Shocking News about Tennis Elbow

There isn't a cure-all for tennis elbow. The results of treatment vary with or without surgery. Nothing has been able to improve or cure this condition quickly, easily, or in all people.

A new treatment for tennis elbow called shock wave therapy was recently used and studied by a group of Doctors in Taiwan.

Shock wave therapy uses sound waves to improve symptoms. Normally, shock waves are not harmful. They just pass through tissues. Sometimes the shock waves reach a place where there is resistance. The force of the wave against the tissue causes a change in the tissue.

No one knows how or why this works for tennis elbow. In cases studied, almost everyone's painful symptoms were gone or at least much better. There was improved elbow strength and motion, too.

Shock waves may be a good treatment for tennis elbow. Pain is reduced, and strength, motion, and function are improved. There are no problems from using the machine for this condition. After the treatment, no swelling or redness occurs. Long-term results are still unavailable. More research over a long period of time is needed.

References: Ching-Jen Wang, MD, and Han-Shiang Chen, MD. Shock Wave Therapy for Patients With Lateral Epicondylitis of the Elbow. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. May/June 2002. Vol. 30. No. 3. Pp. 422-425.