The Treatment of Upper Back Pain by Two Modulated Frequency Modes of Acupuncture-like TENS
The aim of this research was to evaluate the treatment effect of two modulated-frequency mode of acupuncture-like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (AL-TENS) on patients with upper back pain. Thirty patients suffering from upper back pain for at least three months were involved in the study from Chung Yuan Christian University. The subjects were randomly assigned to three treatment groups in different time slots as repeated measures design. Each group (n=30) was respectively treated with either 5 KHz modulated by 2 Hz frequency mode (LF group), 5 KHz modulated by 100 Hz frequency mode of TENS (HF group) on acupuncture points (GB21) located in the upper back area, or sham TENS (control group). Two electrodes were placed on right and left acupoints. The intensity of stimulation was adjusted at a tolerable level for each subject. Patients were treated for twenty minutes per visit, three times a week for two weeks. Visual analog scale (VAS) was used to rank the degree of pain before and two weeks after the treatment. A device, the design of which is based on the Ryodoraku theorem, was used to measure the electrical conductance of 12 meridians and the acupoint (GB21) on both sides of the subjects. The results showed that: (1) after the AL-TENS treatment in this study, the electrical conductances of either meridians or acupuncture points increased with the decrease of VAS of the patients; the correlation was higher in the acupoints than that in the meridians; (2) the effect of AL-TENS on the percentage change of VAS is more related to the percentage change of electrical conductances of acupoints than that of meridians; (3) 5 KHz modulated by 2 Hz or 100Hz frequency mode of AL-TENS was effective in the treatment of the patients with upper back pain.