Clin Rehabil. 2003 Nov;17(7):742-9
Al-Smadi J, Warke K, Wilson I, Cramp AF, Noble G, Walsh DM, Lowe-Strong AS.
Division of Physiotherapy Education, University of Nottingham, Northern Ireland.
To investigate the hypoalgesic effects of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) upon low back pain (LBP) in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).
A randomized double-blind placebo controlled clinical pilot study.
SUBJECTS AND SETTING:
Fifteen people with MS were recruited and randomly allocated to one of the following groups under double blind conditions (n = 5 per group): TENS 1 (4 Hz, 200 micros), TENS 2 (110 Hz, 200 micros), placebo TENS.
Treatment was applied for 45 minutes three times a week for six weeks with a four-week follow-up.
The following outcome measures were taken at weeks 1, 6, and 10: visual analogue scale (VAS) (for current LBP, right leg pain, left leg pain); Leeds Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Questionnaire; Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire; Short Form-36 (SF-36) Version 1; and the McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ).
VAS for current LBP, right and left leg pain were also taken before and after treatment, and once a week during the follow-up period.
Analysis showed no statistically significant effects for any of the data.
However, both active treatment groups showed a trend of improvement in the majority of the outcome measures.
Active TENS was more effective than placebo TENS in decreasing VAS scores following each treatment although results were not statistically significant.
Further work in this area is warranted and should include a larger number of participants in the form of a randomized controlled clinical trial to determine the efficacy of this modality.