The effect of tennis elbow brace on pain and muscle activity for patient with lateral epicondylitis

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The effect of tennis elbow brace on pain and muscle activity for patient with lateral epicondylitis


Author: Yip, Chiu-tai
Title: The effect of tennis elbow brace on pain and muscle activity for patient with lateral epicondylitis
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2006
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Tennis elbow -- Treatment
Elbow -- Protection
Orthopedic braces
Department: Dept. of Health Technology and Informatics
Pages: xi, 76 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) was one of the commonest overuse traumatic disorders affecting the upper limb. The painful elbow prevented people from performing forceful grip, forearm rotation and affected their daily living tasks. The tennis elbow brace had been considered a commonly non-invasive form of treatment using alone or adjunct with other treatments. Different researchers proposed different mechanisms on how the tennis elbow brace help to relief the symptoms. Some of the studies showed that tennis elbow brace was effective in improving the elbow pain and in increase the grip force produced. Some other studies showed that the tennis elbow brace had no effect on force production and pain control. Rare study in the past considered or standardized the magnitude of counterforce provided. Only few recent studies had investigated the effect of the magnitude of counterforce or pressure provided by the brace on pain control and tension reduction during passive stretching of the extensor muscles. The purposes of this study were to investigate the effect of different application pressures (0mmHg, 40mmHg & 70mmHg or = 0kPa, 5.3kPa & 9.3kPa respectively) of tennis elbow brace on the pain control, pain free handgrip force and extensor muscle activity for tennis elbow patients under different sub-maximal isometric grip levels. Surface Electromyography (EMG) data were collected to investigate the effect of tennis elbow brace on the forearm extensor muscles for both affected side and normal side. Sixteen patients with unilateral lateral epicondylitis were recruited in this study.
The results showed that the EMG activity of normal arm was significantly increased with higher application pressures at 20% and 50% sub-maximal grip levels (p <0.05). The EMG activity of the affected arm showed no significant different when comparing among the three application pressures at 50% sub-maximal grip level and pain free handgrip level. The pain free handgrip was found significant higher (p <0.05) with 9.3kPa application pressure for affected arm than the other two pressures. The pain level at the 50% of sub-maximal grip level was found significant lower (p< 0.05) with 9.3kPa application pressure for affected arm than with 0kPa pressure. In conclusion, the tennis elbow brace application pressure would affect the effectiveness of this treatment. It was an effective method in improving the lateral epicondylitis elbow pain at sub-maximal grip level with 9.3kPa application pressure. The tennis elbow brace had shown to alter the muscle activity at 50% or lower sub-maximal isometric grip force in this study. Further studies were warranted on the long-term treatment effect of the tennis elbow brace on patient with chronic lateral epicondylitis.

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