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Shockwave Therapy for Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

April 23, 2024
Shockwave Therapy for Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

Tennis elbow, sometimes referred to as lateral epicondylitis, is a painful ailment that affects the tendons on the outside of the elbow. In spite of its name, it doesn’t just affect tennis players; anyone who uses their forearm muscles frequently, such as painters, plumbers, and cooks, might be affected. Even while rest, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory drugs are frequently the initial lines of treatment, certain patients are unresponsive to these approaches. Here, shockwave therapy shows promise as a treatment.

The Purpose of Shockwave Therapy:

Shockwave Therapy sometimes referred to as extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), is to promote the healing of wounded tissues using high-energy acoustic waves. It is a non-invasive kind of treatment. Originally created to break up kidney stones, it is now used in orthopaedics to treat ailments like lateral epicondylitis, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis.

The Treatment Process:

The course of treatment for lateral epicondylitis usually includes the application of gel to the skin in the affected area in order to improve the transmission of acoustic waves. The shockwaves are then directed onto specific locations surrounding the lateral epicondyle using a portable instrument. Although some discomfort is expected during treatment, most patients find it to be well-tolerated, and sessions are usually short, lasting between ten and fifteen minutes.

What to Expect:

After receiving shockwave therapy for lateral epicondylitis, patients may feel a little sore or uncomfortable, but this normally goes away in a few days. Improvement is frequently gradual, and the full effects are frequently experienced following a sequence of sessions spread out over several weeks. Shockwave therapy may also work better when combined with bracing or physical therapy, among other therapies.

The Evidence:

Although there is a growing amount of data to support shockwave therapy for lateral epicondylitis, it is important to evaluate the evidence critically. While some trials reveal moderate benefits or no superiority over placebo therapies, others show significant improvements in pain and function. Results can be influenced by elements including follow-up duration, patient selection, and treatment procedure.


Extracorporeal shock wave therapy is a safer alternative to various other methods for treating tennis elbow pain and functional impairment (loss of grip strength), according to available clinical evidence.

Please contact Southgate Physiotherapy to arrange an appointment for this treatment to address your elbow pain.

If you want to know more, feel free to get in touch with us by calling 0208 3686767 or emailing us at

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