Research News on Tennis Elbow
Khan et al in the Physician and Sports Medicine Journal (2000) remind us that “tendinitis” is a misleading term for this degenerative condition (tendinopathy) associated with overuse of the wrist extensor muscle group.
- ELBOW ORTHOSES: A June 2009 research report published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sport Physical Therapy (Jafarian, Demeh and Tyson) concludes that “the use of elbow orthoses (strap and sleeve) resulted in an immediate increase in pain-free grip strength of 52 subjects with lateral epicondylosis.” Wrist splints provided no relief and no significant difference was found between the strap and the sleeve design.
- ECCENTRIC EXERCISES: Timothy F. Tyler PT, ATC, Research Associate et al at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma in New York studied a small sample of subjects with lateral epicondylosis. The mean improvement in pain scores was 81% for those in the eccentric exercise group. Strength deficits in the same group dropped from 30% to12% and disability scores were 12% for the eccentric group versus 72% for those receiving “standard” physical therapy care. (AOSSM 2009)
- PHYSIOTHERAPY: Bisset et al (2006 BMJ) investigated the short and long-term effects of physiotherapy intervention, cortisone injection, and no intervention, in the management of lateral epicondylitis (“tennis elbow”) of at least six weeks duration. Corticosteroid injection showed significantly better effects at six weeks but with high recurrence rates thereafter (47/65 of successes subsequently regressed) and significantly poorer outcomes in the long term compared with physiotherapy. Physiotherapy was superior to “wait and see” in the short term (6 weeks); no difference was seen at 52 weeks, when most participants in both groups reported a successful outcome.
At Corona Station Physical Therapy, our physiotherapists are dedicated to evidence based patient care, we provide elbow orthoses, teach patients about joint and tendon unloading, provide manual therapy and appropriate strengthening (including eccentric exercises) and address other contributing factors, such as elbow and wrist biomechanical dysfunction and cervical influences. For more information, please contact us at the clinic by phone or email and ask to speak to one of our physiotherapists.