This study aimed to compare the short-term effects of kinesiotaping and extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) along with physiotherapy on pain, functionality, and grip strength in patients with newly diagnosed lateral epicondylitis undergoing rehabilitation.
Forty-five voluntary patients (mean age 48 years) were randomly assigned to three groups. Patients in all groups received physiotherapy consisting of a cold pack and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation five times per week for a total of 15 sessions and a home exercise programme including stretching and eccentric strength exercises. In the second group, patients received kinesiotaping 5 days a week for 3 weeks. In the third group, ESWT was applied three times for 3 weeks. Patients were assessed by visual analogue scale for pain intensity, pain-free grip strength using a hand dynamometer, Cyriax Resisted Muscle Test, and Patient-Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation Scale. All measurements were collected at baseline and after treatment.
There were no significant differences in the demographic characteristics of the patients in all groups at baseline. Intra-group analysis revealed that pain intensity decreased, whereas maximum grip strength and functionality increased in all groups at the end of the treatment (p < 0.05). Inter-group analysis revealed that the kinesiotaping group yielded better results in decreasing pain intensity than the other groups (p < 0.05). The kinesiotaping group (p < 0.001) and ESWT group (p = 0.002) yielded better results in improving functionality than the physiotherapy group. There were significant differences in recovering pain-free grip strength in the kinesiotaping group (p < 0.05).
Kinesiotaping was found to be effective for decreasing pain intensity, recovering grip strength, and improving functionality in patients with lateral epicondylitis undergoing rehabilitation.