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Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 792383, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Duration of Analgesia Induced by Acupuncture-Like TENS on Experimental Heat Pain

1École de Réadaptation, Faculté de Médecine et des Sciences de la Santé, Université de Sherbrooke, Pavillon Gérald-Lasalle, Z7-2011, 3001, 12e Avenue Nord, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada J1H 5N4
2Centre de Recherche Clinique Etienne-LeBel du CHUS, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada J1H 5N4

Received 27 February 2013; Accepted 20 March 2013

Academic Editors: J. Ferreira, B. Kuran, and A. Nackley

Copyright © 2013 Yannick Tousignant-Laflamme et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Acupuncture-like TENS (AL-TENS) is a treatment modality that can be used to temporarily reduce pain. However, there is no clear data in the literature regarding the specific duration of analgesia induced by AL-TENS. Objectives. To describe and quantify the duration and magnitude of AL-TENS analgesia on experimental heat pain in healthy subjects and verify if the duration or magnitude of analgesia induced by the AL-TENS was influenced by the duration of the application of the AL-TENS (15 versus 30 minutes). Methods. A repeated-measures, intrasubject randomized experimental design was used, where each participant was his/her own control. 22 healthy volunteers underwent heat pain stimulations with a contact thermode before (pretest) and after (posttest) AL-TENS application (15 and 30 minutes). Outcome measures included subjective pain during AL-TENS, duration, and magnitude of AL-TENS-induced analgesia. Results. Survival analysis showed that the median duration of AL-TENS analgesia was 10 minutes following the application of either 15 or 30 minutes of AL-TENS. The magnitude of analgesia following either application was comparable at all points in time ( values > 0.05) and ranged between −20% and −36% pain reduction. Conclusion. Only half of the participants still had heat-pain analgesia induced by the AL-TENS at 15 minutes postapplication.