On this page you will find basic information and clinical facts about the epicondylitis, its spread, treatment options, recommendations and more!
Definition and development
Tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow and mouse elbow are all colloquial terms for epicondylitis depending on the muscles and tendons affected.
For the outer tendon, the radial epicondyle, the common name is tennis elbow.
For the inner tendon, the medial epicondyle it is called the golfer’s elbow.
The correct medical term for tennis elbow is “epicondylitis humeri radialis” whereas golfer’s elbow is referred to as “epicondylitis humeri ulnaris“. Ulna and Radius are the latin terms for ell and spoke respectively.
The names tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow stem from the fact that many tennis players and golfers experience epicondylitis at some point in their careers. The condition is widespread among athletes due to the accumulated impact of countless arm swings, often coupled with a poorly selected racket or improper positioning of clubs.
A newer term is mouse arm, as computer work is becoming increasingly prevalent.
Just like the tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow, especcially the mouse arm is connected to the formation mechanism of the Repetitive Strain Injury-Syndrom (RSI-Syndrom) (Reference: Wikipedia)
Basically, however, the epicondylitis can occur in all activities that strain the arm, even a wrong sleeping position can trigger the injury.
That is why the vast majority of patients suffering from an “tennis” or “golfer’s” elbow have never played tennis or golf in their entire lives.
Spread and disease duration
There are many case studies, dissertations and theses regarding the prevalence or incidence of the epicondylitis, but unfortunately none of these are presenting uniform results or conclusions. The sole consensus of these publications is, that there are no reliable valid numbers at the moment. That is why we are only going to present some excerpts of a few sources from our huge data collection and library, based on the status of current knowledge.
Subsequent to back problems, the epicondylitis is amongst the most widespread health problems in industrialised nations.
The prevalence (frequency of disease per year) is an estimated 1,5% to 6% of the general population. Thus up to4,8 million people suffer from the epicondylitis solely in Germany.
The incidence (new diseases per year) is even estimated somewhere between 1% to 9%. It is assumed, that only roughly 50% of the affected persons seek medical advice at all, or aborts therapy after some failures in treatment.
There are several professions, in which the incidence of the injury is remarkably higher:
- Forest workers: up to 29%
- Montage automotive mechanics: up to 20%
- Chefs: up to 10,5%
- Plastic surgeons: up to 13,1 %
In general it is assumed that the disease duration averages from 6 to 48 months. From a disease duration of 6 months onwards, the epicondylitis is classified as being a chronic disorder.
Loss of working time / recurrence
Based on statistics of the CSST, Quebec (2009), the average loss of working time is about 83,7 days per patient and the risk of recurrence is about 10,6% for certain professional groups.
An epicondylitis is pretty common and widely spread and may need a long time to heal completely.
Tennis elbow? Golfer’s elbow? What is that actually?
With each movement of the arm, finger or wrist tensile forces of the forearm muscles act on the tendon attachments (Epicondyli) at the elbow. Unusually high loads, strenuous or repetitive movements of the arm can lead to microcracks in these tendons and they may become inflamed. (Reference: Netdoktor), (Reference: Wikipedia)
With increasing age, chances increase that the injury / illness will become chronic, because starting at age of about 40, the production of collagen automatically decreases and tendons are significantly less elastic and resilient.
This leads to severe pain in the elbow area and it may cause pain under heavy loads as well as during sleep. The origin is either an inflammation or an injury.
The logical solution against Epicondylitis
Once being diagnosed with an epicondylitis by a doctor, the first prescribed treatment usually involves cortisone injections.
As this may reduce the inflammation it does not fight the causes of the epicondylitis – physical forces.
To reduce these forces, additionally the common clamps and clasps are prescribed.
These braces, claps, splints or orthoses are all working with the exact same mechanism of action: Compression of the muscles.
The Masalo® Cuff , however, works very successfully with a completely unique and new mechanism of action.
The muscles and tendons of the forearm are “mounted” to the tendon insertions at the elbow.
With each movement of the arm, finger or wrist tensile forces of the forearm muscles act on the tendon attachments (Epicondyli) at the elbow. Unusually high loads, strenuous or repetitive movements of the arm can lead to microcracks in these tendons and they may become inflamed.
You can easily see these tensile forces with your own eyes:
Put your arm on a table and simply move your fingers. You will instantly see the movement at the outer epicondylus.
