Epicondylitis (tennis elbow) is a common cause of elbow pain, characterised by pain over the outer side of the elbow, which may radiate down the forearm. Despite the names Tennis and Golfer's Elbow, epicondylitis does not just afflict tennis or golf professionals. In fact, this common elbow problem affects around 3% of the population and is most often associated with work related activities. Although racquet sports are more prone to the condition, they account for only 10% to 15% of all sufferers and epicondylitis is equally common in men and women, usually between the ages of 30 and 50.
The Tenease device generates controlled high-frequency vibration to pass shockwaves through the skin to the tendon. It is known that pain is transmitted as impulses in the large sensory fibres of the body and by applying a certain frequency to the area of pain, it interacts with the pain impulse transmissions, causing disruption. The shockwave is effectively ‘scrambling’ the sensory impulses to the extent that they cannot be interpreted as pain signals by the brain. High-frequency vibrations applied locally to an injured tendon also stimulate the formation of new blood vessels. This increases the blood supply to the afflicted tendon and associated muscles and joints, accelerating recovery.
This is a treatment modality approved for tennis elbow by NICE, the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence.
Several studies have investigated the use of this sort of therapy to treat both acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain in various parts of the body. The published study 'Pain Alleviation by Vibratory Stimulation’, by Lundburg, Nordemar and Ottoson from Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, shows that shockwave therapy is an effective treatment for both chronic and acute pain. It also shows that it is ‘more effective in relieving tennis elbow pain than TENS‘.