Research Article| Volume 71, 104541, March 2023

The effect of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) and Interferential Currents (IFC) on pain, functional capacity, and quality of life in patients with multiple sclerosis: A randomized controlled, single-blinded study.

Published:January 29, 2023DOI:


      • Interference current (IFC) applications increase pain and functional capacity.
      • Low-frequency transkutaneal electric stimulation (TENS) applications increase pain and functional capacity.
      • Low-frequency transkutaneal electric stimulation (TENS) application was a more effective method than IFC in increasing the quality of life.



      The aim is to compare the effects of different electrical stimulations on pain, functional capacity and quality of life in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (pwMS).


      40 pwMS were included in the study, randomized by simple random method and divided into 2 groups. Low-frequency Transkutaneal Electric Stimulation (TENS) was applied to 1st group and Interferential current was applied to 2nd group for 30 min 5 days/a week for 4 weeks. For pain severity Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), for neuropathic pain the LANSS questionnaire was used. Functional capacity was evaluated with the 2-minute walk test (2MWT) and quality of life was evaluated with the 'Multiple Sclerosis International Quality of Life Scale (MusiQol)'.


      The most severe and mean VAS and LANSS results significiantly decreased, 2MWT results significiantly increased in two groups (p<0.05). A significiant increase was found in all sub-headings of the MusiQol, except for the relationship with the health system in TENS group (p<0.05). An increase was found in the total score, activities of daily living, well-being, relationship with friends, relationship with family, sexual life, rejection sub-headings of the MusiQol in IFC group (p<0.05). There was no significant difference between the groups in terms of VAS, LANSS, 2MWT and MusiQol (p>0.05).


      In this study, it was found that interference current and TENS applications decrease pain and increase functional capacity. However, it was determined that TENS application was a more effective method in increasing the quality of life.


      : NCT05110586.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Aboud T.
        • Schuster N.M.
        Pain management in multiple sclerosis: a review of available treatment options.
        Curr. Treat Options Neurol. 2019; 27 (21): 62
        • Akyüz G.
        Transkütan Elektriksel Sinir Stimülasyonu.
        Elektroterapi, 2000: 163-176 (Ed: Tuna, N.)
        • Almeida C.C.
        • Silva V.Z.M.D.
        • Júnior G.C.
        • Liebano R.E.
        • Durigan J.L.Q.
        Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and interferential current demonstrate similar effects in relieving acute and chronic pain: a systematic review with meta-analysis.
        Braz. J. Phys. Ther. 2018; 22: 347-354
        • Bennet M.
        The LANSS pain scale: the leeds assessment of neuropathic symptoms and signs.
        Pain. 2001; 92: 147-157
        • Bohannon R.
        • Smith M.
        Interrater reliability of a modified ashworth scale of muscle spasticity.
        Phys. Ther. 1987; 67: 206-207
        • Chen W.
        • Annaswamy T.
        • Yang W.
        • Wang T.
        Physical agent modalities.
        in: Cifu D.X. Braddom's Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 5th ed. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia2016: 387-395
        • Compston A.
        • Coles A.
        Multiple sclerosis.
        Lancet. 2008; 25 (372): 1502-1517
        • Cruccu G.
        • Anand P.
        • Attal N.
        • Garcia-Larrea L.
        • Haanpaa M.
        • Jorum E.
        • Serra J.
        EFNS guideliness on neuropathic pain assessment.
        Eur. J. Neurol. 2004; 11: 153-162
        • Dilek B.
        Multipl Skleroz ve Rehabilitasyonu.
        (Beyazova, M., Kutsal, Y.G.))Fiziksel Tıp Ve Rehabilitasyon. Güneş Tıp Kitabevleri, Ankara2016: 2333-2345
        • Dutta R.
        • Trapp B.D.
        Pathogenesis of axonal and neuronal damage in multiple sclerosis.
        Neurology. 2007; 29 (68discussion S43-54): S22-S31
        • Eslamian F.
        • Farhoudi M.
        • Jahanjoo F.
        • Sadeghi-Hokmabadi E.
        • Darabi P.
        Electrical interferential current stimulation versus electrical acupuncture in management of hemiplegic shoulder pain and disability following ischemic stroke-a randomized clinical trial.
        Arch. Physiother. 2020; 10 (2)
        • Goats G.
        Interferential current therapy.
        Br. J. Sports Med. 1990; 24: 87
        • Goodin D.S.
        The epidemiology of multiple sclerosis: insights to disease pathogenesis.
        Handbook of Clinical Neurology. Elsevier, 2014: 231-266
        • Johnson M.I.
        • Paley C.A.
        • Jones G.
        • Mulvey M.R.
        • Wittkopf P.G.
        Efficacy and safety of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for acute and chronic pain in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 381 studies (the meta-TENS study).
        BMJ Open. 2022; 10 (12)e051073
        • Kumar K.H.
        • Elavarasi P.
        Definition of pain and classification of pain disorders.
        J. Adv. Clinic. Res. Insights. 2016; 3: 87-90
        • Li Z.
        • Alexander S.A.
        Current evidence in the management of poststroke hemiplegic shoulder pain: a review.
        J. Neurosci. Nurs. 2015; 47: 10-19
        • Miller L.
        • Mattison P.
        • Paul L.
        • Wood L.
        The effects of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) on spasticity in multiple sclerosis.
        Mult. Scler. 2007; 13: 527-533
        • O'Connor A.B.
        • Schwid S.R.
        • Herrmann D.N.
        • Markman J.D.
        • Dworkin R.H.
        Pain associated with multiple sclerosis: systematic review and proposed classification.
        Pain. 2008; 137: 96-111
        • Orkun S.
        Multipl Skleroz.
        (Ed:Oğuz, H.)Tıbbi Rehabilitasyon. Nobel Tıp Kitabevleri, İstanbul2015: 479-496
        • Özakbaş S.
        Multipl Skleroz'da Yaşam Kalitesi Ölçekleri.
        Turkiye Klinikleri J. Neur. 2004; 2: 249-253
        • Polman C.H.
        • Reingold S.C.
        • Banwell B.
        • et al.
        Diagnostic criteria for multiple sclerosis: 2010 revisions to the McDonald criteria.
        Ann. Neurol. 2011; 69: 292-302
        • Rossier P.
        • Wade D.T.
        Validity and reliability comparison of 4 mobility measures in patients presenting with neurologic impairment.
        Arch. Phys. Med. Rehabil. 2001; 82: 9-13
      1. Selçuki, D., 2009. Nöropatik Ağrı Skalaları ile Klinik Değerlendirme. Nöropatik Ağrı, (Ed: Tan, E.) Nobel Tıp Yayınları, pp: 99–108.

        • SelKowitz D.
        Electrical currents.
        (Cameron, M.H)Physical Agents in Rehabilitation from Research to Practice. 1st ed. Sunders, Philadelphia2000: 345-392
        • Svendsen K.B.
        • Jensen T.S.
        • Overvad K.
        • Hansen H.J.
        • Koch H.N.
        • Bach F.W.
        Pain in patients with multiple sclerosis: a population-based study.
        Arch. Neurol. 2003; 60: 1089-1094
        • Warke K.
        • Al-Smadi J.
        • Baxter D.
        • Walsh D.M.
        • Lowe-Strong A.S.
        Efficacy of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for chronic low-back pain in a multiple sclerosis population: a randomized, placebo controlled clinical trial.
        Clin. J. Pain. 2006; 22: 812-819