Pulsed radiofrequency versus conventional transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in painful shoulder: a prospective, randomized study

Onur Kıvılcım Korkmaz, Kazım Capaci, Can Eyigor, Sibel Eyigor
Clinical Rehabilitation 2010, 24 (11): 1000-8

OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy of pulse radiofrequency applied to the suprascapular nerve with the efficacy of conventional transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation treatment in patients with shoulder pain.

DESIGN: A randomized, controlled trial.

SETTING: An outpatient physical therapy and rehabilitation clinic.

SUBJECTS: Forty patients with shoulder pain lasting at least three months were included in the study. Subjects were randomly allocated into either a pulsed radiofrequency treatment or a conventional transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation treatment. All patients received exercise therapy.

MAIN MEASUREMENTS: Outcome measurements were performed using the visual analogue scale for pain and range of motion; the Shoulder Pain and Disability Index was used for disability; and the Short Form-36 was used to establish quality of life. All of the measurements were assessed at four points in time (before the intervention, and for 1, 4 and 12 weeks afterwards).

RESULTS: When the groups were compared, no significant difference was found between the groups in terms of visual analogue scale, range of motion, the Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (except for the Shoulder Pain and Disability Index total score), Short Form-36 subscores, and paracetamol consumption for all weeks (P >0.05).

CONCLUSION: Our results showed that there is no difference in effect between transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and pulsed radiofrequency treatment for shoulder pain.


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