Original Research

Hydro-galvanic and rising - temperature bath therapy for chronic elbow epicondylitis: a comparative study

C. Mucha
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 60, No 1 | a211 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v60i1.211 | © 2004 C. Mucha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 January 2004 | Published: 17 February 2004

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C. Mucha,, South Africa

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Abstract

The efficacy of two different regimens of physiotherapy for epicondylitis was compared. A combination treatment with hydrogalvanic four-cell bath and arm bath with rising temperature, which had showed good effects in treatment of tennis elbow in an earlier observational study (Mucha 1987), was compared with the analgesic interference current treatment often recommended in the literature (Sadil and Sadil 1994, Noteboom et al 1994, Becker and Reuter 1982). For this study, 60 patients with epicondylitis that was resistant to conservative treatment were randomized into two groups for comparison. In group 1, interference currents were administered twice a day for six weeks and group 2 received combination treatment with the hydrogalvanic four-cell bath and rising- temperature arm bath once a day for six weeks. Criteria for inclusion, control and appraisal were laid down prospectively. Several parameters were used, recorded and statistically evaluated as outcome measures.  These were active joint range of movement of the elbow, grip strength, pain provocation with muscle contraction, palpation pain and pain with functional activities.  The results showed a significant superiority of combination treatment over therapy with interference current. It is therefore recommended that hydrogalvanic four-cell bath and arm bath with rising temperature should be carried out before considering surgical treatment for chronic epicondylitis.

Keywords

epicondylitis; hydrogalvanic therapy; interference therapy; comparative study

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