Study finds, Reduction in Pain and improvment in function in
In painful epicondylitis, previous studies reported deficiencies in elbow proprioception. In line, proprioceptive training of the lower limb has been reported substantial beneficial in a number of indications. Therefore, it has been asked if a specified proprioceptive training using training devices that are capable of activating the deep musculature in the upper limb is able to reduce the symptoms of epicondylitis.

71 patients with painful lateral epicondylitis more than 3 months were included. Interventions: Group A: Proprioceptive training intervention with a Flexibar® (9 min daily for 12 weeks). Group B: at least 40 min running or walking/week with the XCO® in addition to the proprioceptive training with the Flexibar® (9 min daily for 12 weeks), follow-up for 12 weeks.

Primary end point: Pain on visual analogue scale (VAS, 0-10); secondary end points: DASH-Score (0 = very good, 100 = very poor), grip strength according to Jamar dynamometer (kg), vibration sensation measured with a 128 Hz tuning fork.

--The pain on VAS in group A was reduced significantly (-33%), and from (-41%) in group B after 12 weeks. There was no significant difference between A and B.

--In both groups, there was a significant improvement of the DASH-Score (A: -56%; B: -55%) without any difference between groups A and B.

--Grip strength improvement in group A from (+38%), and from (+15%) in group B.

--In line, vibration sensation improved in both groups (A: 6.3 ± 0.6 to 6.5 ± 0.5; B: 6.3 ± 0.7 to 6.6 ± 0.5).

Finally, in patients with painful lateral epicondylitis, 12-week proprioceptive training with the Flexibar® improves pain, quality of life, grip strength, and vibration sensation.