Or just close your hand and make a fist (repeatedly) and reopen your hand. If you now take your other hand and gently touch your lower part of the forearm in the area of the tendon insertions, you will feel how your muscles – the tensile forces – work.
Tensile forces? Counter-force!
The Masalo® Cuff does exactly this by generating a counter-traction on the extension of the arm, it causes a discharge of the affected area and the arm can be used normally again.
With the Masalo® Cuff attached, the arm remains flexible and the muscles are permanently stretched and massaged, which reduces the risk of aggravation and incidence. The Masalo® Cuff can be worn as a preventive measure and during an acute or chronic epicondylitis.
This brand new tennis elbow treatment fights the real cause of the epicondylitis and its logical mechanism of action is the ideal alternative or additional treatment when suffering from an epicondylitis.
The effect of the cuff can be felt instantly.
Main cause of the epicondylitis
Just like the intensity of pain differs from person to person, the trigger of the epicondylitis varies as well. various.
Active people like craftsmen, office-employees (working at a PC: mousearm), warehouse workers, retail salesmen and saleswomen, housewives, athletes, hobby gardeners etc. are often affected. Even knitting, raking or snow shovelling can trigger the injury.
Very often the epicondylitis is caused by exceptional or unusual and unfamiliar activities such as moving, spring-cleaning, construction works, special tasks at the job, slipping on the ice (and the involved arm support to prevent falling) etc.
Once the injury is triggered and the microcracks and microtears occur at the tendon insertions, they are strained and exacerbated by almost every simple everyday activity such as shaking hands, brushing teeth, combing hair, setting the table or every arm and hand activity in sports etc.
A vicious circle begins and the tensile forces “do their bit”.
By the way – both tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow have the same causes. The actual trigger-activity is then the decisive factor whether the injury occurs at the medial or the radial epicondylus.
With the Masalo® Cuff properly fitted, the affected area will not only be relieved immediately and permanently by the counter-traction, additionally, with every movement of the arm the forearm muscles are being massaged and relaxed, too. All activities at home, during leisure time and work can be fully executed, the muscle remains strong. The arm can still be fully extended with the applied cuff.
Impacts of an epicondylitis
For those patients suffering from tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, the diagnosis epicondylitis often means a significant loss of the quality of life and painful cuts in many areas of life.
Depending on the individual progress and manifestation of the injury/disease even the simplest everyday activities like lifting a mug, driving etc. can be very painful.
The main symptom at this is a stabbing pain in the elbow area which may, depending on the intensity, even radiate towards shoulder and/or hand. Depending on whether suffering from a tennis elbow or a golfer’s elbow, the pain occurs either on the inner or the outer side of the arm when rotating the hand etc.
How does the Masalo® Cuff work?
The Masalo® Cuff MED works with the proven Masalo® counter-traction principle, which is still unique in the field of epicondylitis treatment. More than 26,000 customers have already been able to rid their treacherous injury with the help of our Masalo® BASIC leather cuff.
The comfortable forearm cuff of the Masalo® cuff MED is placed a few inches apart from the elbow and fixed with the high-quality and durable Velcro fastener. The upper arm strap is then also fastened with a Velcro and adjusted accordingly to the desired activity and load of the arm.
The unique and patent pending construction keeps the upper arm strap in place regardless of the movement or the flexion of the arm. A movement of the belt is prevented by an additional element with silicone nubs (which can optionally be easily removed as well). The tensile forces are reduced or completely stopped by the proven counter-traction principle, the affected area is relieved immediately. The negative tractive forces are diverted to the redesigned upper arm strap.
As a result, the affected tendons can heal, although the arm can be used at full strength again.
The Masalo® Cuff can be worn preventively and provide immediate help with an acute and chronic epicondylitis. During the first two weeks the brace should ideally be worn permanently, even during the night. This relieves the tendons without disturbing sleep. When worn at work and during exercise, the Masalo® Cuff MED can even promote power development.
As the experience of other sufferers show, with the Masalo® Cuff it is even possible to perform weight training pain-free despite the epicondylitis. The stabilisation of the elbow has also benefited tennis players, who have been able to better handle the racket while experiencing increased power. Others have even benefited from the Cuff in other sports such as javelin, handball, and volleyball as well as golf, where the cuff functions as a “guide” for the arm, improving the continuity of the swing especially for mid-handicappers.
Tennisarm: Mal drauf los therapieren – DocCheck News:
BARMER GEK Heil- und Hilfsmittelreport 2012: