This week, we take a moment to review the Armaid Self Therapy Tool for Arms and Elbows.
Item: Armaid Self Therapy Tool
Price: $69.95 USD
Over the years I have tried countless self-massage and trigger point products. Take a quick look at some of the pictures above and below and you can see I have almost everything imaginable. From The Stick, Theracane, to lacrosse balls, trigger point tools and just about everything else. You name it I have either had it, purchased it, or tried it.
Each of these products works in varying degrees depending on what part of the body you are working on. However the areas I have found I have never been able to work myself are my arms, particularly my forearms.
Yes, I have tried using a lacrosse ball, but lying on the ground or placing my arm on a desk often meant I spent more time chasing the ball across the room than I did getting any sufficient relief.
Then last year things started to get worse. I was writing several 5,000-word essays for University, which meant I was spending hours each day at my desk typing. It was enough that I began to get severe shooting pains down my left arm. I tried a variety of methods and tools to alleviate the pain, even saw several different masseuses but nothing worked.
What I needed was an intense deep tissue massage but the strength I required seemed impossible to find. So for a long time I adopted my own version of a Thai massage technique. I would lie on the ground and at the end of a long day of writing I would have Emma stand on my forearms and get her to dig her heels up and down my arm. She would literally put her whole bodyweight on me and after 10 minutes the pain would be gone. It was our own method of trigger point therapy and it worked. Yet the problem was if I missed a night of her specialty foot massage the next day I would begin to get those shooting pains again and asking her to do it everyday just became a little tedious.
I began reading recommendations online and discovered that my problem may have stemmed from my computer setup. So I decided to toss out my very pretty Apple Wireless Keyboard and purchase an ergonomic one. Although I did not stop there: I also went out and got a wrist rest for my mouse and a Logitech trackball, deciding from then on I would work with two mice. When I started to notice pain in my left arm, I could switch to using the trackball on my right. Call me crazy but the pain was so bad I was willing to do whatever I could to prevent those shooting pains from coming back.
After purchasing all this new equipment I thought I was set, but after a few days the pain was back. That is not to say my new setup didn’t work. I could now sit and type for longer periods before the pain would hit but the fact was it was not gone.
Once again I began the process of evaluating other possible factors and solutions to remedy the issue. It was then it dawned on me, with all my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, kettlebell work, muscle-ups, butterfly pull-ups, cleans, jerks and snatches, I was creating enormous stress and tension on my fingers and arms and doing little to help alleviate it. Sure I made it a habit to foam-roll on my legs after a heavy session or a run, but there was little if anytime I worked on my arms unless I was in pain. Yet the reason I never worked on my arms is the fact they are just too difficult to do yourself. As I mentioned I had tried the lacrosse ball and even went to the extent of rolling a barbell up and down my arm but I simply found those techniques too cumbersome and just impractical (for me anyway).
Then one day I stumbled across a video from Kelly Starrett (KStarr) who reviewed a product called Armaid. When I first saw the video the device looked more like a torture tool than a form of pain relief, although KStarr seemed pretty impressed with it. In his words he said, “We are not a big fan of kind of junky stretching mobilizing devices… and on the first look this thing looks really silly but then we started playing with it and it’s miraculous!”
As I have mentioned countless times on this site I’m a huge fan of KStarr and the work he does on Mobility WOD. So after hearing his recommendation and checking out the device on the Armaid website, I got in contact with Terry Cross. Terry is the owner and creator of the Armaid and he was kind enough to send me one to review.
When the device arrived I have to say I was skeptical this would work. However, after taking it out of the box within seconds I discovered why KStarr said the Armaid is “Miraculous.”
As you can see from the video (we attached it below) you strap the Aramid to your leg and it has an adjustable lever that you move depending on your arm size. You place your arm through the two levers and use your other hand to close it. Depending how hard you squeeze is how much force and intensity you transfer to your arms. Now I will say I was told several times (including in the instructions) to take it easy at first. But I was so excited to finally be able to hit every part of my forearm I sat there for a good 30-minutes rolling my arm back and forth, letting out frequent “oohs” and “ahhs” every time I found a tight spot. When I was done I took my arm out and it felt like jelly. All the tightness and tension disappeared, but best of all there was no sign of any pain!
