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Gazzetta Medica Italiana - Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2021 June;180(6):257-62

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.20.04271-0


language: English

Effective treatment for chronic lateral epicondylitis using ultrasound-guided intratissue electrolysis

Álvaro PUELLES 1, 2 , Andrés LEIVA 1, Felipe BEYTIA 1, Gabriel AMAR 1, Pia MARRÈ 1, Jorge H. CERDA 1, Wilfredo A. HUERTA 1, Gabriela P. PINTO 1

1 School of Kinesiology, Universidad Santo Tomas, La Serena, Chile; 2 School of Kinesiology, Universidad de La Serena, La Serena, Chile

BACKGROUND: Chronic lateral epicondylitis, or “tennis elbow,” is a high-incidence pathology among workers and athletes. This condition causes intense pain in patients and restricts joint movement, evolving, in many cases, into chronic damage. Treatment normally involves conventional physiotherapy (CP), which provides slow results that are often only partial. A more recent treatment alternative is ultrasound-guided intratissue electrolysis (UIE), which stimulates biological tissue repair. This study compares the effectivity of CP and UIE, the objective of which being to implement better treatment protocols for chronic lateral epicondylitis.
METHODS: A total of 19 volunteers clinically diagnosed with chronic lateral epicondylitis were divided into two treatment groups (i.e., CP or CP combined with UIE). Progression was measured over the course of the treatment period and considered measurements of pain and functional disability, as determined through the Patient Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation.
RESULTS: Treatment with UIE potentiated the effect of CP, accelerating patient recovery. With UIE, recovery was achieved with approximately half of the sessions needed to reach recovery with CP alone.
CONCLUSIONS: Combining UIE and CP resulted in a quicker and more effective treatment for chronic lateral epicondylitis. The presented approach does not require surgical intervention, meaning greater patient accessibility. Research on the effects of combined UIE and CP treatment should be conducted for other types of tendon pathologies.

KEY WORDS: Electrolysis; Physical therapy modalities; Tennis elbow; Tendinopathy

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