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September 8, 1999

Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation for Treatment of Low Back Pain

Author Affiliations

Margaret AWinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;282(10):941-942. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-10-jbk0908

To the Editor: The article by Dr Ghoname and colleagues1 appears to show that percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (PENS) is better than some other modalities as a temporary treatment for low back pain (LBP). The authors state that patients selected for this study had chronic "LBP secondary to radiologically confirmed degenerative disc disease." However, the radiographic degree of disk degeneration generally does not correlate well with degree of pain; in fact, many patients with degenerative disk disease have no LBP.