The efficacy of a specific forearm brace (Go-Strap) compared to a standard counterforce brace in participants with tennis elbow.
Physiotherapy management of tennis elbow typically incorporates a multimodal approach including application of a forearm brace. Good quality evidence comparing different braces in the management of tennis elbow is scarce. The aim of this study was to investigate if a novel forearm brace (Go-Strap brace, Thermoskin驠could improve pain-free grip, pressure pain threshold and wrist angle during a gripping task in people with tennis elbow compared with a standard counterforce brace and control condition. A repeated measures, crossover, double-blinded randomised control design was used. Thirty-five participants with a clinical diagnosis of tennis elbow (mean age 47.8 (SD 8.5) years) were measured before and after the application of a Go-Strap brace, a counterforce brace and control condition in a randomised order, a minimum of 48 hours between sessions. There was a significant main effect for time, with both braces significantly improving grip (Mean difference (95% CI): Go-Strap 22 N (8 to 36), counterforce 22 N (9 to 35)) and pressure (Go-Strap 48 kPa (2 to 93), counterforce 59 kPa (16 to 102)) pre- to post-application. There was no significant change with the control condition for any outcome. There was no significant difference between treatments for any outcome (grip: p=0.363; pressure: p=0.480; wrist angle: p=0.203). In addition, wrist angle did not significantly change over time. These results indicate that while the application of a forearm brace has an immediate positive effect on grip and pressure pain in participants with tennis elbow, the type of brace does not preferentially influence these outcomes.
Physiotherapy Conference 2011
Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified