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Comparison of the Analgesic Effects of Three Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Protocols

1 May 2003


The purpose of this single-blind study was to compare the local analgesic effect of three commonly utilized TENS protocols on pressure induced pain. Twenty-seven healthy subjects received one of the following five TENS treatment protocols: Brief intense TENS (10 minute, 250 f-ls, 150 pps, motor stimulation); Low-rate TENS (30 minute, 250 us, 4 pps, comfortable motor twitch); Conventional TENS (20 minute, 60 us, 125 pps, comfortable sensory stimulation); Control Group (20-minute, electrode placement without deliverance of electrical stimulation); and Placebo Group (20-minute, electrode placement without deliverance of electrical stimulation and verbal instruction that non-sensory micro-current was administered). A 5-by-3 research design was used in the study, with independent variables of TENS treatment protocol and treatment time intervals. Algometer measurements for pressure pain threshold and maximum pressure pain tolerance were taken immediately before (pre-treatment), immediately after (post-treatment) and 60 minutes after TENS treatment intervention.

Using a single-factor and two-way ANOVA, no significance was found between the TENS treatments and interval measurements. Therefore, this study does not validate the pain reduction properties or the analgesic difference between the three TENS parameters that were chosen for this experiment.


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