Clin Orthop. 1983 Oct; (179): 24-30.
The role of physical agents in the treatment of spine pain.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and electroacupuncture are effective agents in the management of spine pain. Ultrasound and shortwave therapy are often used, but the demonstrated effectiveness of these physical agents in the treatment of spine pain is questionable. Pain relief is the major reason for the use of physical agents. As the pain is controlled, the patient is better able to carry out a home program, tolerate traction, or relax sufficiently to allow mobilization of the spine. Physical agents alone have no long-range value.