Interferential/Tens for Chronic Low Back Pain ( CLBP)

NIH report from NIH on use of above for rehab. and pain reduction using both forms of electrotherapy. Here is post.

Summary below:

Interferential and horizontal therapies in chronic low back pain: a randomized, double blind, clinical study.
Zambito A, Bianchini D, Gatti D, Viapiana O, Rossini M, Adami S.

Rheumatologic Rehabilitation, University of Verona, Italy.

OBJECTIVE: Chronic Low Back Pain (CLBP) is one of the most frequent medical problems. Electrical nerve stimulation is frequently used but its efficacy remains controversial.

METHODS: Twenty-six men and 94 women with CLBP associated with either degenerative disk disease or previous multiple vertebral osteoporotic fractures were randomly assigned to either interferential currents (IFT), horizontal therapy (HT) or sham HT administered for 10, 20 and 40 minutes, respectively, daily for 5 days per week for two weeks together with a standard flexion-extension stretching exercise program, Blind efficacy assessment were obtained at baseline and at week 2, 6 and 14 and included a functional questionnaire (Backill), the standard visual analog scale (VAS) and the mean analgesic consumption.

RESULTS: At week 2 a significant and similar improvement in both the VAS and Backill score was observed in all three groups. The Backill score continued to improve only in the two active groups with changes significantly greater than those observed in control patients at week 14. The pain VAS score returned to baseline values at week 6 and 14 in the control group while in the IFT and HT groups it continued to improve (p< 0.01 vs controls). The use of analgesic medications significantly improved at week 14 versus pretreatment assessment and over control patients only in the HT group.

CONCLUSION: This randomized double-blind controlled study provides the first evidence that IFT and HT therapy are significantly effective in alleviating both pain and disability in patients with CLBP. The placebo effect is remarkable at the beginning of the treatment but it tends to vanish within a couple of weeks.

Monday, December 10, 2007