A Newly Designed Tennis Elbow Orthosis With a Traditional Tennis Elbow Strap in Patients With Lateral Epicondylitis




Background: Lateral epicondylitis is a common cause of pain and upper limb dysfunction. The use of counterforce straps for treatment of lateral epicondylitis is widespread. This kind of orthosis can be modified to have a greater effect on relieving pain by reducing tension on the origin of the extensor pronator muscles. Objectives: To determine the immediate effects of a newly designed orthosis on pain and grip strength in patients with lateral epicondylitis. Materials and Methods: Twelve participants (six men and six women) were recruited (mean age = 41±6.7 years) and evaluated for pain and grip strength in three sessions. A 48-hour break was taken between each session. The first session was without any orthosis, the second session was with the new modified tennis elbow orthosis, and the third session was with a conventional tennis elbow strap. Results: Both counterforce straps were effective. However, significantly more improvement was observed in pain and grip strength after using the newly modified orthosis (P < 0.05). Conclusions: The newly designed strap reduces pain more effectively and improves grip strength by causing greater localized pressure on two regions with different force applications (two component vectors versus one).