Author(s): MarcAndr Blanchette, Martin C Normand
Objectives: To investigate changes in muscular activity and strength of subjects diagnosed with lateral epicondylitis (LE). To assess the appropriateness of these measures in the patient’s follow-up. Methods: Twenty-four subjects (11 men and 13 women) with LE, were evaluated at baseline and after 5 weeks of an experimental treatment. Measurements included: the (1) pain-free grip (PFG), (2) maximal isometric strength, (3) surface electromyography (EMG) of forearm muscle (healthy and affected), (4) a visual analogue scale (VAS), and (5) the Patient Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation (PRTEE) (Canadian-French version). Results: All subjects showed improvement in VAS and PRTEE. The maximal isometric strength during flexion and extension of the wrist and the EMG analysis failed to discriminate the affected from the healthy elbow during the initial assessment. Only the PFG measured with the elbow in extension could discriminate elbows with LE from the healthy ones. Conclusions: The use of the PFG with the elbow in extension seems to be the most indicated strength measurement to monitor the recovery of patients with LE. The EMG acquisition protocol used in this research was not adequate to monitor effectively the recovery of LE.