Table 2

Methodological quality scores of the included studies

Adequate randomisation?Allocation concealment?Blinding? Patients?Blinding? Caregiver?Blinding? Outcome assessors?Incomplete outcome data addressed? Drop-outs?Incomplete outcome data? ITT analysis?Free of Suggestions of selective outcome reporting?Similarity of baseline characteristics?Co-interventions avoided or similar?Compliance acceptable in all groups?Timing of the outcome assessment similar?Score maximumScore studyPer cent
Ultrasound
 Haker and Lundeberg18*++++++++++121083
 Lundeberg et al19*+++++++++12975
 D'Vaz et al20++++++?+++12975
 Oken et al11+?+++++??+12758
 Binder et al21*++++++12758
 Stratford et al22*+++++++12758
 Davidson et al23+?+++?++12650
 Langen-Pieters and Brantingham24+?+++?+12542
 Pienimaki et al25???+?++??12325
Laser
 Vasseljen et al26*+++++++++++121192
 Stergioulas27+++++++++++121192
 Haker and Lundeberg28*++++++++++121083
 Haker and Lundeberg18*++++++++++121083
 Vasseljen et al26*++++++++12867
 Krasheninnikoff et al29*+++++++12758
 Lam and Cheing30+?+?++++??+12758
 Basford et al31+?++++++12758
 Lundeberg et al32*+++++12542
 Gudmundsen33*+1218
Electrotherapy
 Coff and Caragianis34??++++?++12650
 NourbakhshReza35?++??+???+12433
Pulsed electromagnetic field
 Uzunca et al36++++++??+12758
 Devereaux et al37??++++?+??+12650
 Chard and Hazleman38*++++12433
TENS
 Weng et al39???????+????1218
ESWT
 Rompe et al40+++n.a.+++n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.66100
 Gunduzet al41+++?++++++++1111100
 Chung and Wiley42+++n.a.++n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.6583
 Haake et al43++n.a.+++n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.6583
 Pettrone and McCall44?++n.a.+++n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.6583
 Mehra et al45++n.a.++n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.6467
 Speed et al46??+n.a.+++n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.6467
 Staples et al47+?++++++?+12867
 Spacca et al48+?+?++++?++12867
 Collins and Jafarnia49?+++++++11764
 Pettrone and McCall44++++++??+12758
 Melikyan et al50??+n.a.++n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.6350
 Rompe et al40??+n.a.++n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.6350
 Levitt51??+n.a.++n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.6350
 Radwan et al9+?+++?n.a.+11545
 Chung et al52??+?++??+12433
 Crowther et al53+?n.a.?+n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.6233
 Total positive scores per item191929112832172517111826
  • *Articles included in the review of Smidt et al16 in which the Amsterdam-Maastricht consensus list was used to score the methodological quality.

  • †Articles included in the review of Buchbinder et al17 in which six specific criteria were used to score the methodological quality.

  • +, yes; −, no; ?, unclear/unsure; n.a. not applicable because these items were not used as quality criteria.