stretching exercises.
    all seem to help but the arm is not back to 100% yet.
    close but not 100%.
    maybe sooner or later it will be 100% -- i hope so.
     
  30. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I'd fork out the money and try to go 3 times a week for the next couple of weeks. Combine that with the flexbar and I think you'll be close to good by mid May when the weather is about perfect up there.
     
  31. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    I understand your desire to play. If I hurt my elbow now I would go insane if I couldn't play for a few months. I recently had surgery on my dominant hand for trigger finger and lost more than 3 weeks and was bouncing off the walls waiting to get back on the courts.

    I would suggest playing against partners who don't hit hard and take it easy and work up gradually to a harder level if you want to play now. I would also suggest sacrificing the racquet and strings before your elbow, meaning using an arm friendly, flexible racquet ( IIRC you are using a Fisher, so that's perfectly fine) and then string it up with VS Tonic at the lowest tension possible.

    The other thing I learned when I had TE was the connection between the forearm muscles and the tendons that anchor them to the bone can't exceed a certain force. IOW, the minute your muscles can't control and absorb the impact it will stretch the tendon and pull harder on the bone. This makes doing some strength building exercises for the forearm muscles very interesting. I imagine exercises that revolve around pronation and supranation could be helpful, but a sports medicine doc would know better.

    My full recovery makes me think you can too. I was involved in other sports that required use of my elbow and probably strengthened it up quite a bit before I got back into tennis. TE is a repetitive stress injury, so engaging in other activities that work the forearm muscles probably helps a lot.
     
  32. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

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    My TE started with forearm pain. After a few days of foream ache and playing through it, it escalated to TE.

    Onset of TE is different for each person but above is how it happened to me.

    Yes, you can recover completely and be 100% healed. I'm proof of that. No more TE pain whatsoever.

    I however am careful and and always mindful of how I hit the ball, strings and tension I use, and play frequency to prevent a recurrence.

    r,
    eagle
     
  33. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    While strong forearm muscles won't absolutely guarantee you'll avoid tennis elbow, it does make it much less likely. Dumbell wrist curls/reverse/pronation/supination exercises, hand gripper use, triceps pull downs, and the flexbar seem like relatively wimpy exercises compared to the heavy lifting some on this site do. But because the wrists are essentially locked for most heavy lifting, the forearm muscles while stressed somewhat, do not go through a full range of motion.

    Same problem for the shoulder - hence the need for the thrower's ten: www.asmi.org/SportsMed/media/thrower10.swf
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2010
  34. Slazenger07

    Slazenger07 Banned

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    wrist rollers...great exercise for the forearms, the pump is get from those is fantastic.
     
  35. Slazenger07

    Slazenger07 Banned

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    Believe me when I tell you it sucks hard........Im using penetrex cream right now to try and cure mine, we'll see what happens.
     

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