Isometric Exercises for Lateral Epicondylalgia (ISOLATE)

Lateral epicondylalgia or “tennis elbow” is a common condition causing elbow pain and dysfunction in both athletes as well as the general population. Currently exercise is the first line of treatment for this condition, however it is not well understood what types of exercise are most effective for treatment of this condition. Research in lower limb tendon conditions has shown isometrics to be effective in providing immediate pain-relief, however there are a lack of similar studies in the upper limb. This randomized cross-over clinical trial will look at:

  • Whether there is a difference between performing isometric exercises in different positions
  • Whether there is a difference between performing isometric exercise or isotonic exercise for lateral epicondylalgia.

Participants will also have other baseline factors assessed to see whether certain characteristics predict improvement with these interventions. Understanding strategies that can provide immediate pain relief, will help clinicians in treating this at times challenging condition.

**As an extension of the ISOLATE study, the La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research centre is also investigating sensory and movement tests in individuals with lateral elbow pain (compared to asymptomatic individuals).

  • The aim of this study is to analyse pressure pain thresholds, applicability of clinical tests and use of pain maps in individuals with lateral elbow pain.

Staff involved: Ebonie Rio, Sean Docking, Jill Cook

Study protocol: