Christine Shanahan, Alex R. Ward and Val J. Robertson
The objective of this study was to compare the analgesic efficacy of interferential therapy (IFT) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) using an experimental cold pain model. The results show that the mean cold pain threshold with a TENS intervention was higher than that with IFT. A training effect was evident as subjectsâ€™ responses become more consistent with repeated exposure to stimulation and the testing procedure. The differences in pain threshold between IFT and TENS for the two during-intervention (T3 and T4) measures were statistically significant (T3 difference in the means 5.9 seconds, 99% confidence interval 3.1 to 8.7 seconds; T4 difference in the means 6.6 seconds, 99% confidence interval 3.8 to 9.4 seconds). No significant differences were identified in pain intensity and unpleasantness ratings.The authors concluded that TENS is more effective than IFT at increasing cold pain thresholds in healthy subjects, and this effect increases with repeated exposures.
Physiotherapy, Volume 92, Issue 4,