An appraisal was made on a systematic review by Khadilkar et al, which compared the use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) against a placebo in the management of chronic low back pain in healthy adults. When comparing TENS versus the placebo, outcome measurements included: pain, functional status, general health status, disability, patient satisfaction and side effects. Per the Visual Analog Scale, two of the three studies were found to have clinically insignificant and clinically unimportant benefits with the use of TENS. Using both the Oswestry Disability Index and Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire, two studies revealed no statistically significant or clinical importance with the use of TENS for functional status. Both general health status and work status are still under debate based on the limited number of studies. This systematic review does not favor the use of TENS over a placebo for management of chronic low back pain in healthy adults. The small number of eligible trials, the inconsistency associated with the outcome measurements reported and short treatment time may limit this study.
LaSarso, Nicholas, "The Usefulness of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation for the Management of Chronic Low Back Pain" (2014). Critically Appraised Topics (CAT). 9.