The influence of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation parameters on the level of pain perceived by participants with painful diabetic neuropathy: A crossover study Academic Article uri icon


  • This pilot study aimed to investigate and compare the perceived pain relief effectiveness of two different modes of TENS in people with painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN).A cross-over study was conducted at Charles Sturt University, Orange. Five participants with PDN were assessed with a McGill Pain Questionnaire before and after each of the two TENS treatments. Participants were randomly allocated to Traditional TENS (80Hz, 200ms) or Acupuncture-like TENS (2Hz, 200ms) and the treatments were applied daily for 30min over ten days. Following a seven day washout period, the alternate mode of TENS was carried out using the same method. Wilcoxon Signed Rank tests were used to statistically analyse the results.All five participants reported personally meaningful pain relief during one or both of the TENS treatments. The Wilcoxon signed rank testing showed no statistical significance, p=1, likely due to the small sample size. Acupuncture-like TENS had a large effect size (z=-1.625, r=0.514), whilst Traditional TENS produced a medium effect size (z=-1.214, r=0.384). No adverse effects were reported.Acupuncture-like TENS may be more effective for PDN than traditional TENS. A larger scale replication of this pilot study is warranted.

publication date

  • 2017