Content » Vol 35, Issue 1

ANALGESIC EFFECTS OF TRANSCUTANEOUS ELECTRICAL NERVE STIMULATION AND INTERFERENTIAL CURRENTS ON HEAT PAIN IN HEALTHY SUBJECTS

Gladys L. Y. Cheing A1 and Christina W. Y. Hui-Chan A1
A1 Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

DOI: 10.1080/16501970306101

Abstract

This study examined whether transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or interferential current was more effective in reducing experimentally induced heat pain. Forty-eight young healthy subjects were randomly divided into the following groups: (i) transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation; (ii) interferential current; and (iii) no stimulation. A multi-function electrical stimulator was used to generate the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or interferential current. A thermal sensory analyser was used to record the heat pain threshold. The stimulation lasted for 30 minutes and the heat pain thresholds were measured before, during and after the stimulation. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (p = 0.003) and interferential current (p = 0.004) significantly elevated the heat pain threshold, but ''no stimulation'' did not. The thresholds of the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and interferential current groups were significantly higher than that of the control group 30 minutes into the stimulation (p = 0.017). Both transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and interferential current increased the heat pain threshold to a similar extent during stimulation. However, the post-stimulation effect of interferential current lasted longer than that of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

Lay Abstract

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