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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1999 Sep;80(9):1001-4.

Comparative analgesic effects of H-wave therapy and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on pain threshold in humans.

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Rehabilitation Sciences Research Group, School of Health Sciences, University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Northern Ireland, UK.



To assess the comparative analgesic efficacy of H-wave therapy (HWT) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) using a mechanical model of pain threshold measurement.


Forty-eight healthy human volunteers (24 women, 24 men) were recruited and randomly assigned into one of six experimental groups; control, HWT (placebo, 2Hz, or 60Hz), or TENS (placebo or 110Hz). For each subject, mechanical pain threshold (MPT) measurements were recorded at three standardized recording points marked on the dorsal web space of the dominant hand. Two MPT measurements were recorded at each point at the following time intervals: before treatment was initiated (baseline), after each of three consecutive 10-minute periods of stimulation (HWT or TENS), and at four intervals within 30 minutes after stimulation. In the control and placebo groups MPT measurements were recorded at similar time intervals.


Difference scores, calculated from patients' baseline values, were analyzed by ANOVA for each of the three recording points. Although results showed a significant increase in MPT levels in all three stimulation groups when compared with their relative placebo (indicating a hypoalgesic effect), no differences were observed between the different modalities or HWT frequencies. Significant hypoalgesia continued for 5 minutes after stimulation.


The findings showed that HWT and TENS provided localized hypoalgesia during stimulation and for up to 5 minutes after it. No frequency- or modality-specific effects were observed between the groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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