oa Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia - The effectiveness of analgesic electrotherapy in the control of pain associated with diabetic neuropathy : research article



Objective : To investigate the usefulness of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and electroacupuncture in managing the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy. <br>Research Design and Methods : A randomized, comparative, placebo controlled study was performed on a group of 100 patients diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy, at the 4th Department of Internal Medicine, Silesian Medical Academy, Katowice, Poland and the Pain Clinic, Mayo Medical Centre of South Africa, Johannesburg. The change in pain perceived was assessed after a course of analgesic electrotherapy using a visual analogue scale as well as changes in use of analgesics and walking ability. <br>Results : The level of pain reported and use of analgesics dropped significantly after the electrotherapy course, compared to the control group. Walking ability improved significantly in patients reporting pain relief. There was no statistically significant difference between the results obtained in the Type 1 and Type 2 patients. Electrotherapy did not produce any side effects. <br>Conclusions : Analgesic electrotherapy, which includes electroacupuncture and TENS, is an effective, affordable and convenient treatment of pain associated with diabetic neuropathy. If correctly applied, analgesic electrotherapy does not produce any side effects.


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