BLUE HILL, Maine — For Terry M. Cross, it was a moment of bliss, like you’d get from a really good massage.
The New England Sports Network showed Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price. The left-hander was in Boston’s dugout during the seventh inning of Boston’s 3-2 win over Tampa Bay on March 31 using Cross’s invention — the Armaid.
Looking vaguely like a nutcracker, the physical therapy device has four therapy attachments, including balls and rollers, through which Price ran the forearm, wrist and fingers of his pitching arm. The massage tool mystified Red Sox announcer Jerry Remy.
“They got all kinds of gadgets now,” Remy told his audience. “What do you think that’s doing?”
Cross, who manufactures the Armaid at his home in Blue Hill, was happy to explain.
“David was using it to relieve his tight thumb muscles and tendons into the thumb and his hand,” the 65-year-old sports injury massage therapist said.
The Armaid is a self-massaging device that Cross designed a few years ago after a sobering realization. In the early 2000s, the now-65-year-old realized that he was suffering from tendonitis after decades of giving massages, and that he needed to self-administer his own treatment.
That’s what the Armaid offers, Cross said: self-massage that reduces the strains caused by overuse of muscles through repetitive strain, such as throwing a baseball. The Armaid can be used to stretch and massage the tendons that run through the wrist.
Cross has sold more than 30,000 Armaids since beginning his company in 2008. More than a dozen Major League Baseball teams use it, including the Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Miami Marlins, San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners, Cross said.
More than 70 different kinds of athletes, including rock climbers, crossfitters and tennis players, also keep themselves in shape with the Armaid, Cross said.
Price said his injury during his start against the New York Yankees on Wednesday night came from insufficient warmup, not his wrist problems.
Cross said he liked seeing the Armaid pop up on NESN.
“To have a professional ballplayer actually be on TV and have the commentator say, ‘Hey, what the heck is that he’s doing?’ was like a dream come true,” Cross said.
“And I didn’t have to pay for it.”
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