Comparison of effects of Cyriax physiotherapy, a supervised exercise programme and polarized polychromatic non-coherent light (Bioptron light) for the treatment of lateral epicondylitis
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Objective: To compare the effectiveness of Cyriax physiotherapy, a supervised exercise programme, and polarized polychromatic non-coherent light (Bioptron light) in the treatment of lateral epicondylitis. Design: Controlled clinical trial. Setting: Rheumatology and rehabilitation centre. Subjects: This study was carried out with 75 patients who had lateral epicondylitis. They were allocated to three groups by sequential allocation. Interventions: Group A (n = 25) was treated with Cyriax physiotherapy. A supervised exercise programme was given to group B (n = 25). Group C (n = 25) received polarized polychromatic non-coherent light (Bioptron light). All patients received three treatments per week for four weeks. Outcomes: Pain was evaluated using a visual analogue scale and function using a visual analogue scale and pain-free grip strength at the end of the four-week course of treatment (week 4), one month (week 8), three months (week 16) and six months (week 28) after the end of treatment. Results: The supervised exercise programme produced the largest effect in the reduction of pain and in the improvement of function at the end of the treatment (P < 0.05) and at any of the follow-up time points (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The supervised exercise programme should be the first treatment option for therapists when they manage lateral epicondylitis patients. If this is not possible, Cyriax physiotherapy and polarized polychromatic non-coherent light (Bioptron light) may be suitable.