ORTHOPEDICS AND TRAUMATOLOGY / CLINICAL RESEARCH
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
In physical therapy, the duration and severity of pain complaints determine the choice of an appropriate physical agent and parameters needed. The aim of this study was to compare the therapeutic efficacy of focused and radial shock waves for tennis elbow with respect to the dysfunction period.

Material and methods:
The patients with acute (n = 27) and chronic (n = 31) tennis elbow were randomly assigned to a treatment arm: focused shock wave therapy (3 sessions, 2000 shocks, 4 Hz, 0.2 mJ/mm²) or radial shock wave therapy (3 sessions, 2000 shocks, 8 Hz, 2.5 bar). In order to objectivize therapy effects, the severity of pain complaints (Visual Analog Scale), strength of wrist flexors and extensors and grip strength were assessed. We performed pre-intervention measurements and short-term follow-up at 1, 6 and 12 weeks of therapy completion.

Results:
At 6 and 12 weeks of therapy completion, all groups exhibited significantly reduced pain complaints (p < 0.05). The most noticeable changes in grip strength, wrist extensors and flexors strength were observed in the affected extremities of all experimental groups while changes within the unaffected extremities were slight. Grip strength as well as the strength of flexor and extensor muscles of the affected limb were significantly greater at 12 weeks of therapy completion compared to pre-intervention values (p < 0.05). At the same time point, percent changes of all study parameters were comparable for all groups (p > 0.05).

Conclusions:
Focused and radial shock wave therapy tend to show a significant and comparable short-term therapeutic effect for acute and chronic tennis elbow.

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ISSN:1734-1922