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Augmented soft tissue mobilization vs natural history in the treatment of lateral epicondylitis: a pilot study

PainSci » bibliography » Blanchette et al 2011
Tags: massage, devices, manual therapy, treatment

One article on PainSci cites Blanchette 2011: Tissue Provocation Therapies

PainSci commentary on Blanchette 2011: ?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.

A small clinical trial comparing treatment of tennis elbow with augmented soft tissue mobilization (tool massage) to “advice on the natural evolution of lateral epicondylitis, computer ergonomics, and stretching exercise.” Both helped a bit, and tools were no better.

~ Paul Ingraham

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: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of augmented soft tissue mobilization (ASTM) on the treatment of lateral epicondylitis.

METHODS: This randomized clinical study assessed 27 subjects (12 men and 15 women) with lateral epicondylitis and were divided randomly into 2 groups. The experimental group (n = 15) received ASTM twice a week for 5 weeks. The subjects of the control group (n = 12) received advice on the natural evolution of lateral epicondylitis, computer ergonomics, and stretching exercises. Patient-rated outcome was assessed at baseline and after 6 weeks and 3 months using a visual analog scale and the Patient-Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation. The function was assessed using the pain-free grip strength at baseline and after 6 weeks.

RESULTS: Both groups showed improvements in pain-free grip strength, visual analog scale, and Patient-Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation. Sample size for larger future randomized clinical trial was 116 participants.

CONCLUSION: A larger study investigating the same hypothesis is warranted to detect difference in the effects of these treatments strategies. The study design is feasible, and minor improvements will help to minimize the potential bias.

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