Computer users could be at risk of lateral elbow pain. It is theorized that adverse mechanical tension can develop in the radial nerve with sustained keyboarding as a result of sustained static work of the elbow extensor muscles. Neural mobilization has been recommended as a potential treatment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of neural mobilization of the radial nerve on a single occasion in terms of its ability to reduce lateral elbow pain. Forty-one computer professionals (Mean age 46.7; S.D. 12.77), who had experienced lateral elbow pain for a mean of 2.87 months were recruited. The participants rated the pain using a verbal, numeric rating scale (NRS). Radial nerve tension was tested using the Upper limb Tension Test (ULTT) for radial nerve in both upper extremities. The radial nerve was mobilized using a series of 8 oscillations and repeated 3 times with a one minute rest in between. The NRS and ULLT were repeated following treatment and the scores compared using a paired t-test by the first author. The mean NRS scores decreased significantly from 5.7 (1.1) to 3.8 (1.4) (p<0.000; t value=8.07).
A single session of 3 neural mobilization resulted in a decrease of pain in computer users with lateral elbow pain. A long-term randomized trial is necessary to determine the effects sustained over-time.