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Braz J Phys Ther. 2014 Jan-Feb;18(1):72-8.

Low and high-frequency TENS in post-episiotomy pain relief: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial.

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  • 1Physical Therapy Department, Universidade de Pernambuco, Petrolina, PE, Brazil.
  • 2Departament of Public Health, Escola de Enfermagem de Ribeirao Preto, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Ribeirao Preto, SP, Brazil.



To evaluate the effectiveness of low-frequency TENS (LFT) and high-frequency TENS (HFT) in post-episiotomy pain relief.


A randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical trial with placebo composed of 33 puerperae with post-episiotomy pain. TENS was applied for 30 minutes to groups: HFT(100 Hz; 100 µs), LFT (5 Hz; 100 µs), and placebo (PT). Four electrodes were placed in parallel near the episiotomy and four pain evaluations were performed with the numeric rating scale. The first and the second evaluation took place before TENS application and immediately after its removal and were done in the resting position and in the activities of sitting and ambulating. The third and fourth evaluation took place 30 and 60 minutes after TENS removal, only in the resting position. Intragroup differences were verified using the Friedman and Wilcoxon tests, and the intergroup analysis employed the Kruskal-Wallis test.


In the intragroup analysis, there was no significant difference in the PT during rest, sitting, and ambulation (P>0.05). In the HFT and LFT, a significant difference was observed in all activities (P<0.001). In the intergroup analysis, there was a significant difference in the resting position in the HFT and LFT (P<0.001). In the sitting activity, a significant difference was verified in the second evaluation in the HFT and LFT (P<0.008). No significant difference was verified among the groups in ambulation (P<0.20).


LFT and HFT are an effective resource that may be included in the routine of maternity wards.

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