Upper limb muscle imbalance in tennis elbow: a functional and electromyographic assessment.

Alizadehkhaiyat, Omid and Fisher, Anthony C and Kemp, Graham J and Vishwanathan, Karthik and Frostick, Simon P (2007) Upper limb muscle imbalance in tennis elbow: a functional and electromyographic assessment. Journal of orthopaedic research, 25 (12). pp. 1651-7. ISSN 1554-527X

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The purpose of this study was to investigate strength, fatigability, and activity of upper limb musculature to elucidate the role of muscular imbalance in the pathophysiology of tennis elbow. Sixteen patients clinically diagnosed with tennis elbow, recruited from a university hospital upper limb orthopedic clinic, were compared with 16 control subjects with no history of upper limb musculoskeletal problem, recruited from university students and staff. Muscle strength was measured for grip, metacarpophalangeal, wrist, and shoulder on both sides. Electromyographic activity (RMS amplitude) and fatigue characteristics (median frequency slope) of five forearm and two shoulder muscles were measured during isometric contraction at 50% maximum voluntary contraction. All strength measurements showed dominance difference in C, but none in TE. In tennis elbow compared to controls, hand/wrist and shoulder strength and extensor carpi radialis (ECR) activity were reduced (p < 0.05), while fatigue was normal. A global upper limb weakness exists in tennis elbow. This may be due to disuse and deconditioning syndrome caused by fear avoidance, and needs to be addressed in prevention and treatment. Activation imbalance among forearm muscles (reduced extensor carpi radialis activity) in tennis elbow, probably due to protective pain-related inhibition, could lead to a widespread upper limb muscle imbalance.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: The definitive version is available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jor.20458/abstract
Keywords: lateral epicondylitis; muscle strength; muscle activity; muscle fatigue
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: Omid Khaiyat
Date Deposited: 01 May 2016 14:51
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2017 05:36
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/1307

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