Investigating the relationship between pain level and grip and wrist muscles strength in individuals with lateral epicondylitis: is pain a barrier to strength assessment?

AKINOĞLU B., Shehu S. U., YILMAZ A. E., Örsçelik A., Kocahan T.

International Orthopaedics, vol.48, no.3, pp.651-656, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00264-023-06068-2
  • Journal Name: International Orthopaedics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Abstracts in Social Gerontology, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE
  • Page Numbers: pp.651-656
  • Keywords: Grip, Lateral epicondylitis, Pain, Strength, Wrist
  • Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose: This study was carried out to examine the relationship between rest, activity, and nighttime pain and grip and isokinetic muscle strength of the wrist muscles in individuals with lateral epicondylitis. Methods: Fifty-six sedentary individuals aged between 18 and 65 years diagnosed with unilateral lateral epicondylitis volunteered to participate in the study. The level of rest, activity, and nighttime pain was evaluated with visual analog scale (VAS). The grip strengths of both arms were evaluated by averaging a maximum of three grip strength measurements using a hand dynamometer. The strength of both wrist flexor and extensor muscles were evaluated with isokinetic dynamometer at angular velocities of 60 and 180°/s with five and 15 concentric repetitions respectively. Results: There was no significant relationship found between the affected side’s grip strength and isokinetic muscle strength with rest, activity and nighttime pain (all P > 0.05). However, there was a difference observed between the affected and unaffected side in grip strength and isokinetic strength measurements of all wrist muscles (all P < 0.05); the unaffected side values were found to be higher. Conclusion: The result of this study found no correlation between the stated level of pain and the true muscle strength in the affected hand. In line with these findings, we think that assessments involving strength can be made in other musculoskeletal problems where pain is present. However, the findings may not reflect the true muscle strength which will tend to be underrated.