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Higher TENS Dose May Ease Low Back Pain in Older Adults

Older adults achieve similar results to younger adults with higher TENS amplitude

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FRIDAY, Dec. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) devices may offer some relief for adults with chronic back pain, with higher-frequency, higher-intensity application more effective for older patients, according to research published in the December issue of The Journal of Pain.

Corey Simon, Ph.D., of the University of Florida's Pain Research and Intervention Center in Gainesville, and colleagues studied the effectiveness of TENS on 60 adults with axial chronic low back pain (CLBP) ranging in age from 18 to 79. Participants received four 20-minute sessions of TENS therapy over two to three weeks.

Participants experienced CLBP relief following TENS application; however, older adults received higher TENS amplitude to achieve TENS responses similar to those in younger adults, according to the researchers.

"These findings suggest that older adults experience similar episodic axial CLBP relief to that of younger individuals after high-frequency, high-intensity TENS when higher dose parameters are used," the authors conclude.

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