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Evaluation of the effectiveness of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in control of pain in patients with acute low back pain

Grant number: 09/54700-8
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: June 01, 2010 - November 30, 2012
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Medical Clinics
Principal researcher:Jamil Natour
Grantee:Jamil Natour
Home Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil


One of the goals of treatment of acute low back pain is pain relief without causing side effects. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) has been used in the control of back pain because it is a non-invasive, inexpensive, safe and easy to apply. However, no studies were found regarding its effectiveness in acute low back pain. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of TENS in pain management of patients with acute low back pain. Methodology: A prospective, randomized controlled trial, double-blinded. Patients will be recruited from the outpatient UNIFESP, being included: acute low back pain, both genders, between 18 and 65 years old, pain levels between 4 and 8 cm in the visual analogic scale of pain and who consented to participate. Patients with pain of inflammatory origin, neoplastic or infectious disease, cardiac pacemakers, previous surgery of the spine, who have already made use of TENS, pregnant women and patients in labor claim, receiving disability compensation or in process to receive disability compensation will be excluded. One hundred patients will be randomized by a table of randomization into TENS Group (TG) or Placebo Group (PG). In patients of TG Conventional TENS will be used with Varying Intensity and Frequency, 100Hz frequency and width of 50μs, and the intensity adjusted to the threshold of each patient. In patients of PG the only difference is that there will be nç passage of current. All patients will be assessed for pain, function, quality of life, self-assessment of improvement and drug consumption before the start of treatment, daily during treatment, and the final 30 and 60 days after the end of it. (AU)

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