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Pain in your forearm during sports or a hard workout? You might be experiencing an extremely common injury among athletes known as tennis elbow.
Here at MassageGunAdvice.com, we’ve explained the benefits of using your massage gun for a variety of ailments – but can you use a massage gun for tennis elbow?
Of course you can!
But before you get too excited, make sure you have all the best tips and tricks to get the most out of your massage gun.
Keep reading to learn about tennis elbow (and golfer’s elbow), the do’s and don’ts of using your massage gun, and our expert device recommendations for treating your elbow pain.
- Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow
- Will A Massage Gun Help Tennis Elbow?
- The Best Massage Gun for Tennis Elbow (and Golfer’s)
- Theragun for Tennis Elbow – Worth Using?
- Massage Gun for Tennis Elbow – Conclusion
Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow
The technical names for tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are lateral epicondylalgia and medial epicondylalgia, respectively. Lucky for us, these injuries are not nearly as complicated as they sound.
Both of these terms simply describe persistent pain that is present at the outer (lateral) or inner (medial) bony borders of the elbow, which are called epicondyles. In some cases, swelling or inflammation may also be present at the elbow 1.
Both tennis and golfer’s elbow are fairly common injuries, occurring either due to repetitive stress (sometimes called “overuse”) or deconditioning of the muscles at the elbow joint.
When this happens, the tendons connecting the muscles to the elbow joint become sensitized and painful.
Tennis and Golfer’s elbow can occur suddenly, but most people notice slow development over the course of a few weeks or months 2.
Tennis and Golfer’s elbow are named after sports with high rates of elbow injury, but you may develop these injuries during any sport or workout routine. In fact, even office workers without any history of sports or exercise may develop a form of these injuries 3.
Will A Massage Gun Help Tennis Elbow?
While tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow can be tricky to eliminate, you can use your massage gun for tennis elbow to help reduce pain and stiffness.
Massage is a time-tested method to reduce pain and improve circulation to the tissues of the elbow, and percussive therapy massage devices (massage guns) are shown to have similar effects to a traditional massage 4.
Here’s our recommended massage gun routine for treating tennis and golfer’s elbow:
- Start by picking your massage gun attachment. For your first try we recommend the standard ball, but you may need a special soft attachment if the area is highly sensitive.
- Next, pick your massage gun intensity. We recommend lower intensity to start, gradually building up based on your response from the first session.
- Now you can work on massaging the muscles around your elbow. We recommend thirty seconds on the front and back of your forearm, and thirty seconds on the front and back of your arm (2 minutes total).
- Finally, you might spend another thirty seconds working directly around the injury site. Be very careful and avoid massaging directly over the bone. In most cases, we recommend a soft attachment when working directly over a sensitive area.
Need help? You can check out the full video walkthrough here.
While massage can be very effective for treating tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow, it’s only part of the puzzle. In most cases, stretching or strengthening exercises should be performed regularly to help the injured tendons heal properly.
For best results, we recommend consulting with your physiotherapist to determine the best treatment plan for your elbow pain.
When shopping around for a tennis elbow massage gun, it’s especially important to choose a device that fits your specific needs. Ideally, you’ll want a device that’s delicate enough to address your elbow pain while also being versatile enough for use on other areas of the body.
The Best Massage Gun for Tennis Elbow (and Golfer’s)
We’ve tested a lot of massage guns, and no two guns are the same. Luckily, there are a few devices that stand out as top choices for treating your tennis or golfer’s elbow.
Ekrin B37S – Best Overall
Put simply, the B37S is an excellent device. In fact, we voted it the best massage gun of 2022 over scores of other great devices and we have no regrets.
The B37S comes with a 12mm amplitude (amplitude is the amount of distance traveled by the head during each hit), which is perfect for this job because it’s not too “punchy” or vibrational.
This device also comes with a stall force of 57 lbs, putting it on-par with Theragun PRO, making it very versatile for use on other areas of the body. The Ekrin B37S also has a wide RPM range of 2000-3000, making it ideal for both low and high-intensity massage jobs.
We think the B37S is the best massage gun for tennis elbow for a few reasons:
- The included device attachments are perfect for working on your tennis or golfer’s elbow, including a soft/squishy ball head that is great to start with. It also comes with a bullet head for more targeted and aggressive treatment.
- Ekrin devices are built with awesome quality in mind, and they come backed with a lifetime warranty. Who can beat that?
With the MGA20 promo code, you get 20% discount – get it for $263.99 instead of $329.99. Save $66 bucks when you buy it at Ekrin Athletics store.
Read More Check out our hands-on Ekrin B37S review for more details.
Achedaway Pro – Also Great (but Different)
The Achedaway Pro is frequently featured in our top recommendations, and for good reason. After all, this company has the words “pain” and “away” in their name!
This device is seriously powerful, clocking in at 16mm of amplitude and 80 lbs of stall force, directly matching the performance of Theragun PRO at a much lower price. For this reason, it’s a popular choice for treating patients in clinics for chiropractors and physiotherapists.
The Achedaway Pro revs up to 2800 RPM – less than the Ekrin B37S, but still very impressive for such a high-amplitude device (for comparison, Theraguns “only” do 2450rpm).
This device comes with excellent attachments, including two metal attachments (flat head and bullet) that will likely get lots of use. It also comes with a soft, bouncy attachment for those working on a more sensitive or painful area.
Overall, the Achedaway Pro is a great massage gun for golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow. It comes with a 2-year warranty which is not as great as Ekrin, but pretty good per massage gun standards (1-year).
Achedaway Pro normally costs $299 with one battery, or $369 with two batteries, but our readers get $50 discount. Use the MGA50 code when buying at achedaway.com and get $50 off.
