The effect of different stimulation frequencies to transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on mechanical and thermal pain threshold in healthy subjects

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The effect of different stimulation frequencies to transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on mechanical and thermal pain threshold in healthy subjects

 

Author: Tong, Kam-cheong
Title: The effect of different stimulation frequencies to transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on mechanical and thermal pain threshold in healthy subjects
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2006
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
Knee -- Diseases -- Physical therapy
Analgesia
Department: Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: x, 90 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1986356
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/5558
Abstract: Background: Limited studies have compared the effects of alternating frequency stimulation with fixed frequency stimulation in human beings. Hamza et al (1999) examined the effect of stimulation frequency of TENS on the analgesic requirement for one hundred women undergone major gynecological procedures. It was found that 2/100 alternating frequency group and fixed frequency groups (2 Hz, 100Hz) have similar effects in visual analog scales (VAS) for pain, but the use of alternating frequency stimulation produced a slightly greater effect in decreasing morphine requirement. Law and Cheing (2004) examined the optimal stimulation frequency of TENS on thirty-four patients with knee osteoarthritis. It was suggested that 2 Hz, 100Hz or 2/100 alternating frequency all produced similar effects in visual analog scales, knee range of motion and timed up and go test. As the effect of alternating frequency stimulation may be masked by variations in clinical pain, studies on the effectiveness of alternating frequency stimulation in experimental pain on healthy subjects was suggested. Objectives: To investigate whether the use of alternating frequency TENS at 2/100 Hz would have more potent analgesic effect than fixed frequency at 2 Hz or 100 Hz in healthy subjects, as compared to a controlled group. Study Design: Single blinded randomized controlled trial.
Methodology: Convenient sampling of healthy volunteer physiotherapy student and staff were matched with gender, then randomly divided into 4 groups. Subjects in 4 groups received TENS at (i) 2Hz; (ii) 100Hz; (iii) 2/100Hz alternating frequency or (iv)control group with no treatment. Electrical stimulation was applied over the anterior aspect of the dominant forearm. Two outcome measures were recorded at six time interval i.e. before, during and after the electrical stimulation. The total duration of experiment lasted for 75 minutes. Main outcome measure: The change in mechanical pain threshold and heat pain threshold before, during and after TENS stimulation, Results: During the first 15 minutes stimulation, the heat pain threshold significantly increased in the alternating frequency stimulation group (p<0.05) and the mechanical pain threshold significantly increased in the 100 Hz stimulation group (p<0.05). However, the TENS analgesia was offset after the stimulation. Conclusion: Our findings do not support that the delivery of TENS at an alternating frequency would produce a greater analgesic effect than other fixed frequency stimulation. However, the alternating frequency stimulation group demonstrated a significantly greater elevation in the HPT than did the other groups. The 100 Hz stimulation group showed a significantly greater increase in the MPT than did the other groups.

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