Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy: An adjuvant pain controlling modality in TMD patients — A clinical study

Muhammad Shanavas, Laxmikanth Chatra, Prashanth Shenai, Prasanna Kumar Rao, Veena Jagathish, Sreeja Prasanna Kumar, Bilahari Naduvakkattu


Background: The use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) in dentistry was fi rstdescribed in 1967, by Shane and Kessler, but it has yet to gain widespread acceptance in dentistry.
A study was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of TENS therapy as an adjuvant modality and to compare it with the conventional medication in controlling pain in temporomandibular disorder (TMD) patients.
Materials and Methods: The study was carried out in the Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Yenepoya Dental College and Hospital, Mangalore. A total of 40 patients with the clinical
symptom of pain associated with TMDs were randomly divided into two groups. Group A (control) patients were treated with medication (analgesics and muscle relaxants) alone, while group B patients were treated with TENS therapy in combination with medication. The intensity of the pain
was assessed using the Visual Analog Scale (VAS). The results were analyzed with the student’s ‘t’ test. A P-value < 0.05 was considered as signifi cant.
Results: A signifi cant improvement was observed in both the TENS and the control group in terms of pain control. On comparative analysis, adjuvant TENS therapy was found to be more effective than medication alone, in controlling pain. (P value = 0.019).
Conclusion: The observed data suggest that TENS therapy can be used as an adjuvant modality in the management of pain associated with TMDs. This study justifi es the use of TENS therapy in the management of TMD.
Key words: Temporomandibular disorder, temporomandibular joint, transcutaneous electricalnerve stimulation

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