Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Corticosteroid injection, physiotherapy do not provide significant improvement for 'tennis elbow'

Date:
February 5, 2013
Source:
American Medical Association (AMA)
Summary:
Among patients with chronic unilateral lateral epicondylalgia ("tennis elbow"), a single injection of corticosteroid medication was associated with poorer outcomes after one year and higher recurrence rates compared with placebo, while eight weeks of physiotherapy did not significantly improve long-term outcomes, according to a new study.

Among patients with chronic unilateral lateral epicondylalgia ("tennis elbow"), a single injection of corticosteroid medication was associated with poorer outcomes after one year and higher recurrence rates compared with placebo, while eight weeks of physiotherapy did not significantly improve long-term outcomes, according to a study appearing in the February 6 issue of JAMA.

"Use of corticosteroid injections to treat lateral epicondylalgia is increasingly discouraged, partly because evidence of long-term efficacy has not been found, and due to high recurrence rates," according to background information in the article. Combining corticosteroid injection with physiotherapy to compensate for the poor long-term outcomes of corticosteroid injections has been evaluated in only 2 small studies, and the long-term effects of combining these therapies are not known.

Brooke K. Coombes, Ph.D., of the University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Australia, and colleagues conducted a study to evaluate the effectiveness of corticosteroid injection, multimodal physiotherapy, or both in 165 patients with unilateral lateral epicondylalgia of longer than 6 weeks' duration. The patients were enrolled between July 2008 and May 2010; 1-year follow-up was completed in May 2011. Patients were randomized to either corticosteroid injection (n = 43), placebo injection (n = 41), corticosteroid injection plus physiotherapy (n = 40), or placebo injection plus physiotherapy (n = 41). The 2 primary outcomes were 1-year global rating of change scores for complete recovery or much improvement and 1-year recurrence (defined as complete recovery or much improvement at 4 or 8 weeks, but not later) analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis. Secondary outcomes included complete recovery or much improvement at 4 and 26 weeks.

The researchers found that corticosteroid injection demonstrated lower complete recovery or much improvement at 1 year compared with placebo injection (83 percent vs. 96 percent) and greater recurrence (54 percent vs. 12 percent). There were no differences between physiotherapy and no physiotherapy at 1 year for complete recovery or much improvement (91 percent vs. 88 percent) or recurrence (29 percent vs. 38 percent).

There were no significant interaction effects at 26 weeks. The corticosteroid injection demonstrated lower complete recovery or much improvement compared with the placebo injection (55 percent vs. 85 percent). Physiotherapy compared with no physiotherapy demonstrated no effects on the outcomes of complete recovery or much improvement (71 percent vs. 69 percent), and with no significant differences on measures of worst pain; resting pain; pain and disability; and quality of life.

"At 4 weeks, there was a significant interaction between corticosteroid injection and physiotherapy, whereby patients receiving the placebo injection plus physiotherapy had greater complete recovery or much improvement vs. no physiotherapy (39 percent vs. 10 percent, respectively). However, there was no difference between patients receiving the corticosteroid injection plus physiotherapy vs. corticosteroid alone (68 percent vs. 71 percent, respectively)," the authors write.

"Contrary to our hypothesis and to a generally held clinical view, we found that multimodal physiotherapy provided no beneficial long-term effect on complete recovery or much improvement, recurrence, pain, disability, or quality of life, thereby not supporting the hypothesis that the combined approach is superior. However, physiotherapy should not be dismissed altogether because in the absence of the corticosteroid, it provided short-term benefit across all outcomes, as well as the lowest recurrence rates (4.9 percent) and 100 percent complete recovery or much improvement at 1 year."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Medical Association (AMA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Coombes BK, Bisset L, Brooks P, Khan A, Vicenzino B. Effect of Corticosteroid Injection, Physiotherapy, or Both on Clinical Outcomes in Patients With Unilateral Lateral Epicondylalgia: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA, 2013; 309 (5): 461-469 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2013.129

Cite This Page:

American Medical Association (AMA). "Corticosteroid injection, physiotherapy do not provide significant improvement for 'tennis elbow'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130205162119.htm>.
American Medical Association (AMA). (2013, February 5). Corticosteroid injection, physiotherapy do not provide significant improvement for 'tennis elbow'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130205162119.htm
American Medical Association (AMA). "Corticosteroid injection, physiotherapy do not provide significant improvement for 'tennis elbow'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130205162119.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins