European Journal of Integrative Medicine, vol.23, pp.77-83, 2018 (SCI-Expanded)
Introduction: Because of no consensus on the best treatment for management of lateral epicondylitis, other alternative treatment options need to be explored for pain relief and cure of the condition. Local steroid injection mostly diminishes pain but with increased recurrence rate long-term, although steroid injection is very effective short-term. However, there is limited data for skin complications related to local steroid injection (depigmentation, skin atrophy). Neural therapy provides healing by applying local anesthetics to autonomic ganglia, peripheral nerves, scar tissue, acupuncture and trigger points, skin and other tissues. Therefore, the aim was to compare the effect of neural therapy versus local steroid injection for the treatment of lateral epicondylitis and identify the skin complications related to local steroid injection. Methods: Sixty patients with subacromial impingement syndrome were randomly divided into two groups (30 patients per group): Group 1: corticosteroid injection; Group 2: neural therapy. VAS and quick DASH scores were reported at baseline and 1, 3 and 6 months post-treatment. Results: VAS and quick DASH scores in 1,3 and 6 months after the injection significantly decreased in both groups compared to baseline (p < 0.001). However, the pain relief and functional improvement were greater for neural therapy group than the steroid group at 3 and 6 months post-treatment. There were no complications after injections in the neural therapy group, but skin atrophy and depigmentation was observed in two cases in steroid group. Conclusions: Neural therapy may be considered as an alternative treatment option for the treatment of lateral epicondylitis.