Comparison of four treatment approaches for lateral epicondylitis of the elbow*

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1986;8(2):62-9. doi: 10.2519/jospt.1986.8.2.62.


The relative effectiveness of four treatment protocols on lateral epicondylitis of the elbow were compared by assessing patient pain responses with a modified McGill Pain Questionnaire. The four protocols examined were ultrasound and a home program, ultrasound with 10% hydrocortisone and a home program, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and a home program, and subcutaneous injection with a steroid and a home program. A total of 48 subjects were used in the study, with 12 in each treatment category. All protocols descriptively showed a decrease in mean pain intensity after the 5-day treatment time, and all of the pain indexes showed some statistical differences between pre- and post-treatment values, indicating that all the treatments were effective in reducing pain. The analysis also demonstrated, however, that the four treatment protocols did not differ significantly in their effectiveness, so the treatment of choice should be based on clinical considerations. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 1986;8(2):62-69.