Tennis Elbow & Rubber Bars: Is Eccentric Exercise Best For Tendon Rehab?

Is 'Eccentric Exercise' the latest, greatest thing in Tennis Elbow treatment and rehab? Or is the “rubber bar” exercise approach just another gimmick-device fad hyped up by the “Big Blogs” lately?

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  1. "Rubber Bar" Rehab: Is Eccentric Exercise The Key To Tennis Elbow Treatment?
  2. According to a number of studies spanning decades there is certainly evidence to support the idea that Eccentric-only muscle contractions may be superior (safer and more effective) to Concentric ones when it comes to tendon rehabilitation.
  3. (An ‘Eccentric’ contraction is the controlled lengthening of a muscle against resistance, whereas a ‘Concentric’ contraction is when the muscle {often first} shortens against resistance.)
  4. Visit Tennis Elbow Classroom for a detailed article and video on Tennis Elbow and Eccentric Exercise

  5. Alot of the recent excitement about this type of exercise involves an innovative rubber bar rehab device called the "FlexBar"
  6. The buzz seems to originate from one particular study. A small, but apparently successful, study of Tennis Elbow sufferers, half of whom were using the FlexBar - The results of which have been echoed in several major news blogs:
  7. However, according to a much more comprehensive review of 11 clinical studies, all involving the treatment of tendon conditions with Eccentric Exercises, this approach has very mixed results:
  8. "Limited levels of evidence exist to suggest that EE [Eccentric Exercise] has a positive effect on clinical outcomes... [on pain, etc.] when compared to various control interventions such as Concentric Exercise..."
  9. This is certainly not to say that exercise isn't an important part of Tennis Elbow rehabilitation - it undeniably is! - OR that the FlexBar isn't useful - I'm certain it is!...
  10. Only that there seems to be more to the story about Eccentric Exercise (Is it the most important thing? Does it even really matter?) and the results seem far from conclusive.
  11. Yes. I am certainly passionate about this subject! - (and Tennis Elbow, in general.) For more see the full article on Eccentric Exercise and T.E. here
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