That was at the beginning of March and since then I have been using the Armaid every few days. If I do a CrossFit WOD, spend all day typing, or have a Jiu-Jitsu session and begin to feel my arms tighten, I spend 5 or 10-mintues working with the Armaid. It’s that regular maintenance which has meant I have not had a single day of shooting pain since receiving the Armaid. It has only been two months since I received the Armaid but I can honestly say the pain is now gone!
I was so happy with the Armaid I contacted Terry to tell him about the results. It was then he set me a challenge. He asked me if I could, “please find someone who has had the gnarliest, most painful, long standing elbow tendonitis and give them an Armaid” and see what results they get. Always up for a challenge and also curious to see if my positive experience translated to others, I accepted.
I began to asked around and soon enough found a candidate in my Jiu-Jitsu instructor Thiago Braga. Jiu-Jitsu can be a very grip intensive sport and he had been suffering some pain in his elbow and forearms for over a year. I gave him the Armaid and after only two days he told me that not only had it relived his issues but it was best massage tool he had ever used.
Now I know how people can be, you give them something to test, they tell you how great it is and the next thing you know it’s collecting dust somewhere in a closet. Although when I began to see Thiago showing up to every class with the Armaid in hand, then spending a few minutes at the end of each class using it, it became evident it was not just me who saw the benefits of the Armaid.
So after a long introduction now to the review:
· At $99.95 the Armaid is one of the more expensive self-massage devices in my repertoire of tools. However, after spending over $200 on masseuses that did nothing to help alleviate my pain, I think the Armaid is worth every cent. (I should note there is a package whereby you could purchase the Armaid for $69.95)
· To use the device you have to strap it to your leg. This is something some people may find prevents them from using it as often as they should. It is not an issue I experienced although I could see how some may find this a little cumbersome. You can purchase the Armaid without the leg strap from $69.95 but I think for it to really work strapping it your the leg is almost a necessity.
· The Armaid is designed so you can interchange the lever with three different types of rollers. In order to do that there is a small white attachment tab that helps lock and unlock the rollers in place. There were a few times this tab fell out and I could see how this may be lost. If you do lose it Armaid does sell a pack of a two for $4.95, so by no means is this a deal breaker. A possible solution may be to ship all future Armaid’s with two tabs in case you lose one.
· When I changed out the firm rolling balls to the optional foam roller with three heads, I did notice some small black granular pieces of foam began to shed off the heads when using it on my arm. They were small enough I just dusted them off my pants when I stood up. It did not affect the performance of the Armaid but is something that should be noted. I mention this to Terry and he did offer to send out a replacement “as we would for any customer,” but it was so minor I did not bother.
· I was warned several times to be careful about how much force I used when first using the Armaid. However, I brushed that aside and went straight in as hard and deep as I could. So there were several mornings I woke up with a sore arm. Yet this is something that should be blamed more on my own bravado then anything to do with the Armaid. Though it is something first time users should be aware of i.e take it easy at first.
· The swivel head means you can target your biceps, triceps and forearms from almost every angle.
· The interchangeable rollers and lever means you can tailor your Armaid to your own specific requirements.
· Armaid is 100% made and manufactured inside the USA. Armaid has 16 different manufacturers that make 52 separate parts all inside the US. Those parts are then shipped to Maine where it is assembled and sent out to the world. So when they say it is 100% made, manufactured and assembled in the U.S.A, they mean it!
· Constructed from 30% glass fibre and reinforced polypropylene means it is pretty much indestructible. I have been using this for a few months now and can attest to how durable it is.
· 100% replacement of any broken parts free of any shipping cost.
· 30-day money back guarantee.
· Easy to use
· If there are any problems you know Terry is the kind of guy who will go out of his way to ensure he either fixes it or makes sure you are satisfied.
· IT WORKS!
This is by far the best massage tool I have ever used. I loved it so much I had to restrain myself from giving an outlandishly glorified review. However I will admit the caveat to this is the fact I did have forearm pain prior to using the Armaid. In saying that since the Armaid fixed my issue, I have been using it every few days for regular maintenance and it’s does a phenomenal job of relieving any tension or tightness.
If you suffer from RSI, sore elbows or painful hands, fingers or forearms, then my advice is give this a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed. I believe in the Armaid so much it is the first time we here at The Rx Review have ever given a perfect score.
To find out more on Armaid click here.
It should be noted The Rx Review was provided two Armaid’s free of charge for the purpose of this Armaid review.