Introduction: Tennis elbow (TE) is one of the most commonly encountered upper limb conditions. It mainly affects people who use the hand grip against resistance frequently, resulting in microtrauma to the wrist extensors tendon, causing pain. This study was conducted to compare the application of iontophoresis of 0.4% dexamethasone and Cyriax-type exercises in the treatment of chronic tennis elbow (CTE). 

Methods: Twenty-two industrial worker diagnosed as having CTE participated in this study, and their ages ranged from 25 to 52. They were assigned randomly to two groups, i.e., “group A” in which the workers were treated by iontophoresis of 0.4% Dexamethasone and “group B” in which the workers were treated by conducting Cyriax-type exercises on the affected tendon. Both groups received stretching exercises for the common extensors tendon for 10 minutes in addition to five minutes of pulsed US 1.1 W/cm2 six times over two weeks. The outcome of the treatment was assessed one week after the last session by the visual analog scale (VAS) to assess pain, by the Oxford elbow score (OES) to measure the patient’s satisfaction, and by a handgrip dynamometer to measure the strength of the handgrip.   

Results: The application of 0.4% dexamethasone iontophoresis and the use of Cyriax-type exercises both provided significant improvement in the pain, patient’s satisfaction, and the power of the handgrip, and there were no significant difference (p > 0.001) in any of the three measures after the first week’s treatment.  

Conclusions: Both iontophoresis of 0.4% dexamethasone and Cyriax-type exercises were successful as treatment modalities for patients with CTE, and there were no significant differences between both of them in the treatment of those cases.


Keywords: Iontophoresis, dexamethasone, Cyriax exercises, tennis elbow
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