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Therabody RecoveryPulse Arm Review

If you’ve seen me around a pickleball court anytime recently, you will notice I wear a compression sleeve on my right arm.  A legacy from years of throwing a cricket ball and playing tennis: my sleeve seems to minimise the pain during activity and afterwards.  When my elbow gets particularly sore, a trip to the plunge pool in the spa or an ice pack normally does the trick, as part of a rehab programme.  When planning for the English Open,  I couldn’t find a local David Lloyd with a plunge for recovery. And I probably didn’t have time to get there anyway. 

Therabody RecoveryPulse Arm packaging

Outside of asking hotel reception for a bucket of ice and dumping in the sink in the bathroom, I was a bit short of options. After some research, I decided to invest in the RecoveryPulse Arm from Therabody, the makers of the Theragun. It’s a supercharged compression sleeve that featured three recovery modalities.  Compression, vibration and far infrared therapy.  

Contents: RecoveryPulse Arm sleeve, laundry bag, rechargeable battery, USB-C cable

The compression is your standard tight sleeve but a very high quality version with decent weight.  The vibration comes from a series of eleven motors built into the sleeve at the forearm/elbow, bicep and tricep, with a removable battery pack.  It comes with USB-C charging cable, a netting laundry/carry bag and a battery pack with. 45 minute run time. The final aspect is the Germanium infused thread in the sleeve that works in reflecting back far infrared waves to aid recovery.  It’s the same technology that Under Armour used in its Tom Brady Recovery clothing/nightwear that in theory reflects heat energy back into the body to aid recovery.

It’s vital to buy the correct size sleeve as incorrect sizing massively reduces the benefits of compression. I purchased a medium sleeve and I’m definitely between sizes: I pull up a little further and roll up the cuffs.  It does let me adjust where the motors sit a bit though. I’d recommend going small if between sizes. 

Sleeve correctly fitted to arm

How do you use it? It’s pretty simple: pull the sleeve up from the larger opening to the joining of your arm to the shoulder.  Put the battery (once charged) into the slot on the sleeve with the Therabody logo facing up. Then hold the Therabody logo on the battery slot for a couple of seconds to start the vibrations.  There are three modes: low, high and wave. 

Battery pod in use

Low mode is recommended by Therabody for general recovery and pain relief, high for warm up/activation or post activity recovery and wave for general wellness/relaxation. I found that the high mode worked best for my personal recovery. What’s great is that you can tweak your fit, your modes and do what works for you.  As it’s worn, rather than held, you can go about your day with it on. 

Forearm outside vibrators

The key part of any review is does it work: now it’s always hard to say for sure on these things with placebo effects, training/play loads and an inability to truly isolate any impacts with a single test subject.  What I can confirm is that any elbow pain from competing hard over a four day event was substantially below what I expected.  It’s also impossible to attribute that to any specific function or feature.  

Forearm inner vibrators

I was reticent to purchase the sleeves at first as £129 is not a small amount of money for a recovery device. If you compare to a physio at £75 for half an hour, it’s less than two sessions. So value for money is good and there’s a thirty day trial period so relatively risk free. 

Upper arm vibrators

There is also a calf version available if you get tight calves and there is also a wide range of massage guns, compression inflatables, rollers, cups and other therapy devices from Therabody. 

In summary, I can heartily recommend it from my own experience. Therabody is certainly a brand that everything I’ve had experience of works. Their massage guns are class leading, the rollers seem to work well and the RecoveryPulse Arm certainly worked for me. 

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