What is the role of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy?

Updated: Jan 17, 2020
  • Author: Dianna Quan, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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In addition to exercise, the patient also should be educated on independent pain management and relaxation strategies to assist with pain control. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may be a recommended modality for patients with neuropathic pain, and the physical therapist can be helpful in teaching and monitoring the patient in its use. In a 1999 case report, Somers and Somers found that application of TENS to the skin of the lumbar region was an effective treatment for the pain of diabetic neuropathy, but no controlled studies have confirmed this finding. [101] The 2011 AAN/AANEM/AAPMR guideline supports TENS as probably effective as a treatment for PDN. [102]

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