Effectiveness of microcurrent therapy in the management of lateral epicondylitis: A pilot study

Lydie O.L. Ho, Wai Lun Kwong, Lai Ying Gladys Cheing

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Lateral epicondylitis is a musculoskeletal condition that is commonly encountered in outpatient physiotherapy clinics. In the recent decade, various types of electrophysical modalities and exercise therapy have been used for the management of lateral epicondylitis. Limited research has been done on microcurrent therapy. The present study was a randomized controlled pilot trial that aimed to evaluate if the addition of microcurrent therapy could enhance the treatment effects of exercise therapy in the management of lateral epicondylitis. Sixteen subjects participated in the study; they were randomly allocated to receive either microcurrent therapy and exercise, or exercise therapy alone. All subjects completed the whole treatment course of 10 sessions. Outcome measures included mechanical-pain threshold, pain-free handgrip, maximum handgrip and visual analogue scale to document the intensity of pain aggravated by a maximum handgrip. Assessments were taken in the first treatment session (baseline), at the end of week 1, week 2, week 3, and at the 3-week follow-up session. The results showed trends of improvement in all outcomes. However, no significant between-group difference was observed in mechanical-pain threshold, pain-free handgrip, maximum handgrip or visual analogue scale during maximum handgrip testing. Our findings seem to suggest that exercise alone is already effective for the management of lateral epicondylitis. The addition of microcurrent therapy to exercise does not enhance the treatment effect. However, the present study had a small sample size, so further research with a larger sample size is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-20
Number of pages7
JournalHong Kong Physiotherapy Journal
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

Keywords

  • Exercise therapy
  • Lateral epicondylitis
  • Microcurrent therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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