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J Pak Med Assoc. 2011 May;61(5):437-9.

Efficacy of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and its different modes in patients with trigeminal neuralgia.

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Institute of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Dow University of Health Sciences and Civil Hospital, Karachi.



To see the efficacy of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation therapy and its different modes in trigeminal neuralgia, refractory or partially responsive to drug therapy and to find out the comparative effectiveness of different modes of TENS therapy in these cases.


This was a prospective analytical study, conducted at Rabia Moon Institute of Neurological Sciences over a period of one year. Thirty one patients diagnosed as suffering from trigeminal neuralgia according to International Headache Society Criteria, either Classic Trigeminal Neuralgia (CTN) or Symptomatic Trigeminal Neuralgia (STN) were randomly subjected to two different modes of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy. Severity of pain was assessed on visual analogue scale prior to treatment and fifteen days after therapy and results were than compared.


Out of 31 patients, 20 females and 11 males, with a mean age of 50.1 +/- 11 years, 26 (83.7%) improved significantly with application of TENS, only 5 (16.3%) patients remained unresponsive to this form of therapy. Study also showed a better efficacy of constant mode of therapy over burst mode.


Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is an effective, easy to use therapy with minimal side effects in patients suffering from trigeminal neuralgia not responding to conventional treatment. Constant mode of this therapy was a slightly better option than burst mode therapy.

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