Tennis Elbow: Does it have a relation with Scapular muscle weakness!!

Tennis Elbow: Does it have a relation with Scapular muscle weakness!!


In our day to day practice we get many patients of frozen shoulder, cervical spondylitis with shoulder function impairment, any other shoulder complex problems. In many cases patients complain of elbow and upper arm pain, we attribute this to associated movements that the patient does to compensate the shoulder and scapular movements.

Could a reverse also be true? When we see a tennis elbow- lateral epicondylitis, do we think it could be leading to a shoulder or scapular condition.

Then I chanced upon an article:

Joseph M. Day, Heather Bush, Arthur J. Nitz, Tim L. Uhl. (2015) Scapular Muscle Performance in Individuals With Lateral Epicondylalgia. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy 45:5, 414-424.

This study suggests that assessment and treatment of scapular movement warrant consideration in the management of individuals with lateral epicondylalgia.

Taking a cue from this, I also followed a scapular strengthening program for a patient of lateral epicondyliits, and the results were outstanding. 

Not only was the pain relieved but there has been no recurrence after 16 weeks post-treatment. The person is active and playing badminton professionally.

This gives a new perspective and needs to be considered for detailed studies.

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