Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for treating lateral elbow pain in adults.

S. Green, R. Buchbinder, L. Barnsley, S. Hall, M. White, N. Smidt, W. Assendelft

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Lateral elbow pain, or tennis elbow, is a common condition causing pain in the elbow and forearm and lack of strength and function of the elbow and wrist. It is often treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), either orally or by topical application. OBJECTIVES: To assess effectiveness of NSAIDs (oral or topical) in the treatment of adults with lateral elbow pain with respect to symptom (pain) reduction, improvement in function, grip strength and adverse effects. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Musculoskeletal Review Group's trials register database, the Cochrane Clinical Trials Register (Cochrane Library issue 2, 2001), MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE and SCISEARCH up to June 2001. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised and pseudo randomised trials in all languages of NSAIDs (oral or topical) compared to placebo or another intervention, or comparing two NSAIDs (oral or topical) to each other, in adults with lateral elbow pain (tennis elbow). Outcomes of interest were pain, function, disability and quality of life, strength, participant satisfaction with treatment and adverse effect. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two reviewers independently applied selection criteria and assessed study quality. MAIN RESULTS: Fourteen trials were included in the review. Few trials used intention to treat analysis, and the sample size of most was small. The median follow up was 2 weeks (range 1-12 weeks). There is evidence that topical NSAIDs are significantly more effective than placebo with respect to pain [weighted main difference= -1.88, (95% confidence intervals -2.54 to -1.21)] and participant satisfaction [relative risk 0.39, (95% confidence intervals 0.23 to 0.66)] in the short term, and this finding is robust against the possible bias introduced by the inclusion of unblinded trials and publication bias. The adverse effects reported were minor. Only two included trials assessed the effect of oral NSAID and these were not able to be pooled. There is some evidence for short term benefit with respect to pain and function from oral NSAIDs, but this benefit was not sustained. Significantly more gastrointestinal adverse effects were reported by those taking oral NSAIDs [relative risk = 3.17, (95% confidence intervals 1.35 to 7.41)]. In the short term there may be some advantage in steroid injection over oral NSAID [patient's perception of benefit relative risk = 3.06, (95% confidence intervals 1.55 to 6.06)], but this was not sustained in the longer term. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: There is some support for the use of topical NSAIDs to relieve lateral elbow pain at least in the short term. There remains insufficient evidence to recommend or discourage the use of oral NSAID, although it appears injection may be more effective than oral NSAID in the short term. A direct comparison between topical and oral NSAID has not been made and so no conclusions can be drawn regarding the best method of administration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 16
Number of pages16
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Volume4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

Cite this

@article{af2f298506d2403cb104c9ade1491c69,
title = "Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for treating lateral elbow pain in adults.",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: Lateral elbow pain, or tennis elbow, is a common condition causing pain in the elbow and forearm and lack of strength and function of the elbow and wrist. It is often treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), either orally or by topical application. OBJECTIVES: To assess effectiveness of NSAIDs (oral or topical) in the treatment of adults with lateral elbow pain with respect to symptom (pain) reduction, improvement in function, grip strength and adverse effects. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Musculoskeletal Review Group's trials register database, the Cochrane Clinical Trials Register (Cochrane Library issue 2, 2001), MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE and SCISEARCH up to June 2001. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised and pseudo randomised trials in all languages of NSAIDs (oral or topical) compared to placebo or another intervention, or comparing two NSAIDs (oral or topical) to each other, in adults with lateral elbow pain (tennis elbow). Outcomes of interest were pain, function, disability and quality of life, strength, participant satisfaction with treatment and adverse effect. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two reviewers independently applied selection criteria and assessed study quality. MAIN RESULTS: Fourteen trials were included in the review. Few trials used intention to treat analysis, and the sample size of most was small. The median follow up was 2 weeks (range 1-12 weeks). There is evidence that topical NSAIDs are significantly more effective than placebo with respect to pain [weighted main difference= -1.88, (95{\%} confidence intervals -2.54 to -1.21)] and participant satisfaction [relative risk 0.39, (95{\%} confidence intervals 0.23 to 0.66)] in the short term, and this finding is robust against the possible bias introduced by the inclusion of unblinded trials and publication bias. The adverse effects reported were minor. Only two included trials assessed the effect of oral NSAID and these were not able to be pooled. There is some evidence for short term benefit with respect to pain and function from oral NSAIDs, but this benefit was not sustained. Significantly more gastrointestinal adverse effects were reported by those taking oral NSAIDs [relative risk = 3.17, (95{\%} confidence intervals 1.35 to 7.41)]. In the short term there may be some advantage in steroid injection over oral NSAID [patient's perception of benefit relative risk = 3.06, (95{\%} confidence intervals 1.55 to 6.06)], but this was not sustained in the longer term. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: There is some support for the use of topical NSAIDs to relieve lateral elbow pain at least in the short term. There remains insufficient evidence to recommend or discourage the use of oral NSAID, although it appears injection may be more effective than oral NSAID in the short term. A direct comparison between topical and oral NSAID has not been made and so no conclusions can be drawn regarding the best method of administration.",
author = "S. Green and R. Buchbinder and L. Barnsley and S. Hall and M. White and N. Smidt and W. Assendelft",
year = "2002",
month = "1",
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language = "English",
volume = "4",
pages = "1 -- 16",
journal = "Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews",
issn = "1469-493X",
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Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for treating lateral elbow pain in adults. / Green, S.; Buchbinder, R.; Barnsley, L.; Hall, S.; White, M.; Smidt, N.; Assendelft, W.

In: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Vol. 4, No. 2, 01.01.2002, p. 1 - 16.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for treating lateral elbow pain in adults.

AU - Green, S.

AU - Buchbinder, R.

AU - Barnsley, L.

AU - Hall, S.

AU - White, M.

AU - Smidt, N.

AU - Assendelft, W.

PY - 2002/1/1

Y1 - 2002/1/1

N2 - BACKGROUND: Lateral elbow pain, or tennis elbow, is a common condition causing pain in the elbow and forearm and lack of strength and function of the elbow and wrist. It is often treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), either orally or by topical application. OBJECTIVES: To assess effectiveness of NSAIDs (oral or topical) in the treatment of adults with lateral elbow pain with respect to symptom (pain) reduction, improvement in function, grip strength and adverse effects. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Musculoskeletal Review Group's trials register database, the Cochrane Clinical Trials Register (Cochrane Library issue 2, 2001), MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE and SCISEARCH up to June 2001. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised and pseudo randomised trials in all languages of NSAIDs (oral or topical) compared to placebo or another intervention, or comparing two NSAIDs (oral or topical) to each other, in adults with lateral elbow pain (tennis elbow). Outcomes of interest were pain, function, disability and quality of life, strength, participant satisfaction with treatment and adverse effect. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two reviewers independently applied selection criteria and assessed study quality. MAIN RESULTS: Fourteen trials were included in the review. Few trials used intention to treat analysis, and the sample size of most was small. The median follow up was 2 weeks (range 1-12 weeks). There is evidence that topical NSAIDs are significantly more effective than placebo with respect to pain [weighted main difference= -1.88, (95% confidence intervals -2.54 to -1.21)] and participant satisfaction [relative risk 0.39, (95% confidence intervals 0.23 to 0.66)] in the short term, and this finding is robust against the possible bias introduced by the inclusion of unblinded trials and publication bias. The adverse effects reported were minor. Only two included trials assessed the effect of oral NSAID and these were not able to be pooled. There is some evidence for short term benefit with respect to pain and function from oral NSAIDs, but this benefit was not sustained. Significantly more gastrointestinal adverse effects were reported by those taking oral NSAIDs [relative risk = 3.17, (95% confidence intervals 1.35 to 7.41)]. In the short term there may be some advantage in steroid injection over oral NSAID [patient's perception of benefit relative risk = 3.06, (95% confidence intervals 1.55 to 6.06)], but this was not sustained in the longer term. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: There is some support for the use of topical NSAIDs to relieve lateral elbow pain at least in the short term. There remains insufficient evidence to recommend or discourage the use of oral NSAID, although it appears injection may be more effective than oral NSAID in the short term. A direct comparison between topical and oral NSAID has not been made and so no conclusions can be drawn regarding the best method of administration.

AB - BACKGROUND: Lateral elbow pain, or tennis elbow, is a common condition causing pain in the elbow and forearm and lack of strength and function of the elbow and wrist. It is often treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), either orally or by topical application. OBJECTIVES: To assess effectiveness of NSAIDs (oral or topical) in the treatment of adults with lateral elbow pain with respect to symptom (pain) reduction, improvement in function, grip strength and adverse effects. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Musculoskeletal Review Group's trials register database, the Cochrane Clinical Trials Register (Cochrane Library issue 2, 2001), MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE and SCISEARCH up to June 2001. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised and pseudo randomised trials in all languages of NSAIDs (oral or topical) compared to placebo or another intervention, or comparing two NSAIDs (oral or topical) to each other, in adults with lateral elbow pain (tennis elbow). Outcomes of interest were pain, function, disability and quality of life, strength, participant satisfaction with treatment and adverse effect. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two reviewers independently applied selection criteria and assessed study quality. MAIN RESULTS: Fourteen trials were included in the review. Few trials used intention to treat analysis, and the sample size of most was small. The median follow up was 2 weeks (range 1-12 weeks). There is evidence that topical NSAIDs are significantly more effective than placebo with respect to pain [weighted main difference= -1.88, (95% confidence intervals -2.54 to -1.21)] and participant satisfaction [relative risk 0.39, (95% confidence intervals 0.23 to 0.66)] in the short term, and this finding is robust against the possible bias introduced by the inclusion of unblinded trials and publication bias. The adverse effects reported were minor. Only two included trials assessed the effect of oral NSAID and these were not able to be pooled. There is some evidence for short term benefit with respect to pain and function from oral NSAIDs, but this benefit was not sustained. Significantly more gastrointestinal adverse effects were reported by those taking oral NSAIDs [relative risk = 3.17, (95% confidence intervals 1.35 to 7.41)]. In the short term there may be some advantage in steroid injection over oral NSAID [patient's perception of benefit relative risk = 3.06, (95% confidence intervals 1.55 to 6.06)], but this was not sustained in the longer term. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: There is some support for the use of topical NSAIDs to relieve lateral elbow pain at least in the short term. There remains insufficient evidence to recommend or discourage the use of oral NSAID, although it appears injection may be more effective than oral NSAID in the short term. A direct comparison between topical and oral NSAID has not been made and so no conclusions can be drawn regarding the best method of administration.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0036043109&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Review Article

VL - 4

SP - 1

EP - 16

JO - Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

JF - Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

SN - 1469-493X

IS - 2

ER -