We aimed to investigate the efficacy of pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) in lateral epicondylitis comparing the modality with sham PEMF and local steroid injection. Sixty patients with lateral epicondylitis were randomly and equally distributed into three groups as follows: Group I received PEMF, Group II sham PEMF, and Group III a corticosteroid + anesthetic agent injection. Pain levels during rest, activity, nighttime, resisted wrist dorsiflexion, and forearm supination were investigated with visual analog scale (VAS). Pain threshold on elbow was determined with algometer. All patients were evaluated before treatment at the third week and the third month. VAS values during activity and pain levels during resisted wrist dorsiflexion were significantly lower in Group III than Group I at the third week. Group I patients had lower pain during rest, activity and nighttime than Group III at third month. PEMF seems to reduce lateral epicondylitis pain better than sham PEMF. Corticosteroid and anesthetic agent injections can be used in patients for rapid return to activities.
Trakya University Medical Faculty Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department, Edirne, Turkey.