Physical Therapy for Tennis Elbow Moberly MO
Osteopath (DO), Physical Therapist
Outpatient Physical Therapy
Physical Therapists Lend a Hand to Patients with Tennis Elbow
"Put 'er there, pardner!" With that phrase comes a hand-crushing handshake grip. For the patient with tennis elbow, it also comes with a jolt of elbow pain.
Relief may be close at hand. A study done by doctors and physical therapists compared two forms of treatment for tennis elbow. This condition is also called lateral epicondylitis. Lateral means outside, so all patients had pain along the outside of the elbow.
Group one received wrist manipulation twice a week for up to nine sessions over six weeks. The manipulation was stopped if the painful symptoms went away. Group two had a more traditional physical therapy program with ultrasound, massage, stretching, and strengthening. The same number of sessions was allowed. Both groups were treated by physical therapists.
Results were measured after six weeks using patients' own view of their overall progress. Patients could rate their results on a scale from "complete recovery" to "much worse." Pain, grip force, and activity level were also noted.
The group receiving the wrist manipulation had the better success rate (62 percent compared to 20 percent in the therapy group). Pain in the wrist manipulation group was also much less. All other measures were equal.
The small number of patients (28 total between the two groups) makes this a pilot study. This means they are testing out the idea to see if it's worth studying in greater depth. The researchers think the results can be used now to guide treatment. Th...
Physical Therapy for Tennis Elbow: What Works Best?
Physical therapists often treat patients with tennis elbow, known as lateral epicondylitis. Finding the best treatment for this problem is a goal among therapists. In this study, physical therapy researchers report on the use of two treatments for patients with tennis elbow.
In one group, just the elbow was treated with ultrasound, massage, stretching, or joint mobilization. In a second group, patients received treatment of the elbow and manual therapy for the neck. Manual therapy of the neck included passive joint motion and muscle energy techniques.
The therapists report equal results for both groups. The added manual therapy of the neck did not seem to make a difference in patients' final outcomes. However, patients getting treatment to the neck and elbow had fewer visits.
This is the first long-term study of its kind. This type of study looks at current treatment practices and finds the most effective treatment method. Physical therapy helps tennis elbow in about 80 percent of all cases. Treatment with manual therapy to the neck may be more efficient.
Joshua A. Cleland, DPT, OCS, et al. Effectiveness of Manual Physical Therapy to the Cervical Spine in the Management of Lateral Epicondylalgia: A Retrospective Analysis. In Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. November 2004. Vol. 34. No. 11. Pp. 713-724.