Using TENS for pain control: the state of the evidence
One article on PainSci cites Vance 2014: Zapped! Does TENS work for pain?
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.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a nonpharmacological intervention that activates a complex neuronal network to reduce pain by activating descending inhibitory systems in the central nervous system to reduce hyperalgesia. The evidence for TENS efficacy is conflicting and requires not only description but also critique. Population-specific systemic reviews and meta-analyses are emerging, indicating both HF and LF TENS being shown to provide analgesia, specifically when applied at a strong, nonpainful intensity. The purpose of this article is to provide a critical review of the latest basic science and clinical evidence for TENS. Additional research is necessary to determine if TENS has effects specific to mechanical stimuli and/or beyond reduction of pain and will improve activity levels, function and quality of life.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
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