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Comparison of effects of phonophoresis and iontophoresis of naproxen in the treatment of lateral epicondylitis.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of naproxen (10%) applied by topical iontophoresis or by phonophoresis in the treatment of lateral epicondylitis.

DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial.

SETTING: Dokuz Eylül University School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation.

SUBJECTS: This study was carried out with 61 patients who had lateral epicondylitis. They were randomized into two groups.

INTERVENTIONS: Naproxen was applied to the first group using phonophoresis (29 patients--33 extremities) and to the second group using iontophoresis (32 patients--34 extremities). Patients in both groups were treated by other physiotherapy methods (cold pack, progressive strengthening and stretching exercises).

OUTCOMES: Pain scores (at rest, during motion, with pressure, weight lifting), grip strength and Nirschl-Petterone Grading System were evaluated before and after treatment.

RESULTS: Pain scores decreased, grip strength and Nirsch-Petterone Grading System statistically significantly increased in both groups after treatment (p < 0.05), but there were no statistical differences between groups before or after treatment (p > 0.05).

CONCLUSION: The results suggest that iontophoresis and phonophoresis of naproxen are equally effective electrotherapy methods in the treatment of lateral epicondylitis.

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