How effective are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for treating lateral elbow pain (tennis elbow) in adults?
Most of the 13 trials included in this review were small (ten trials included 40 or fewer participants) and risk of bias was generally high, with only two trials adequately blinding trial participants. Methodological and reporting issues limited the ability to combine data. None of the trials included a measure of quality of life, and less than half included a measure of function. No direct comparisons between oral and topical NSAIDs were available. *NNT = number needed to treat to benefit one individual.
Lateral elbow pain, or tennis elbow, is a common condition that causes pain in the elbow and forearm. Although self-limiting, it can be associated with significant disability and often results in work absence. It is often treated with topical and oral NSAIDs.