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The evaluation of phonophoresis and friction massage as treatments for extensor carpi radialis tendinitis: a randomized controlled trial
Stratford PW, Levy DR, Gauldie S, Miseferi D, Levy K
Physiotherapy Canada 1989 Mar-Apr;41(2):93-99
clinical trial
6/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: No; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: No; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

The purposes of this study were to determine whether ultrasound and a 10% hydrocortisone ointment (phonophoresis) was superior to ultrasound and a placebo ointment, and to determine whether friction massage was superior to no friction, in patients with the clinical diagnosis of extensor carpi radialis tendinitis (proximal tendon). Forty consecutive lateral epicondylitis patients fulfilling the eligibility criteria were entered into the study. Using a 2 by 2 factorial design, the patients were stratified on the basis of pain-free grip strength. They were then randomly assigned to 1 of the 4 treatment groups. The patients outcomes were assessed following 9 treatments within 5 weeks of the initial visit. No one therapy was demonstrated to be superior to another; however, site of lesion and history of a prior occurrence were found to be predictors of outcome, independent of therapy. The results suggest that the most cost-effective method of treating the lateral epicondylitis patient is by ultrasound alone.

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