Comparison of effects of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation of auricular, somatic, and the combination of auricular and somatic acupuncture points on experimental pain threshold

Academic Article

Abstract

  • This study compared the effects of high intensity, low frequency transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation of auricular, somatic, and combined auricular and somatic acupuncture points on experimental pain threshold measured at the wrist. Sixty-seven healthy adults, aged 18 to 39 years, were assigned randomly to one of four groups: 1) the auricular Group (n = 17) received TENS to auricular acupuncture points, 2) the Somatic Group (n = 17) received TENS to somatic acupuncture points, 3) the Combined Group (n = 17) received TENS to both Auricular and somatic acupuncture points, and 4) the Control Group (n = 16) received no TENS and served as controls. Pain threshold was measured immediately before and after treatment or rest. Pain threshold significantly increased (p < .05) in the Auricular, Somatic, and Combined Groups following treatment, with no statistically significant differences in mean pain threshold change scores among treatment groups. The Control Group demonstrated no statistically significant change in pain threshold. The results indicate that TENS applied to any of the three sets of acupuncture points equally increases pain threshold, thus possibly increasing options in choosing stimulation sites for treating patients with pain.
  • Published In

  • Physical Therapy  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lein DH; Clelland JA; Knowles CJ; Jackson JR
  • Start Page

  • 671
  • End Page

  • 678
  • Volume

  • 69
  • Issue

  • 8