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September 8, 1999

Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation for Treatment of Low Back Pain—Reply

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

In Reply: We agree with Dr Berkman that our study design permitted only an evaluation of the short-term benefits of PENS therapy in this population with chronic LBP. Clearly, there is a need for further studies evaluating the long-term effects of PENS when used as part of a multimodal rehabilitation program, which should include more effective exercise therapy.

Although the study group was relatively young, mean (SD) age 43 [19] years, the ages of the patients ranged from 21 to 80 years. Many younger patients had undergone previous back surgery and were diagnosed as having "failed back surgery syndrome." Subsequently, we have studied a variety of other chronic pain patient populations (including sciatica, cervical neck pain, headaches, cancer pain, diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain),1-5 and have found results similar to those reported in our JAMA article.