Radial Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy and Ultrasound Therapy in the Treatment of Tennis Elbow Syndrome.

Author: Kubot A1, Grzegorzewski A2, Synder M2, Szymczak W3, Kozłowski P2
Author Information:
1Szpital Powiatowy w Wieruszowie / District Hospital in Wieruszow.
2Uniwersytet Medyczny w Łodzi / Medical University of Lodz Klinika Ortopedii i Ortopedii Dziecięcej / Department of Orthopaedics and Paediatric Orthopaedics.
3Uniwersytet Łódzki / University of Lodz Instytut Psychologii, Pracownia Metodologii Badań Psychologicznych i Statystyki / Faculty of Educational Sciences, Institute of Psychology, Division of Psychological Research Methodology and Statistics.
Conference/Journal: Ortop Traumatol Rehabil.
Date published: 2017 Oct 31
Other: Volume ID: 19 , Issue ID: 5 , Pages: 415-426 , Word Count: 242

BACKGROUND: Both ultrasound and radial shockwave therapies are used to treat tennis elbow syndrome. The aim of this study was to compare the therapeutic efficacy of both therapies by assessing the reduction in pain intensity and frequency, restoration of mobility, and reduction in the need for pain medication.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study enrolled 60 people, who were randomly divided into two groups of 30 patients: those treated by radial shockwave therapy and those treated by ultrasound therapy. Radial shockwave therapy consisted of 3 sessions at weekly intervals. Ultrasound therapy consisted of 10 treatments performed daily. The clinical status of the patients before treatment, just after treatment, and after 8 weeks was assessed with the Leitinen questionnaire and a visual analogue scale (VAS).

RESULTS: Pain reduction, as assessed by VAS scores, was observed in both groups, who were not different at baseline (p=0.807). While both therapies were effective (p<0.005), mean pain intensity assessed by VAS scores in patients treated by radial shockwave therapy was significantly lower compared to those treated by ultrasound therapy; this relationship was present just after treatment completion (p=0.001) and at 8 weeks after treatment completion (p=0.002).

CONCLUSIONS: 1. Both radial shockwave and ultrasound therapies cause a reduction in the intensity and frequency of pain that persists for at least 8 weeks, reducing the need for pain medication and improving the function of the treated upper limb. 2. Ultrasound therapy is less effective than radial shockwave therapy.

KEYWORDS: physiotherapy; radial shockwave therapy; tennis elbow; ultrasound

PMID: 29154232