A systematic review of the literature on the effectiveness of physical interventions for lateral epicondylalgia ( tennis elbow) was carried out. Seventy six randomised controlled trials were identified, 28 of which satisfied the minimum criteria for meta-analysis. The evidence suggests that extracorporeal shock wave therapy is not beneficial in the treatment of tennis elbow. There is a lack of evidence for the long term benefit of physical interventions in general. However, further research with long term follow up into manipulation and exercise as treatments is indicated.