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TENS therapy: An option for fibromyalgia treatment?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tens/AN01946
- With Mayo Clinic rheumatologist
April Chang-Miller, M.D.read biographyclose window
April Chang-Miller, M.D.April Chang-Miller, M.D.
Dr. April Chang-Miller is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology and is a consultant in the Division of Rheumatology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.
Dr. Chang-Miller's primary field is rheumatology with special interests in inflammatory joint diseases called seronegative spondyloarthropathies, such as ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. She also cares for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and polymyalgia rheumatica.
The New York City native is a graduate of the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Chang-Miller joined the Mayo Clinic staff in Rochester, Minn., in 1991, and in 2002 she relocated to Mayo Clinic in Arizona. She is a fellow in the American College of Rheumatology and has been on the board of directors of the Arthritis Foundation North Central Chapter.
TENS therapy: An option for fibromyalgia treatment?
Would a TENS unit help improve fibromyalgia pain?
from April Chang-Miller, M.D.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a therapy sometimes used to treat localized or regional pain. During TENS therapy, electrodes deliver electrical impulses to nearby nerve pathways — which can help control or relieve some types of pain.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points — places on the body where slight pressure causes pain. Since the pain of fibromyalgia isn't limited to a specific area, TENS therapy isn't likely to be an effective fibromyalgia treatment.
Fibromyalgia is often treated with various medications to relieve pain and improve sleep. Options may include pain relievers, antidepressants and muscle relaxants. Exercise and stress reduction, as well as healthy sleep and eating habits, are important as well. Cognitive-behavioral therapy — working with a mental-health professional to learn effective ways of thinking about and dealing with your condition — also may be recommended.
If you have fibromyalgia and your treatment plan isn't relieving your pain, consult your doctor. He or she may adjust your medications or offer additional treatment options.
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- Consider other treatments. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/pain-center-treatments.php. Accessed Jan. 26, 2011.
- Fibromyalgia (FMS). Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/disease-center.php?disease_id=10. Accessed Jan. 26, 2011.
- Goldenberg DL. Treatment of fibromyalgia in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 26, 2011.