Lateral elbow tendinopathy, generally known by the public as tennis elbow. People with this condition chiefly complain of pain on the outside of the elbow. Clinicians believe that the pain is caused by overuse movement, leading to a degeneration of tissues around the elbow. Physiotherapy is one of the treatment options for tennis elbow. And the main goal of therapy is to reduce pain and improve functions.
In 2016, Stasinopoulos conducted a randomized clinical trial, aiming at determining the most effective exercise regimen to treat tennis elbow. Participants are divided into 3 groups. 1) eccentric training; 2) eccentric-concentric training; 3) eccentric-concentric training with isometric training. Researchers found that combining eccentric-concentric training with isometric contraction produced the largest effect in the reduction of pain and improvement of function at the end of treatment session (week 4) and at follow up (week 8).
Recommended Exercise for Tennis Elbow
Patient starts by positioning the elbow on the bed in full extension, palm facing the ground and bend the wrist as high as possible (extension). Your hand should be hanging over the edge of the bed. The exercise starts with a 45 seconds isometric contraction (holding the hand in the starting position), followed by a 30 seconds eccentric contraction (slowly flexing your wrist down), and then extend the wrist up to return to the starting position. Depending on each individual’s ability, this exercise can be done with or without weight. This exercise is done in 3 sets of 15 repetitions, with a minute rest in between each set. Patients are recommended to do the exercise 5 times a week for 4 weeks.
Tennis elbow is a very common work-related or sport-related disorder. At C.E.S., our therapists utilize up to date evidence, and prescribe the most effective exercises to help you return back to normal. Disclaimer: this post is not a substitution to medical advice, if you are experiencing elbow pain, feel free to consult our therapists and we are more than happy to help you.
Stasinopoulos, D., & Stasinopoulos, I. (2017). Comparison of effects of eccentric training, eccentric-concentric training, and eccentric-concentric training combined with isometric contraction in the treatment of lateral elbow tendinopathy. Journal of hand therapy, 30(1), 13-19.