From the Department of Neurology (R.M.D.), University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS; and Toronto Western Hospital (J.M.), Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Objective: To determine if transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) is efficacious in the treatment of pain in neurologic disorders.
Methods: We performed a systematic literature search of Medline and the Cochrane Library from inception to April 2009.
Results: There are conflicting reports of TENS compared to sham TENS in the treatment of chronic low back pain, with 2 Class II studies showing benefit, but 2 Class I studies and another Class II study not showing benefit. Because the Class I studies are stronger evidence, TENS is established as ineffective for the treatment of chronic low back pain (2 Class I studies). TENS is probably effective in treating painful diabetic neuropathy (2 Class II studies).
Recommendations: Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) is not recommended for the treatment of chronic low back pain (Level A). TENS should be considered in the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy (Level B). Further research into the mechanism of action of TENS is needed, as well as more rigorous studies for determination of efficacy.
~~> " http://www.neurology.org/cgi/content/abstract/WNL.0b013e3181c918fcv1
I read all the information I could reguarding the Class1 research done. It is very intresting, and I too believe that more research is needed. I do not know any chronic low back pain patients that use a TeNS unit as their SOLE means of pain control. In all those I have met thus far it "seems" TeNS unit is used in conjuction with other pain relief methods.
....Now, I have and use a TeNS 3x per day. It is but one small part of a rather large pain management program. I do realize that being a young lady with rapidly progressing spinal deformity with extensive bone loss does present rather unique set of circumstances... I firmly believe that each persons "pain" is unique and as such the methods of treatment should be tailored to the needs of the individual patient. If the patient has a safe, effective method for treating their pain (even palliative care) then by all means use the tools that you have at your disposal.
My pain management consists of Cognitive behavioural therapy, biofeedback, Modified physical therapy, TeNS (in conjuction with "wet" heat heating pad), Tricyclic antidepressant, opioid analgesic, NSAID (arylalkanoic), and Steroid Injections.
I am not a candidate for ANY other types of pain relief at this time due to my specific set of circumstances. But, each aspect of my "pain management" creates a "whole" that *I* need to function.
All pain is unique, and my pain management is tailored to my specific needs. I use what works for me. I am a mother of 2 very small children and have no family to speak of other than my husbands family in florida. So, the "goal" in my case is to restore "quality" of life so that I may "live".
I say it all the time, and this is no exception. "Use what works for you." I once met a lady who used different colors of light and specific "scented oils" to help relieve her mild, yet chronic pain..... Hey! If it works (and your doctor(s) give a thumbs up) go for it!
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood