This study investigated the effect of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for the treatment of patients with chronic pain after ankylosing spondylitis (AS).
A total of 72 eligible patients with chronic pain following AS were included. All included patients received exercise and were assigned to a treatment group and a control group equally. In addition, patients in the treatment group also underwent TENS therapy. All patients were treated for a total of 6 weeks. The primary outcome of pain intensity was measured by visual analog scale (VAS). The secondary outcomes included degree of functional limitation, as assessed by Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI); and quality of life, as evaluated by Ankylosing Spondylitis Quality of Life (ASQoL) questionnaire. All outcomes were assessed before and after 6 weeks treatment. Furthermore, adverse events were also recorded.
After 6-week treatment, patients in the treatment group did not show more promising outcomes in pain reduction, as measured by VAS (P = .08); functional evaluation, as evaluated by BASFI (P = .19); as well as quality of life, as assessed by ASQoL (P = .18), compared with patients in the control group. No adverse events occurred in both groups.
This study did not exert encouraging outcomes in patients with chronic pain following AS after 6-week treatment.