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Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Improves Fibromyalgia Pain

Friday 13 December 2019


From Healio Rheumatology:


Kathleen A. Sluka
Kathleen A. Sluka

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation improves fibromyalgia pain

Dailey DL, et al. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2019;doi:10.1002/art.41170.
December 12, 2019
©2019 Healio All Rights Reserved.

Four weeks of active transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, can significantly improve pain triggered by movement and other clinical outcomes among women with fibromyalgia, according to data published in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

“Pain and fatigue are two symptoms in this population that interfere with their ability to participate in daily activities and exercise, an effective treatment in this population,” Kathleen A. Sluka, PT, PhD, FAPTA, of the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa, told Healio Rheumatology. “This study shows that TENS use at home during activity improved both pain and fatigue in people with fibromyalgia when compared to placebo or no TENS.”

“The TENS treatment was given in addition to standard treatments for fibromyalgia,” she added. “Thus, this treatment can provide people with an additional tool to help manage pain and fatigue without taking additional pain medications.”

To analyze whether using TENS while active improves movement-triggered pain among women with fibromyalgia, Sluka and colleagues conducted a phase 2, double-blind study of patients at the University of Iowa and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Women aged 18 to 70 years with confirmed fibromyalgia and stable medication were randomized to receive one of three treatments, with 103 participants treated with active TENS, 99 receiving placebo TENS and another 99 receiving no TENS at all.


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