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We can reduce the number of sick days | Occupational diseases

Mēs varam samazināt darba nespējas dienu skaitu | Arodslimības

Not only athletes suffer from the so-called tennis and golf elbow. Epicondylitis, a painful tendon irritation in the forearm, is responsible for many days off work, but it doesn't have to be.

Elbow pain is most often of our own making. The muscles that are responsible for the movements of the fingers are attached to the forearm, as a result, wrist tension affects the elbow joint, says Dr. med. Christoph Voigt.

He is the director and executive director of a medical center in Jena, Germany, where he works with his colleagues to educate and advise companies on various occupational medicine issues.

Focusing on painters, hairdressers, office and production workers, as well as professional musicians, cooks and surgeons.

All these professions share an increased risk of developing epicondylitis. “Epicondylitis is often caused by repetitive hand movements, including very fine motor movements performed with the fingers, movements that exceed the physiological axes of the joints.

For example, very simple use of a computer mouse, finger movements in assembly work, playing musical instruments. Excessive stretching of the arm or application of great force, lifting heavy objects can also cause epicondylitis," explains Dr. Voigt.

Irritation damages working hands

In epicondylitis, the irritation affects the points of contact of the flexor and flexor muscles in the forearm. Lateral (outer) epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow, and the less common medial epicondylitis, known as golfer's elbow, occur on the inside of the forearm. "They are caused by cyclical and excessive stress in the hand and elbow area, resulting in inflammation, followed by a long healing process," says Dr. Voigt. Severe pain associated with functional limitations of the forearm and hand is a consequence. In the acute phase, sufferers cannot even lift a cup to drink, let alone human capacity.

Dr. med. Voigt believes that in order to ensure quality and continuous work, it is necessary to use orthoses preventively, which facilitate work in professions that involve continuous stress.

Therapeutic compression

Initially, as well as during the acute inflammatory phase, orthoses can promote freedom of movement and thus the healing process, thanks to compression that reduces pain. Orthotics help maintain mobility. In cases of radiating pain, the occupational therapist believes that an elbow orthosis such as EpiTrain is more suitable, because its wide support area not only facilitates the work of the tendons, but also stabilizes the muscles in the forearm area: "Tendons and muscles can be provided with protective guidance during movement. Increased blood circulation and the resulting metabolic processes help to 'dry out' local inflammation."


For localized problems caused by a painful area, targeted compression using a forearm attachment such as the EpiPoint is useful. Compression of the five-point pad of the orthosis can change the traction of the elbow or muscle, causing relief. As a result, we can target the main source of pain and provide targeted treatment for tennis or golf elbow,” explains Dr. Voigt.

Viscoelastic pads are crucial to promote the healing process, they create a massage effect that relieves pain. Dr. Voigt is confident about the treatment approach with EpiTrain and EpiPoint: “Although as a company manager, I rarely see the entire course of the disease, I know the results of treatment with compression and therefore believe that we need to raise awareness and make the product available preventively.

Preventive care

Helping people successfully return to work is not the only aspect of the doctor's job: "When symptoms appear, we are already at the beginning of the disease, and as a specialist in preventive medicine, my task is to prevent such situations." Dr. Voigt recommends the use of orthotics such as EpiTrain and EpiPoint for preventative care before performing prolonged repetitive motions with the arm or elbow, especially if the motion is repeated for more than 3 hours per day.

Even people who have managed to get rid of their symptoms should use orthotics so that the pain does not return, or even worse, does not become chronic. The risk of occupational diseases is very real.

dr. med. Christoph Voigt

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