Brazilian Journal of Pain
Brazilian Journal of Pain
Original Article

Effect of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and hypnosis on chronic low back pain

Efeito da estimulação elétrica nervosa transcutânea e hipnose na dor lombar crônica

Carolina Weizemann; Nathielly Flores Camargo; Taise Vieira Barboza; Alberito Rodrigo de Carvalho; Gladson Ricardo Flor Bertolini

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Among the main non-pharmacological analgesic techniques are physical therapies such as electrotherapy and cognitive-behavioral techniques, such as hypnosis. The objective of this study was to compare the analgesic effect of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and hypnosis in the control of chronic low back pain.

METHODS: A crossover study that included 19 young adults of both genders with chronic low back pain who underwent TENS and hypnosis, and pain education as a control group. The quality of pain was assessed by the McGill’s questionnaire; pain intensity and threshold were assessed by the visual analog scale. The intensity of spontaneous pain, the threshold and intensity of pain induced by cold and the pressure pain threshold before the interventions, immediately after the interventions and 30 minutes after the end of the interventions were evaluated. Statistical analysis was performed with Generalized Mixed Linear Models, with 5% significance, and Cohen’s G effect sizes.

RESULTS: There was a statistically significant decrease in the intensity of spontaneous and cold induced pain in the hypnosis and TENS groups compared to the pain education group. There was a statistically significant reduction of pain in the sensory and evaluation categories in the intervention groups compared to the control group. There was no significant difference for the pressure pain threshold and latency time for cold induced pain.

CONCLUSION: Hypnosis and TENS decreased the intensity of chronic low back pain with no statistically significant difference between them, but statistically different from the pain education control group.


Hypnosis, Low back pain, Physical therapy modalities, Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation


JUSTIFICATIVA E OBJETIVOS: Entre as principais técnicas analgésicas não farmacológicas estão as terapias físicas como a eletroterapia e técnicas cognitivo-comportamentais, como a hipnose. O objetivo deste estudo foi comparar o efeito analgésico da estimulação elétrica nervosa transcutânea (TENS) e hipnose no controle da dor lombar crônica.

MÉTODOS: Estudo do tipo cruzado que incluiu 19 adultos jovens de ambos os sexos portadores de dor lombar crônica, submetidos a TENS, hipnose e educação em dor como grupo controle. A qualidade da dor foi avaliada pelo questionário de McGill, a intensidade e o limiar da dor pela escala analógica visual. Foi avaliada a intensidade da dor espontânea, o limiar e a intensidade de dor ao frio e o limiar da dor à pressão, imediatamente após as intervenções e 30 minutos depois do final das intervenções. A análise estatística foi realizada com modelos lineares generalizados mistos, com 5% de significância, e tamanhos de efeito G de Cohen.

RESULTADOS: Houve diminuição estatisticamente significativa da intensidade da dor espontânea e ao frio nos grupos hipnose e TENS comparados ao grupo de educação em dor. Ocorreu redução do quadro álgico estatisticamente significativo nas categorias sensorial e avaliativa nos grupos intervenção comparados ao grupo controle. Não houve diferença significativa para o limiar de dor à pressão e o tempo de latência para a dor ao frio.

CONCLUSÃO: A hipnose e a TENS diminuíram a intensidade da dor lombar crônica sem diferença estatisticamente significativa entre si, porém estatisticamente diferentes em relação ao grupo controle.


Dor lombar, Estimulação elétrica nervosa transcutânea, Hipnose, Modalidades de fisioterapia


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