Electrical nerve stimulation may help women with fibromyalgia

A treatment involving electrical nerve stimulation helped women with fibromyalgia in a recent clinical trial. The findings are published in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Fibromyalgia is characterized by pain and fatigue, particularly during physical activity. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) delivers electrical currents through the skin to activate nerve pathways in the body that inhibit pain.

In this trial, TENS resulted in significant improvements in movement-related pain and fatigue compared with placebo or no TENS.

The TENS treatment was given along with standard treatments for fibromyalgia. Thus, it can provide people with a tool to help manage pain and fatigue without taking additional pain medications.

TENS is available over the counter, is inexpensive, and is safe and easy to use. It can provide a self-management option for people with chronic pain, particularly fibromyalgia, to provide an additional level of pain relief."

Kathleen A. Sluka, PT, PhD, FAPTA, senior author, University of Iowa

Source:
Journal reference:

Dailey, D.L., et al. (2019) A Randomized Controlled Trial of TENS for Movement‐Evoked Pain in Women with Fibromyalgia. Arthritis & Rheumatology. doi.org/10.1002/art.41170.

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