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OARSI – Recommendation XI: TENS Units help with short-term pain

July 23, 2010

This is a continuation of our series on the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis published in the Journal of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

TENS Unit

Recommendation XI

TENS Units (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Units) can be effective for short-term pain relief in patients with hip and knee osteoarthritis.

8 out of 10 existing guidelines for the management of knee OA recommend TENS Units for pain relief.  The OARSi research team found that short-term (2-4 weeks) treatments are effective.  These results were confirmed by a systematic review of seven randomized controlled trials.

The research team gave this osteoarthritis treatment option a Strength of Recommendation score of 58%.

W. Zhang Ph.D., Moskowitz M.D., et al. OARSI recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis, Part II: OARSI evidence-based, expert consensus guidelines. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. (2008) 16, 137-162.


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