This preliminary study indicates the proportion of patients with lateral epicondylalgia that demonstrate a favourable initial response to a manual therapy technique - the mobilization with movement (MWM) for tennis elbow. Twenty-five subjects with lateral epicondylalgia participated. In a one-group pretest - post-test design, we measured (1) pain with active motion, (2) pain-free grip strength and, (3) maximum grip strength before and after a single intervention of MWM. Results of the study indicate that MWM was effective in allowing 92% of subjects to perform previously painful movements pain-free, and improving grip strength immediately afterwards. Significant differences were found between the grip strength of the affected and unaffected limbs prior to the intervention. Both pain-free grip strength and maximum grip strength of the affected limb increased significantly following the intervention. Pain-free grip strength increased by a greater magnitude than maximum grip strength. It can be concluded that MWM is a promising intervention modality for the treatment of patients with Lateral Epicondylalgia. Pain-free grip strength is a more responsive measure of outcome than maximum grip strength for patients with Lateral Epicondylalgia. Further research is warranted to investigate the long-term effectiveness of MWM in the treatment of impairment and disability resulting from Lateral Epicondylalgia.
Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.