Transcranial DC Stimulation Coupled With TENS for the Treatment of Chronic Pain: A Preliminary Study

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


ObjectiveBased on evidence showing that electrical stimulation of the nervous system is an effective method to decrease chronic neurogenic pain, we aimed to investigate whether the combination of 2 methods of electrical stimulation—a method of peripheral stimulation [transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)] and a method of noninvasive brain stimulation [transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)]—induces greater pain reduction as compared with tDCS alone and sham stimulation.MethodsWe performed a preliminary, randomized, sham-controlled, crossover, clinical study in which 8 patients were randomized to receive active tDCS/active TENS (“tDCS/TENS” group), active tDCS/sham TENS (“tDCS” group), and sham tDCS/sham TENS (“sham” group) stimulation. Assessments were performed immediately before and after each condition by a blinded rater.ResultsThe results showed that there was a significant difference in pain reduction across the conditions of stimulation (P=0.006). Post hoc tests showed significant pain reduction as compared with baseline after the tDCS/TENS condition [reduction by 36.5% (±10.7), P=0.004] and the tDCS condition [reduction by 15.5% (±4.9), P=0.014], but not after sham stimulation (P=0.35). In addition, tDCS/TENS induced greater pain reduction than tDCS (P=0.02).ConclusionsThe results of this pilot study suggest that the combination of TENS with tDCS has a superior effect compared with tDCS alone.

    loading  Loading Related Articles