Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and myoneural injection therapy for management of chronic myofascial pain.

Department of Anesthesia, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Ohio.
Dental Clinics of North America 11/1987; 31(4):703-23.
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this article has been to discuss in detail both the rationale and techniques for TENS and myoneural injection therapy as modalities for the management of chronic myofascial pain. In a more subtle sense, we have also interjected some of our philosophy regarding the treatment of chronic myofascial pain. As was discussed earlier in the text of this article, very seldom, if ever, will any single technique stand alone as a "cure" for the patient with chronic pain, but, instead, each modality must be considered as an adjunctive form of multidisciplinary care. The multidisciplinary approach to pain management includes, as a minimum, pharmacotherapy, physical therapy, and behavioral medicine therapy. The concept of the team approach and goals of management, rather than cure, for chronic myofascial pain, cannot be overstated and is often as difficult to impart to the clinician as it is to the patient. To employ any individual form of therapy, the clinician must understand the indications and limitations of each modality in a total treatment program. Over the last several years TENS therapy has become extremely popular to a large extent because it is a noninvasive technique that most patients can be taught to use safely and effectively. An additional advantage to TENS therapy is that it provides many patients with some means of control over their pain, independent of medications and hands-on therapy by health care providers. Myoneural block therapy is often utilized to add a measure of control over the severe pain and dysfunction that may be present during the early phases of active treatment of chronic myofascial pain. It is used to enhance the effects of a conservative multidisciplinary pain management program when utilized on a short-term basis. Myoneural block therapy is often a useful adjunct to physical therapy to improve the patient's overall range of motion and facilitate either treatment by the physical therapist or a home exercise program. The clinician is reminded that myoneural injection therapy can be overutilized. It should be limited as to the number of injections per visit. Also, the total number of visits the patient receives injections should be kept low. After the initial myoneural injection treatment series of three to five sessions, it should be utilized only for severe pain exacerbation that has been unresponsive to conservative, noninvasive management.

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