Introduction: Lateral pain in the elbow affects up to 3% of the population, and is considered an overload injury of the extensor tendons of the forearm where they attach at the lateral epicondyle. Although usually self-limiting, symptoms may persist for over 1 year in up to 20% of people.
Methods and outcomes: We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical question: What are the effects of treatments for tennis elbow? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to November 2009 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results: We found 80 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
Conclusions: In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: acupuncture, autologous whole blood injections, corticosteroid injections, combination physical therapies, exercise, extracorporeal shock wave therapy, iontophoresis, low-level laser therapy, manipulation, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (oral and topical), orthoses (bracing), platelet-rich plasma injections, pulsed electromagnetic field treatment, surgery, and ultrasound.