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CQUni researchers aim to get a grip on tennis elbow

CQUni researchers aim to get a grip on tennis elbow

Published:30 January 2018

CQUni research higher degree student Caitlin George has received funding for her tennis elbow research from the Sports Medicine Australia Research Foundation.

It’s a common complaint that’s as old as elbows themselves – but a CQUniversity research student has been inspired to take a fresh look at “tennis elbow”.

And now the project, which looks at the impact of biomechanical tape on improving pain levels and physical function, has been backed with funding from the Sports Medicine Australia Research Foundation, which provides support to postgraduate researchers engaged in sports medicine and injury prevention research.

Human Movement Science research higher degree candidate Caitlin George took on the research after seven years as a practicing physio.

Last year, she made the move to focus on research and teaching, hoping she could have a bigger impact on clinical practice.

“I felt like there must be something more that I could do, to help patients with chronic conditions that struggled so much with their pain,” she explained.

“So the idea of understanding effects of novel treatment options really appealed, and the opportunity to do research at CQUni was perfect!”

Caitlin said there was no previous research on whether biomechanical tape improves pain and function in individuals with musculoskeletal injuries.

Since tennis elbow is a relatively common chronic condition, this provides an ideal participant group to study.

“We hope the findings from this research may help clinicians provide better care for individuals with tennis elbow.”

Scientifically known as lateral epicondylalgia, Caitlin’s focus on tennis elbow follows a recent journal article on a mobile app to support sufferers of medial epicondylalgia, or golfer’s elbow.

Caitlin said being published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, alongside her supervisory team Dr Crystal Kean and Dr Rob Stanton from Exercise and Sport Science as well as Dr Luke Heales from Physiotherapy, was a big thrill early in her research career.

Caitlin has worked in Rockhampton since 2015, and began her Master of Human Movement Science last year.

She also took on casual academic work with CQUni’s Department of Exercise and Health Sciences, and said she loved teaching the next generation of health professionals.

Caitlin hopes to commence the study later this year. If you would like more information on this research, email her on c.e.george@cqu.edu.au.