What is it about?

Globally, chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a well-recognised cause of disability with a resultant reduction in the quality of life of those who experience it. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a promising non-pharmacological modality for the management of chronic low back pain (CLBP), but its efficacy and mode of action have not been clearly established.

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Why is it important?

This study found that TENS application significantly reduces lower back pain for 1 hour with residual effects extending up to 24 hours. We also observed that the group that received fake TENS reported a little improvement due to the psychological effect. Our study could not link the pain relief from TENS to changes in blood chemicals, we think the effect was a result of transient nerve block.


Finding a non-drug based approach for managing back pain is important because of severe side effects of prolonged drug use.

Ogochukwu Onyeso
University of Lethbridge

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation effects on pain-intensity and endogenous opioids levels among chronic low-back pain patients: A randomised controlled trial, Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, September 2022, IOS Press,
DOI: 10.3233/bmr-210146.
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