TENS at high or mixed frequency seems to reduce fibromyalgia pain

tens, fibromyalgia, pain relief, joint pain, arthritis digest

Most people have heard about a TENS machine in the context of labour pains. But research also shows they can also be used in some chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia.

What does TENS stand for?

TENS is short for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. A TENS machine is a small, battery-operated device that has leads connected to sticky pads called electrodes, with the aim of relieving pain.

Can TENS be used in fibromyalgia?

Evidence is conflicting as to whether TENS can be used to relieve fibromyalgia pain. And experts who compile reviews of lots of studies generally haven’t looked at impact of dose. So a team set out to determine the effect of the dose of TENS on pain in individuals with fibromyalgia.

They found that if you don’t look at dose, TENS doesn’t appear to help in pain. But if you take dose into account, it’s a different story.

“There is evidence that TENS can effectively reduce pain in individuals with fibromyalgia when applied at high or at mixed frequencies, a high intensity, or in long-term interventions involving 10 or more sessions”.

Where to get a TENS machine?

Fibromyalgia is notoriously difficult to treat so this evidence review is encouraging. And TENS machines are readily available to buy – or even hire – at most high street chemists.

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