Navigating Tennis Elbow: The Role of Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization in Treatment

Navigating Tennis Elbow: The Role of Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization in Treatment

Navigating Tennis Elbow: The Role of Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization in Treatment

Tennis Elbow, or Lateral Epicondylalgia, affects approximately 3% of the population, but its far-reaching impact extends to daily activities and quality of life. This article dives into understanding the condition, the promising role of Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) in treatment, and the importance of using appropriate tools for this therapy. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Tennis Elbow is a common condition that arises from repetitive strain on elbow tendons from various activities.

  • IASTM is an effective, non-invasive therapy for Tennis Elbow, and clinicians' skill and knowledge are critical for its success.

  • Selecting the right tools, like those offered by HawkGrips, can enhance IASTM therapy's effectiveness for Tennis Elbow, ensuring precise treatment and the longevity of therapists in their practice. 

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Understanding Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow, medically referred to as Lateral Epicondylalgia, is a common condition arising from repetitive strain on elbow tendons.1

It primarily causes pain on the outer side of the elbow, often extending to the forearm and wrist. Although its name suggests an association with tennis, it can also develop from a multitude of other activities, such as squash, badminton, pickleball, weightlifting, specific manual labor jobs, and even extended computer use.

Symptoms typically begin with an ache, pain, or burning sensation along the forearm and elbow's outer side. As the causative activity continues, the pain can extend to the wrist, even during periods of rest. Further symptoms can include difficulty lifting and gripping small objects or a weakened grip.1

According to the Mayo Clinic, Tennis Elbow affects up to 3% of the population, particularly adults between 30 and 50 years of age.2

However, less than 5% of cases are related to tennis.

The Role of IASTM in Tennis Elbow Treatment

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is a non-invasive therapy for addressing Lateral Epicondylalgia. The technique relies on specialized tools employed in a systematic pattern across the impacted limb, delivering specific pressures and shear forces to the underlying tissue.3

However, the effectiveness of IASTM is not just dependent on the tools, but also on the skill and knowledge of the clinician. Proper education and training are needed to fully understand the technique, apply it accurately, and maximize its therapeutic benefits. Clinicians need to be well-versed in the varying pressures, angles, and movements to tailor the treatment to individual patient needs.

Choosing the Right Tools for IASTM Treatment

The success of IASTM therapy for Tennis Elbow hinges significantly on the use of appropriate tools. Among those recommended are the Tongue Depressor, Multi-Curve, and HGPro from HawkGrips.

Why HawkGrips? HawkGrips are renowned for their superior design and craftsmanship. Each tool features a crosshatch gripping surface that prevents slippage for more precise treatment application, enhancing the treatment's effectiveness. 


Moreover, these tools are designed to protect therapists from undue stress and strain that can occur during manual therapies, promoting longevity in their practice.

To optimize the glide of the tools and protect the skin, it's advisable to use an emollient. HawkGrips provides its emollient in both fragrance-free and vanilla options for a comfortable and soothing therapy session. 


Implementing effective Tennis Elbow treatments like IASTM can improve patients' quality of life. The choice of tools and techniques, like the ones offered by HawkGrips, can greatly influence this outcome. 


  1. Cleveland Clinic. (2023). Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis). 
  2. Mayo Clinic. (2023). Tennis elbow - Symptoms and causes. 
  3. Kim J, Sung DJ, Lee J. (2017). Therapeutic effectiveness of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization for soft tissue injury: mechanisms and practical application. 

Medical Disclaimer: The information provided on this site, including text, graphics, images, and other material are for informational purposes only and are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

About the Author: HawkGrips

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HawkGrips is the creator of the highest-quality Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) tools. Their IASTM tools are manufactured with medical grade stainless steel in the United States. They also offer HawkGrips Certification courses taught by expert clinicians with real-life experience. Whether you are new to the techniques or a seasoned practitioner looking to earn some CEUs, their certification courses are the perfect choice to elevate and expand your skill set, and your revenue.