Both acupuncture and TENS are exciting great controversy at the present time in the Western world; their long standing use for chronic pain is being questioned because (again) of the lack of evidence. This remains a controversial field, but both techniques appear to be relatively simple, fairly safe in appropriate hands and reasonably cheap.
Acupuncture again is said to work on descending inhibitory pain pathways and also to stimulate endorphins (as well as the body's natural cortisone). Both positive and negative results have been shown in a bewildering variety of trials. There is certainly a powerful placebo effect, but there also seems to be a significant analgesic component, albeit this might last for only a very short period, and the benefits seen with many patients may be due to a reduction in distress and disability engendered by their interaction with the therapist.
Again it is difficult to find a wealth of hard evidence as to the efficacy of TENS, but a limited, albeit significant number of patients appear to get good benefit, and this appears in some studies to be better than placebo.
Dorsal column stimulation continues to excite interest. Clearly, this can be a useful therapy for moderate pain, especially if it encourages entry into a pain management programme-type approach.
TENS or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is a small device that many people find effective in relieving pain. TENS has become a recognised and well-proven method of treating pain. Research, technology and quality engineering have made TENS a safe and highly effective pain relief system, recommended by Pain Clinics, doctors, maternity and physiotherapy departments throughout the UK and internationally.
TENS provides pain relief for a large variety of pain complaints. Commonly treated conditions include: