Study Shows Topical Analgesic as Effective as Electrical Stimulation TENS at Reducing Low Back Pain

Akron, Ohio – July 31, 2013 – Clinical researchers at Sport and Spine Rehab Clinical Research Foundation in Rockville, MD, recently compared Biofreeze topical analgesic and transcutaneous neuromuscular electrical stimulation (TENS) treatments in patients with low back pain.

backextentionexerciseThe study showed that Biofreeze Pain Reliever was as effective as TENS treatment in reducing pain. However, the researchers, noting the potential differences in treatment cost (the average retail cost of Biofreeze is significantly lower than that of the TENS unit), suggested it would be a prudent choice to incorporate Biofreeze Pain Reliever as a replacement for TENS.1

The researchers presented their findings at the 2013 ACC-RAC conference in Washington DC and their abstract was published in the Journal of Chiropractic Education.

“Back pain is a constant threat to an individual’s confidence and desire to continue with a training or rehab program, so the first step in any rehab program is to manage and control that pain,” stated Dr. Barton N. Bishop, Chief Clinical Officer of Sport and Spine Rehab. “Our intent with this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Biofreeze Pain Reliever, a low cost topical analgesic as compared to TENS, to determine how we could get the best outcomes at the lowest cost for the patient. Based on our past Biofreeze effectiveness studies, we were not surprised to see that Biofreeze and TENS had statistically similar outcomes for pain, disability and fear avoidance. As we state in the study’s conclusion, we believe Biofreeze is a cost effective prudent replacement for TENS treatment. ”

biofreezeTwenty-two patients suffering with low back pain were randomly assigned to either Biofreeze treatments or TENS treatments in addition to a standardized rehabilitation program including exercise and manual therapy. The researchers found that both treatment groups significantly reduced their pain, disability, and fear avoidance behavior at similar levels. “In this day and age of evidence-based, cost- conscious care, it is critical to perform clinical research to help create best practices and best outcomes,” added Dr. Jay Greenstein, CEO of Sport and Spine Rehab. “Understanding how we can effectively integrate Biofreeze into our patients’ treatment plans to maximize their response to care and reduce their out of pocket costs is good for every patient and good for the healthcare system at large.”

Background: TENS or transcutaneous neuromuscular electrical stimulation is a common method of pain reduction used by rehabilitation professionals. Clinically used and recommended Biofreeze Pain Reliever uses USP-grade menthol as its active ingredient to provide reliable short-term pain relief. One theory to explain how TENS and Biofreeze topical analgesic decrease pain is the gate control theory. The gate control theory suggests that specific nerve stimulation over-rides painful nerve signals to the brain, thus reducing the perception of pain.

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  1. Greenstein et al. Evaluation of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation vs. Biofreeze in the treatment of back pain. (Abstract). 2013. J Chiropr Ed. 27(1):90-91.

Disclosure: Performance Health provided product for this study.

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