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Does transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation reduce pain and improve quality of life in patients with idiopathic chronic orchialgia? A randomized controlled trial

Authors Tantawy SA, Kamel DM, Abdelbasset WK

Received 22 October 2017

Accepted for publication 18 November 2017

Published 27 December 2017 Volume 2018:11 Pages 77—82


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr E Alfonso Romero-Sandoval

Sayed A Tantawy,1,2 Dalia M Kamel,3 Walid Kamal Abdelbasset4,5

1Department of Physiotherapy, Centre of Radiation, Oncology and Nuclear Medicine, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt; 2Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medical and Health Sciences, Ahlia University, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain; 3Department of Physical Therapy for Obstetrics & Gynecology, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt; 4Department of Physical Therapy and Health Rehabilitation, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Prince Sattam Bin Abdul Aziz University, Alkharj, Saudi Arabia; 5Department of Physical Therapy, Kasr Al-Aini Hospital, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt

Background: Chronic orchialgia is defined as testicular pain, which may be either unilateral or bilateral, lasting for more than 3 months. It disturbs a patient’s daily activities and quality of life (QoL), inciting the patient to search for treatments to alleviate the pain. It is estimated that 25% of chronic orchialgia cases are idiopathic.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate how effective transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is in pain reduction and how it consequently affects the QoL in patients with idiopathic chronic orchialgia (ICO).
Patients and methods: Seventy-one patients were randomly assigned to group A (study group), which included 36 patients who received TENS and analgesia, and group B (control group), which included 35 patients who received analgesia only. The outcome measures were the participants’ demographic data and results of the visual analog scale (VAS) and QoL questionnaire. These outcomes were measured before and after 4 weeks of treatment and at 2-month follow-up.
Results: The results showed that compared to pretreatment, there was a significant reduction in pain postintervention and at 2-month follow-up in group A (P<0.0001 and <0.001, respectively; F=7.1) as well as a significant improvement in QoL at these time points (P<0.0001 and <0.0001, respectively). There were no significant differences in the VAS score and QoL in group B at different time points of evaluation.
Conclusion: The findings indicate that TENS is effective in reducing pain and improving patients’ QoL in cases of ICO. TENS is an easy-to-use, effective, noninvasive, and simple method for ICO-associated pain control and QoL improvement.

Keywords: orchialgia, testicular pain, TENS, pain assessment, VAS, physiotherapy, quality of life, chronic pain

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