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Vibration Therapy - research

The Effects of Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) in Treating Lateral Epicondylitis in People between 40 and 50 Years Old

The extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) was used for the first time in 1980, for fragmenting kidney stones. Since 1981, it also began to be used in Orthopedics, due to the contribution of German scientists - its use was to be developed more after 1990. Ten years later, ESWT was introduced in the treatment of several musculoskeletal disorders.

This paper aims at highlighting the effects of ESWT on lateral epicondylitis in people between 40 and 50 years old, who unsuccessfully followed a conventional treatment. Lateral epicondylitis can be encountered in tennis players (5% of the cases), violinists, surgeons, dentists, persons who type (secretaries), people who use the computer mouse very often, housewives. The largest incidence can be found in the age groups between 40 and 50, especially in amateur tennis players.

The treatment for this condition is very diverse and complex. Nevertheless, the recurrences are quite frequent, a large number of patients being unresponsive even after 3 months of treatment.

The experiment was conducted on a group of 43 patients, men and women, with various backgrounds, diagnosed with lateral epicondylitis, and who had previously been subjected to classical treatments, without any result. The study was conducted over a period of 5 weeks. The ESWT treatment was performed twice a week. The assessment of the subjects was done by observing and recording their pain intensity during palpation, and during the performance of their daily activities, at the beginning and at the end of treatment. This was done using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for Pain. The final results presented a significant decrease and disappearance of the patients’ pain.

Thus, one can say that positive results were obtained, and the ESWT treatment had an effect on the athletes with lateral epicondylitis who did not respond to a conventional treatment.