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Comparing stimulation-induced pain during percutaneous (intramuscular) and transcutaneous neuromuscular electric stimulation for treating shoulder subluxation in hemiplegia
Yu DT, Chae J, Walker ME, Hart RL, Petroski GF
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2001 Jun;82(6):756-760
clinical trial
5/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: No; Baseline comparability: No; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: No; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether percutaneous (intramuscular) neuromuscular electric stimulation (perc-NMES) is less painful than transcutaneous neuromuscular electric stimulation (trans-NMES) for treating shoulder subluxation in hemiplegia. DESIGN: Double-blind, crossover trial. SETTING: University-affiliated tertiary care hospital. PARTICIPANTS: A convenience sample of 10 hemiplegic sub jects with at least 1 fingerbreadth of glenohumeral subluxation. INTERVENTIONS: All subjects received 3 randomly ordered pairs of perc-NMES and trans-NMES to the supraspinatus and posterior deltoid muscles of the subluxated shoulder. Both types of stimulation were optimized to provide full joint reduction with minimal discomfort. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Pain was assessed after each stimulation with a 10-cm visual analog scale (VAS) and the McGill Pain Questionnaire, using the Pain Rating Index (PRI) scoring method. Subjects were asked which type of stimulation they would prefer for 6 weeks of treatment. Wilcoxon's signed-rank test was used to compare median differences in VAS and PRI between perc-NMES and trans-NMES. RESULTS: Median VAS scores for perc-NMES and trans-NMES were 1 and 5.7, respectively (p = 0.007). Median PRI scores for perc-NMES and trans-NMES were 7 and 19,5, respectively (p = 0.018). Nine of the 10 subjects preferred perc-NMES to trans-NMES for treatment. CONCLUSION: Data suggest that perc-NMES is less painful than trans-NMES in the treatment of shoulder subluxation in hemiplegia.

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