Curr Health Sci J, vol. 44, no. 4, 2018

The Effectiveness of Shockwave Therapy in Patients with Lateral Epicondylitis

[Original paper]


(1)Department of Medical Rehabilitation, University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova, Romania
(2)Department of Rheumatology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova, Romania


Shockwave therapy is based on generating a very intense energy in a very short period of time. It creates a mechanical pressure over the affected tissues that leads to an increased cellular permeability, thus increasing the microcirculation and the cellular metabolism. Therefore, the healing process is accelerated. Lateral epicondylitis represents a common arm injure, which usually affects early to late middle-aged patients, more common and with a longer evolution period in women, characterized by inflammation of the arm muscles’ tendon insertion and manifests with pain on elbow extension and forearm rotation. Our study aims to investigate the efficacity of the shockwave therapy in comparison with a classical treatment of local and systemic drugs. The 50 patients were evenly split into two groups. The diagnosis of lateral epicondylitis was based on exhaustive physical examination. Enthesis evaluation was performed through power Doppler ultrasound. The pain was quantified using the visual analogue scale for pain intensity. All parameters were evaluated at diagnosis and after 30 days, following treatment. One group received shockwave therapy, while the other group received nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and local topics associated with laser and ultrasound application. The results of our study report that both groups experienced significant improvement after treatment. The shockwave therapy recorded a higher improvement rate in all the parameters. Consequently, this new non-invasive, effective and safe technique can be successfully used in the treatment of abarticular pathology of the elbow.

Lateral epicondylitis, shockwave therapy, musculoskeletal ultrasound, visual analogue scale

Cristina-Elena Gofia, Department of Rheumatology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova, Romania, Adress: 66, 1 Mai Bvd, 200638 Craiova, Romania, e-mail:

DOI 10.12865/CHSJ.44.04.08 - Download PDF