Comparison of Burst Type TENS and Conventional TENS Therapy İn Patients with Neuropathic Pain after Spinal cord injury
Background: Neuropathic pain, which is very common after SCI, is confronted as a problem that affects the quality of life negatively and restricts the functional capacity of the patient
Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of burst type transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and conventional TENS therapy on pain, quality of life and disability in neuropathic pain following spinal cord injury (SCI).
Methods: The patients were randomly divided into two groups. Group 1 (n=20) received conventional-TENS therapy and group 2 (n=20) received burst-TENS for 15 sessions. Before and after the treatment, neuropathic pain was assessed with Douleur Neuropathique en 4 Questions (DN-4), pain severity was assessed with visual analogue scale (VAS), quality of life and functional status were evaluated with short form 36 (SF-36) and functional independence measure (FIM) scales.
Results: After the treatment VAS and DN-4 scores were significantly decreased in both groups (p<0.05). However, in group 2 (burst type TENS) reduction of the VAS scores was significantly higher than group 1 (conventional TENS) (p<0.05). After the treatment there were statistically significant improvements in physical function and body pain scores of SF-36 in both groups (p<0.05). There were significant improvements in FIM total scores in both groups (p<0.05) however the difference between the groups was not statistically significant (p>0.05).
Conclusions: TENS is a nonpharmacologic treatment modality which is useful in reducing neuropatic pain level, increasing quality of life and functional independence of the patient. In addition, we decided that burst-TENS is more effective than conventional-TENS for pain severity and neuropathic pain in patient with neuropathic pain syndrome due to SCI.