Does effectiveness of exercise therapy and mobilisation techniques offer guidance for the treatment of lateral and medial epicondylitis? A systematic review.
Lateral epicondylitis (LE) is a common cause of elbow pain, affecting 1-3% of the population while medial epicondylitis (ME) is not as common. The term ‘epicondylitis’ was used initially because it was assumed both LE and ME were due to tendon inflammation and partial rupture. However, histological studies showed that the process was more degenerative in nature rather and epicondylitis is now thought to be more due to incomplete repair of repetitive microtraumata. With this change in etiology, new therapeutic modalities were considered for LE and ME treatment and the study authors attempted to determine the effectiveness of exercise and mobilization techniques for LE and ME treatment.
Initial literature search revealed 232 articles and using the inclusion criteria, 13 articles were selected, all reporting on interventions for LE and none for ME. The authors found moderate evidence for short-term effect of stretching and strengthening exercises and for short-term and mid-term effect of cervical and thoracic spine manipulation as add-on to wrist stretching and mobilization. They suggested that the short-term analgesic effect of manipulation allowed the patient to exercise and stretch more vigorously, thus allowing better and faster recovery of LE with resultant decreased pain and improved function in the mid-term. > From: Hoogvliet et al., Br J Sports Med 47 (2013) 1112-1119. All rights reserved to BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
The Pubmed summary of the article can be found here.
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