Read More Check out our full Achedaway Pro review for more informations.
Opove M3 Pro 2 – Budget, but Good
Opove has created a nice alternative option with the M3 Pro 2, and it’s definitely a great choice for those who can’t afford top devices from Ekrin or Achedaway.
The M3 Pro 2 offers an amplitude of 12mm – not as high as Achedaway, but still matching Ekrin in the “sweet spot” to address most areas of the body.
This device comes with a stall force of 40 lbs, and while this is clearly lower than Ekrin or Achedaway, it’s still pretty good for treating tennis or golfer’s elbow.
The M3 Pro 2 has a speed of 2600 RPM, bringing it close to Achedaway’s 2800 but still very far from Ekrin’s 3200. The ergonomics of the M3 Pro 2 are slightly lacking, using the basic T-shaped design.
However, the device is well made, and the materials are good, so it’s not a deal-breaker for us.
This device is surprisingly quiet and well-equipped with attachments – including a soft head for more sensitive body parts.
The M3 Pro is an affordable option, but the warranty is 1-year, which is so-so compared to Achedaway’s 2-year and Ekrin’s lifetime warranty. On the other hand, most Theraguns and Hypervolts are also backed with a 1-year warranty.
The M3 Pro currently retails for $119 – down from the regular $199 (introductory price). Get it at opove.com.
Read More Our hands-on Opove M3 Pro review.
Theragun for Tennis Elbow – Worth Using?
Using a Theragun for your tennis or golfer’s elbow is a great idea, and we think Theragun devices are a great option for almost any job.
However, there are a few things you should keep in mind across the board when choosing Theragun.
First, Theragun makes high-amplitude guns. Like the Achedaway pro, these devices have 16mm of amplitude and feel “punchy” during use.
Second, Theragun devices are loud when compared to similar devices from competitors in 2022. For example, the Achedaway Pro will be quieter than Theragun models while offering similar performance.
Note Theragun is working on this noise issue and has just released the Theragun PRO 5G which is quieter than all previous versions. While this is definitely an improvement, we think the device still sounds harsher compared to the Achedaway Pro.
But there are several advantages to splurging on a Theragun…
Attachment offerings from Theragun are excellent, especially with higher-end models like the Elite and PRO. There is a nice selection of attachments in the Theragun store that can be purchased for $20-$30 each, including the SuperSoft attachment which is excellent for managing painful body areas.
Most Theragun models offer moderate stall force, and even the mini (their cheapest model) should be powerful enough for working on the muscles of your forearm effectively.
Most Theragun models have a triangle-shaped design, offering comfortable ergonomics that reduce wrist strain. Theragun also offers an app with guided routines for different problems and body areas, which can be visualized on the OLED screen of the new Theragun PRO 5G.
Other than that, Theragun devices are massage guns like any other with very similar features.
But which Theragun for tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow?
In our opinion, all Theragun models will do a good job at working on your elbow pain. The main difference between models is their stall force: the mini has 20 lbs, the Prime 30 lbs, the Elite 40 lbs, and the PRO 60 lbs.
If money is an issue, we think the entry-level Prime will be enough for most people. However, stepping up to the Elite model will get you access to more stall force and a better selection of attachments for more versatility.
The new Theragun 5G PRO is going to be great for just about any job, especially now that the device is quieter with step-by-step instructions displayed on the screen.
Will the mini work as tennis or golfer’s elbow massage gun? Yes, most definitely. The amplitude is great (12mm), and you won’t need to think about stall force when massaging your elbow pain away. You’ll want to just glide it over over the muscle.
That said, it isn’t the most versatile Theragun, and it won’t work for larger muscles groups as good as the Prime, Elite or Pro. It’s also not as well equipped as the full-scale models.
Do we recommend Theragun for tennis elbow?
Yes we do! And of course, we also recommend Theragun for golfer’s elbow! Keep in mind that these devices are expensive, but you definitely won’t regret your purchase.
Still, we think that devices from Ekrin and Achedway offer better value because they are half the price with similar features and better warranties.
Our Theragun Reviews:
- Theragun Prime Review
- Theragun Elite Review
- Theragun mini
- Theragun Prime vs Elite vs Pro vs mini (an all-inclusive comparison)
Massage Gun for Tennis Elbow – Conclusion
We hope that this article answers many of the questions around using a massage gun for tennis elbow and gives you an idea of what devices are best for getting the job done right.
We know that tennis and golfer’s elbow can be hard to manage, but having the right massage gun for the job is a great way to keep yourself in the game!
If you’ve used your massage gun for tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, we want to hear about it! Drop a comment below with any tips or tricks you have, or your favorite massage gun devices!
You can also send us a message with any questions you may have about massage guns.
- 1.Ma KL, Wang HQ. Management of Lateral Epicondylitis: A Narrative Literature Review. Pain Research and Management. Published online May 5, 2020:1-9. doi:10.1155/2020/6965381
- 2.Lenoir H, Mares O, Carlier Y. Management of lateral epicondylitis. Orthopaedics & Traumatology: Surgery & Research. Published online December 2019:S241-S246. doi:10.1016/j.otsr.2019.09.004
- 3.Johns N, Shridhar V. Lateral epicondylitis: Current concepts. Aust J Gen Pract. Published online November 1, 2020:707-709. doi:10.31128/ajgp-07-20-5519
- 4.Konrad A, Glashüttner C, Reiner M, Bernsteiner D, Tilp M. The Acute Effects of a Percussive Massage Treatment with a Hypervolt Device on Plantar Flexor Muscles’ Range of Motion and Performance. J Sports Sci Med. 2020;19(4):690-694. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33239942
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