Comparison of the effectiveness between manual acupuncture and electro-acupuncture on patients with tennis elbow

Acupunct Electrother Res. 2002;27(2):107-17. doi: 10.3727/036012902816026040.


This is a single-blinded randomized controlled trial to compare the relative effectiveness between manual acupuncture (MA) and electro-acupuncture (EA) on the patients with chronic tennis elbow. Twenty patients recruited in the study were first introduced into control group for 2 weeks waiting period. Then, they were randomly assigned into either MA or EA group for acupuncture treatment. The acupuncture points of GB34 and ST38 were used in both treatment groups. In the MA group, the needle was retained for 20 minutes after the Deqi sensation obtained. In the EA group, electrical stimulation with 4 pulses/second frequency was applied and treatment lasted for 20 minutes. After 6 treatments within 2 weeks duration, significant differences were observed between groups favoring the electro-acupuncture in relation to pain relief (Pain visual analogue scale) and pain free hand grip strength (PFG). This study showed that electro-acupuncture is superior to manual acupuncture in treating patients with tennis elbow.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture / methods*
  • Electroacupuncture / methods*
  • Hand Strength / physiology
  • Humans
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain Management
  • Pain Measurement
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Tennis Elbow / diagnosis
  • Tennis Elbow / physiopathology
  • Tennis Elbow / therapy*