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Effects of thermotherapy and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on patients with primary dysmenorrhea: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial

PainSci » bibliography » Machado et al 2019
Tags: TENS, devices, treatment

One article on PainSci cites Machado 2019: Zapped! Does TENS work for pain?

PainSci commentary on Machado 2019: ?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.

Machado et al. compared TENS to heat and placebo for dysmenorrhea in several dozen woman… and heat won. It was modestly better than TENS and placebo, which were both the same. Nothing promising about that result. If TENS is powerful for periods, it sure has a funny way of showing it.

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effects of thermotherapy and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) on pain intensity, pressure pain threshold (PPT) and conditioned pain modulation (CPM) in patients with primary dysmenorrhea (PD).

DESIGN: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial.

SETTING: Physiotherapy Department of the Universidade Cidade de São Paulo, São Paulo (Brazil).

INTERVENTIONS: Eighty-eight dysmenorrheic women were randomly allocated into four groups: Thermotherapy + TENS(n = 22), Thermotherapy(n = 22), TENS(n = 22) and Placebo(n = 22). Thermotherapy was applied by microwave diathermy (20 min), and TENS (200 μs, 100 Hz, 30 min), into the lower abdomen both.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Pain intensity was measured using the numeric rating scale (NRS) and the McGill Pain Questionnaire (Br-MPQ). PPT and CPM were recorded from women's abdominal and lumbar. The evaluation was done in 5 times: baseline, after 20, 50, 110 min and 24 h from intervention.

RESULTS: There was a significant decrease in the NRS for Thermotherapy + TENS vs. TENS, for Thermotherapy vs. TENS and for Placebo, after 20 min; for Thermotherapy vs. TENS and for Placebo, after 110 min and 24 h. Abdome PPT increased in the Thermotherapy + TENS vs. TENS and Placebo, after 50 min; for Thermotherapy + TENS vs. Placebo and for Thermotherapy vs. Placebo, after 110 min. No changes in lumbar PPT and CPM were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of thermotherapy reduced NRS compared to the TENS and Placebo after 20, 110 min and 24 h. Thermotherapy demonstrated an increase in the PPT in the abdomen after 50 and 110 min and decreased the Br-MPQ scores after 110 min in patients with PD.

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