Indian Journal of Anaesthesia  
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SPECIAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 388-393

Role of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in post-operative analgesia


Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Maulana Azad Medical College, Lok Nayak Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sukhyanti Kerai
H. No. 53, Village Sultanpur Mazra, Sultanpuri, New Delhi - 110 086
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5049.138966

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The use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) as non-pharmacological therapeutic modality is increasing. The types of TENS used clinically are conventional TENS, acupuncture TENS and intense TENS. Their working is believed to be based on gate control theory of pain and activation of endogenous opioids. TENS has been used in anaesthesia for treatment of post-operative analgesia, post-operative nausea vomiting and labour analgesia. Evidence to support analgesic efficacy of TENS is ambiguous. A systematic search of literature on PubMed and Cochrane Library from July 2012 to January 2014 identified a total of eight clinical trials investigating post-operative analgesic effects of TENS including a total of 442 patients. Most of the studies have demonstrated clinically significant reduction in pain intensity and supplemental analgesic requirement. However, these trials vary in TENS parameters used that is, duration, intensity, frequency of stimulation and location of electrodes. Further studies with adequate sample size and good methodological design are warranted to establish general recommendation for use of TENS for post-operative pain.


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