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Comparacao dos efeitos da estimulacao eletrica nervosa transcutanea e da hidroterapia na dor, flexibilidade e qualidade de vida de pacientes com fibromialgia (Comparison of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and hydrotherapy effects on pain, flexibility and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia) [Portuguese]
da Silva TFG, Suda EY, Marculo CA, Paes FHS, Pinheiro GT
Fisioterapia e Pesquisa [Physical Therapy and Research] 2008 Apr-Jun;15(2):118-124
clinical trial
4/10 [Eligibility criteria: No; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: No; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: No; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: No; Between-group comparisons: No; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of hydrotherapy and of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) on symptomology of patients with fibromyalgia. Ten subjects (aged 48.8 +/- 9.8 years) with fibromyalgia were divided into two groups, one treated with hydrotherapy, the other with TENS. All were evaluated before and after treatment as to flexibility (by means of the fingertip-to-floor test), pain (by visual analogue scale), health-related quality of life (by the SF-36 and the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) questionnaires) and trend to depression (by the Beck's Depression Inventory). Data were statistically analysed, and significance level set at p < 0.05. Results show that patients treated with TENS had significant pain reduction and better quality of life as measured by the SF-36 and some NHP items, while patients treated with hydrotherapy showed improvement in SF-36 scores. It may hence be said that both treatments were efficient in improving physical functioning, but TENS produced better results in relieving pain and in a greater number of variables, suggesting that it is more efficient for treating fibromyalgia.

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