Background Lateral epicondylitis (LE) is one of the most common conditions affecting elbow . Primary aims of treatment are pain relief and restoration of muscle condition . There is a wide spectrum of treatments used in daily practice for management of LE such as analgesic medications, physical therapy, exercise and orthoses. Despite the large number of trials undertaken on LE, no treatment has been proven to be universally effective or generating consensus on its management .
Objectives The aim of this study was to determine and compare the efficacy of TENS and kinesiotaping (KT) treatments in LE.
Methods In this prospective-randomised, assessor blinded controlled trial; 78 patients (63 women, 15 men, mean age 47,5±7,94 years) with LE were enrolled. Patients were allocated into 4 treatment groups, for a duration of 10 days. Group 1 received TENS +KT, group 2 received TENS+sham KT, group 3 received sham TENS+KT and group 4 received shamTENS+sham KT. All patients were given a progressive exercise regimen and were informed about the disease. Outcome measures were pain-free grip strength, pressure pain threshold and pain severity at rest, night and forced wrist extension test. Patient rated tennis elbow evaluation (PRTEE) was used to determine the functional status. Patients were assessed for the outcome measures at the 10th day and 12 th week of the follow up period.
Results At day 10, TENS, KT and TENS+KT combination treatments were statistically superior to sham group in primary outcome measures (P<0.05). At week 12, all groups including sham treatments had statistically significant improvements compared to pre-treatment, however there were no significant differences among groups.
Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first study evaluating TENS and KT in LE. In this study we found that TENS, KT and TENS+ KT combination therapies have positive effects on pain, function and quality of life in acute management of LE. However these positive changes in acute period could not be sustained at week 12. This may be attributed to the self-limiting nature of the disease over time [4–6] or to the positive effects of advice about activities and exercise programme at the sham group. Further research is needed to confirm these results.
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Disclosure of Interest : None declared