Chronic pain is a significant health problem and the risk of suffering it increases considerably with age. It is estimated that almost one in three seniors is struggling with chronic pain. Therapeutic exercises and peripheral neurostimulation (TENS for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) have been shown to be effective in reducing pain, but is there an advantage in combining these two methods?
The objective of this study was to determine whether combining therapeutic exercise and TENS in seniors with persistent pain reduced symptoms more than therapeutic exercise alone. To answer this question, 18 women over the age of 65 with persistent pain were divided into two groups. The first group received a therapeutic exercise program combined with TENS sessions; the second group received the same exercise program, but combined with placebo TENS sessions.
Study participants practiced for one month twice a week for 45 minutes. Participants who received the TENS combined exercise program experienced a greater reduction in pain immediately after the exercise sessions compared to participants who received the placebo TENS. However, the changes reflecting long-term outcomes (general pain, physical function, emotional state) were similar in both groups. The results of this study allow us to conclude that adding TENS to therapeutic exercises would be beneficial in reducing the pain of the elderly during and after exercise sessions, without any real benefit, however in the long term (exercises without TENS as effective as exercises. with TENS). You can find more information on this article HERE.