Purpose: Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) affects 27% of the world’s female population. The purpose of this case report was to investigate the use of low-rate transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for pain relief in a woman with CPP. Few studies have investigated the effects of low-rate TENS on gynecological-related pelvic pain. Methods: A 21-year-old woman presented with a six-month history of pelvic pain and decreased quality of life. Persistent pain led the patient to seek physical therapy treatment. Single-channel low-rate TENS (five hertz frequency, 250 microseconds phase duration) was provided for 30 minutes daily at the maximum tolerated intensity, for ten weeks. Two-inch electrodes were placed on the patient’s low back bilaterally, one inch from the second lumbar spinous process. Pain intensity was assessed on the verbal numeric rating scale (VNRS) with a range of 0-10/10. Results: Pain levels began at 5/10 and were reduced to 0-1/10 with the application of TENS. Pain reduction lasted up to 24 hours after each TENS treatment. The pain completely resolved after ten weeks of low-rate TENS use. The patient remained pain-free with follow-ups at four-month intervals with the most recent follow-up 16 months after cessation of the TENS treatments. Conclusion: This retrospective case report found that low-rate TENS was effective in resolving CPP in a 21-year-old woman. The results of this study indicate that low-rate TENS may be a viable option to consider for treating CPP in women and may be used in addition to other treatments or services provided by allied health professionals.

Author Bio(s)

Michelle Allyn, PT, DScPT, is an assistant professor in the College of Health and Human Services, School of Rehabilitation Sciences at Andrews University.

Ryan Kamieneski, SPT, is a student physical therapist in the College of Health and Human Services, School of Rehabilitation Sciences at Andrews University.



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