The use of acupuncture and tens in peripheral vascular disorders

Palle Rosted MD
200 Abbey Lane, Sheffield, S8 OBU, UK England

The beneficial effect of TENS and acupuncture in the treatment of peripheral vascular disorders has been stressed in a number of papers. In common for the majority of the published papers is a small number of patients and lack of control group.

A controlled randomised study using TENS in the treatment of leg ulcers is presented. 36 patients were included in the study and were randomly allocated to either TENS treatment or MOCK-TENS treatment. Patients were using the equipment 30 minutes three times a day for three months and electrodes were placed on the left hand in the region of LI-4 (negative electrode) and SI-5 (positive electrode). Patients was assessed after one two and three months treatment. Follow up was carried out three and six months after termination of treatment. The effect of the treatment was assessed by measuring the ulcers, Doppler measurement, Visual analogue scale for pains, Visual analogue scale for well being, McGill, intake of pain killers and skin temperature.

Both TENS and MOCK-TENS was found to be beneficial in the healing of the leg ulcer and no difference was found between the two groups. Regarding pain management, TENS was found better compared to MOCK-TENS. Surprisingly, an increase of the Doppler was found in the TENS group compared to the MOCK-TENS group, despite no change in the skin temperature was observed.