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Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2012;74(1):76-83. doi: 10.1159/000337720. Epub 2012 Jun 21.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation improves low back pain during pregnancy.

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1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fatih University, Ankara, Turkey.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

To compare the efficiency of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) with those of exercise and acetaminophen for the treatment of pregnancy-related low back pain (LBP) during the third trimester of pregnancy.

METHODS:

This prospective study included 79 subjects (≥32 gestational weeks) with visual analog scale (VAS) pain scores ≥5. Participants were divided randomly into a control group (n = 21) and three treatment groups [exercise (n = 19); acetaminophen (n = 19); TENS (n = 20)]. The VAS and the Roland-Morris disability questionnaire (RMDQ) were completed before and 3 weeks after treatment to assess the impact of pain on daily activities.

RESULTS:

During the study period, pain intensity increased in 57% of participants in the control group, whereas pain decreased in 95% of participants in the exercise group and in all participants in the acetaminophen and TENS groups. Post-treatment VAS and RMDQ values were significantly lower in the treatment groups (p < 0.001). VAS and RMDQ scores indicated a significantly greater degree of pain relief in the TENS group than in the exercise and acetaminophen groups (p < 0.001). No adverse effect of TENS application on pregnant women was observed during the study.

CONCLUSION:

TENS is an effective and safe treatment modality for LBP during pregnancy. TENS improved LBP more effectively than did exercise and acetaminophen.

PMID:
22722614
DOI:
10.1159/000337720
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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