Research Abstract

Academy Title:Metz etal 2007
Research Article: A New Home Eccentric Exercise Program for Patients with Lateral Epicondylitis and its Effects
A New Home Eccentric Exercise Program for Patients with Lateral Epicondylitis and its Effects

Jennifer L. Metz, Abagail A. Ellsworth, Gregory G. Thomas, Michael P. Mullaney, Phil Page, Tim F. Tyler

Purpose/Hypothesis: Eccentric strengthening has been shown to be an effective treatment in the rehabilitation of patella tendonitis and Achilles tendonitis. Traditional rehabilitation for lateral epicondylitis, which typically does not include isolated eccentric strengthening, has mixed results with returning patients back to their previous level of function. The purpose of this study was to introduce a new home isolated eccentric exercise program in patients with lateral epicondylitis and determine its early follow up outcomes.
Number of Subjects: Nine patients with unilateral lateral epicondylitis (3 females, 6 males, mean age of 48+9).
Materials/Methods: All subjects were seen by a physical ther- apist for an initial evaluation and a plan of care was established consisting of pulsed ultrasound, cross frictional massage, isolated eccentric strengthening, and stretching. The Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) Questionnaire was administered at initial evaluation and at discharge. All patients were given a Thera-Band(R) FlexBar and instructed to perform a home exercise program which consisted of a single eccentric strengthening exercise using the FlexBar for 3 sets of 15 repetitions. Progression to a heavier resistive Flexbar was based on the absence of reported muscle burn, soreness, and pain upon completion of the exercise as conveyed by the patients.
Results: Average PRE DASH scores = 47.19, SD = +0.10 Average POST DASH scores = 62.21, SD = +0.15, (p<0.01). The DASH scores were significantly higher following treatment indicating clinical improvement. The average length of time for treatment was 10 weeks.
Conclusions: An isolated eccentric exercise program did not result in adverse outcomes or increased pain as indicated by the DASH score. The home based isolated eccentric program complimented the standard of care.
Clinical Relevance: This study introduced patients to a home based isolated eccentric strengthening program which may help promote patient independence and lower health care costs.

Hand Prints. 23(1):7

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