Preliminary observations on the presence of sustained tendon strain and eccentric contractions of the wrist extensors during a common manual task: implications for lateral epicondylitis

A. Murgia*, W. Harwin, S. Prakoonwit, H. Brownlow

*Corresponding author for this work

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Lateral epicondylitis (LE) is hypothesized to occur as a result of repetitive, strenuous and abnormal postural activities of the elbow and wrist. There is still a lack of understanding of how wrist and forearm positions contribute to this condition during common manual tasks. In this study the wrist kinematics and the wrist extensors' musculotendon patterns were investigated during a manual task believed to elicit LE symptoms in susceptible subjects. A 42-year-old right-handed male, with no history of LE, performed a repetitive movement involving pushing and turning a spring-loaded mechanism. Motion capture data were acquired for the upper limb and an inverse kinematic and dynamic analysis was subsequently carried out. Results illustrated the presence of eccentric contractions sustained by the extensor carpi radialis longus (ECRL), together with an almost constant level of tendon strain of both extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) and extensor digitorum communis lateral (EDCL) branch. It is believed that these factors may partly contribute to the onset of LE as they are both responsible for the creation of microtears at the tendons' origins. The methodology of this study can be used to explore muscle actions during movements that might cause or exacerbate LE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-797
JournalMedical Engineering & Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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