Lateral epicondylalgia: a musculoskeletal physiotherapy perspective

Man Ther. 2003 May;8(2):66-79. doi: 10.1016/s1356-689x(02)00157-1.


Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylalgia (LE) is a challenging musculoskeletal condition to treat. This is largely due to the lack of research-based evidence of the clinical efficacy of the myriad of treatment approaches espoused in the literature. In view of this, successful rehabilitation of LE is based on choosing treatments that address the physical impairments found during clinical examination. The primary physical impairment in LE is a deficit in grip strength predominately due to pain and its consequences on motor function. Hence the mainstay of successful management of this condition is therapeutic exercise, providing it is not pain provocative. Adjunctive procedures such as manipulative therapy and sports taping techniques have recently been shown to provide substantial initial pain relief. Early relief of pain in the rehabilitation program helps accelerate recovery and most importantly motivates the client to persist with the therapeutic exercise program. The manipulative therapy and taping treatments presented in this masterclass warrant consideration in the clinical best practice management of LE, and serve as a model for other similar musculoskeletal conditions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Hand Strength
  • Humans
  • Manipulation, Orthopedic / methods*
  • Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Tennis Elbow / physiopathology*
  • Tennis Elbow / rehabilitation*