[Purpose] This study compared the analgesic effects of extracorporeal shock wave therapy with those of ultrasound therapy in patients with chronic tennis elbow. [Subjects] Fifty patients with tennis elbow were randomized to receive extracorporeal shock wave therapy or ultrasound therapy. [Methods] The extracorporeal shock wave therapy group received 5 treatments once per week. Meanwhile, the ultrasound group received 10 treatments 3 times per week. Pain was assessed using the visual analogue scale during grip strength evaluation, palpation of the lateral epicondyle, Thomsen test, and chair test. Resting pain was also recorded. The scores were recorded and compared within and between groups pre-treatment, immediately post-treatment, and 3 months post-treatment. [Results] Intra- and intergroup comparisons immediately and 3 months post-treatment showed extracorporeal shock wave therapy decreased pain to a significantly greater extent than ultrasound therapy. [Conclusion] Extracorporeal shock wave therapy can significantly reduce pain in patients with chronic tennis elbow.
Keywords: Extracorporeal shock wave therapy; Lateral epicondylitis; Ultrasound.