International Journal of Medical and Health Research

International Journal of Medical and Health Research


International Journal of Medical and Health Research
International Journal of Medical and Health Research
Vol. 5, Issue 3 (2019)

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in management of knee osteoarthritic pain: A Placebo?


Okubuiro Eze Onyegbule, Ebirim Longinus Ndubuisi

Background: Osteoarthritis is a late onset degenerative disorder particularly of the knee and hip. It is the most common joint disease of adults globally. Optimal management of osteoarthritis requires a combination of non-pharmacological and pharmacological modalities. Non-pharmacological management of osteoarthritis of the knee includes physiotherapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), acupuncture and thermotherapy. Although there is widespread use of TENS for acute and chronic pain management, its effectiveness has been challenged by some authors and recommendations for its use in clinical settings appear inconsistent. Materials and Methods: A narrative review of recently published randomized clinical trials, meta-analysis and systematic reviews on transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in the management of knee osteoarthritic pain has been performed Results: Evidence from literature has shown that TENS is safe and it is associated with minimal side effects. Its mechanism of action is also well established. Reports from randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews explored in this essay show an equally divided opinion on the superiority of TENS over placebo in the management of knee osteoarthritis pain. Some of the studies concluded that pain control in osteoarthritis management with TENS was more effective than with placebo, while others showed that TENS provided comparable pain relief with placebo and exercise Conclusion: Due to poor evidence from available literature, it is difficult to conclude whether the clinical effects experienced when TENS has been used in the management of knee osteoarthritic pain is as good as or superior to placebo.
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How to cite this article:
Okubuiro Eze Onyegbule, Ebirim Longinus Ndubuisi. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in management of knee osteoarthritic pain: A Placebo?. International Journal of Medical and Health Research, Volume 5, Issue 3, 2019, Pages 108-111
International Journal of Medical and Health Research