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Expert Rev Neurother. 2011 May;11(5):735-53. doi: 10.1586/ern.11.48.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for the management of painful conditions: focus on neuropathic pain.

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Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, LS1 3HE, UK.


The management of neuropathic pain is challenging, with medication being the first-line treatment. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is an inexpensive, noninvasive, self-administered technique that is used as an adjunct to medication. Clinical experience suggests that TENS is beneficial providing it is administered at a sufficiently strong intensity, close to the site of pain. At present, there are too few randomized controlled trials on TENS for neuropathic pain to judge effectiveness. The findings of systematic reviews of TENS for other pain syndromes are inconclusive because trials have a low fidelity associated with inadequate TENS technique and infrequent treatments of insufficient duration. The use of electrode arrays to spatially target stimulation more precisely may improve the efficacy of TENS in the future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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