It has recently come to our attention that a clinical study was done on TANK CARRIER LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS by:
DR. LORI L. BARR, an Assistant Professor of Radiology and Pediatrics, Children's Hospital Medical Centre and University Of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229-2899.
DR. DENIS BRUNT, a member of the Dept. of Physical Therapy, Box J-154, Health Science Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32510-0154.
MR. LARRY R. MARTIN, the Dive Safety Officer, LGL Ecological Research Association, 1410 Cavitt St., Bryan, Texas 77801.
Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis elbow) is an injury to the tendon attaching the exterior muscles of the forearm to the bone. Patients complain of the pain along the lateral aspect of the elbow which extends inferioly. They may experience grip weakness or aggravation of the condition with a gripping activity. The investigators report 5 cases of the injury related to carrying compresses air tanks during dive related activities.
The authors then performed an experiment to evaluate muscle exertion during lifting of tanks by the valve stem and by using several tank carriers. The common method of carrying a tank is by the valve. Both a split hold or single grip gave peak activity of the common extender muscle group, an indication of maximal muscle exertion.
When normal subjects used an H-grip type carrier the exterior muscle group activity decreased 33% and the bicep activity decreased 52%. This type of carrier allows a wrist position so that more than one group of muscles share exertion. When a foam handle is added, this allows even greater hand comfort during the carrying process.
Divers should be aware of the risk of cumulative injury to the exterior tendon, which may be caused by improper tank handling. A predive training program involving both isometric and weight bearing exercise combined with the active use of a tank carrier during dive excursions may decrease the risk of injury.
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