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Am J Chin Med. 1984 Summer;12(1-4):72-9.

A comparative study of the pain alleviating effect of vibratory stimulation, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, electroacupuncture and placebo.


The pain reducing effect of vibratory stimulation at 100 Hz, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) at 100 Hz, electroacupuncture at 2 Hz as compared to placebo was studied in 36 patients suffering from myalgia. In 29 patients these modes of stimulation produced pain reduction. Out of these patients 18 rated vibratory stimulation, TENS or electroacupuncture as more effective than placebo while 6 patients rated placebo as more effective. Five patients rated the pain suppressive effect of vibratory stimulation, TENS and electroacupuncture as being equal to that of placebo. Four of the patients who experienced pain reduction with peripheral stimulation reported an effect only for one particular type of peripheral stimulation. The present results provide evidence that vibratory stimulation, TENS and electroacupuncture are as efficient pain suppressive measures and superior to placebo. It is suggested on the basis of these findings that vibratory stimulation, TENS and electroacupuncture merit consideration in the choice of treatment of myalgia.

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