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Effects of Percutaneous Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation for Neck Pain in Patients With Cervical Spondylosis

Hong-jian Jiang, MD; Qiang Miao, MD; Yan-li Zhan, MD

Context • Cervical spondylosis (CS) is a very common, age-related, chronic, disc-degeneration condition. Alternative medicine has been widely used to treat neck pain in CS. However, no randomized controlled trials have focused on the effects and safety of percutaneous neuromuscular electrical stimulation (PNMES) for neck-pain relief in patients with CS. Objective • The study aimed to evaluate the effects and safety of PNMES for treating neck pain in patients with cervical spondylosis (CS). Design • The research team designed a two-arm, double-blinded, randomized, sham-controlled trial. Setting • The study was conducted at the People’s Hospital of Yan’an in Yan’an, China. Participants • Participants were 124 patients with neck pain from CS at the hospital. Intervention • Participants were randomly divided into an intervention group and a control group in a ratio of 1:1. The intervention group received PNMES (PNMES group), and the control group received sham PNMES for 30 minutes daily 3 times weekly, for 12 weeks. Outcome Measures • The outcome measures included: (1) a visual analog scale (VAS), (2) a test of cervical range of motion (ROM), and (3) the neck disability index (NDI) score. All outcome measurements were measured immediately postintervention and in a follow-up at 4 weeks postintervention. In addition, AEs were also recorded duration the period of treatment. Results • Immediately postintervention and at the follow-up, the PNMES group exhibited decreases in the mean VAS (P < .01) and NDI score (P < .01) that were significantly greater than those of the control group. Additionally, the increase in the mean ROM was significantly higher in the PNMES group than that in the control group, both immediately postintervention and at the follow-up (P < .01). No AEs were found in either group. Conclusions • The results of this study have demonstrated that PNMES is more effective than sham PNMES for neck-pain relief in patients with CS.

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