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Effectiveness of myofascial release in the management of lateral epicondylitis in computer professionals

PainSci » bibliography » Ajimsha et al 2012
Tags: treatment, massage, manual therapy

One article on PainSci cites Ajimsha 2012: Tennis Elbow Guide

PainSci notes on Ajimsha 2012:

68 patients suffering from lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) were divided into two groups. Some received myofascial release, the rest a sham ultrasound therapy. The results for MFR were quite a lot better: almost 80% improvement after a month, compared to just 7% for the sham ultrasound. The benefit was generally lasting.

These results confirm my bias — this is the result I’d expect based on my own experiences and beliefs — but it’s also obvious that they have a little bit of “too good to be true” going on. Results this good are basically unheard of in musculoskeletal medicine. There’s also no guarantee that the experiment was actually good quality, despite the lack of any obvious problems.

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether myofascial release (MFR) reduces the pain and functional disability of lateral epicondylitis (LE) in comparison with a control group receiving sham ultrasound therapy in computer professionals.

DESIGN: Randomized, controlled, single blinded trial.

SETTING: Nonprofit research foundation clinic in Kerala, India.

PARTICIPANTS: Computer professionals (N=68) with LE.

INTERVENTIONS: MFR group or control group. The techniques were administered by certified MFR practitioners and consisted of 12 sessions per client over 4 weeks.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The Patient-Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation (PRTEE) scale was used to assess pain severity and functional disability. The primary outcome measure was the difference in PRTEE scale scores between week 1 (pretest score), week 4 (posttest score), and follow-up at week 12 after randomization.

RESULTS: The simple main effects analysis showed that the MFR group performed better than the control group in weeks 4 and 12 (P<.005). Patients in the MFR and control groups reported a 78.7% and 6.8% reduction, respectively, in their pain and functional disability in week 4 compared with that in week 1, which persisted as 63.1% in the follow-up at week 12 in the MFR group.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence that MFR is more effective than a control intervention for LE in computer professionals.

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