Effect of high-voltage pulsed current plus conventional treatment on acute ankle sprain

Rev Bras Fisioter. May-Jun 2010;14(3):193-9. doi: 10.1590/s1413-35552010000300012.


Background: The effectiveness of high-voltage pulsed current (HVPC) treatments in humans as a means of controlling edema and post-traumatic pain has not yet been established.

Objective: To analyze the effects of HVPC plus conventional treatment on lateral ankle sprains.

Methods: This was a randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical trial with three intervention groups: CG (control group with conventional treatment); HVPC(-) group (conventional treatment plus negative polarity HVPC); HVPC+ group (conventional treatment plus positive polarity HVPC). Twenty-eight participants with lateral ankle sprain (2 to 96 h post-trauma) were evaluated. Conventional treatment consisted of cryotherapy (20 min) plus therapeutic exercises. Additionally, the HVPC(-) and HVPC+ groups received 30 min of electrical stimulation (submotor level; 120 pps). Pain, edema, range of motion (ROM) and gait were assessed before the first treatment session and after the last treatment session.

Results: At the final evaluation, there were no significant differences between groups. Nevertheless, the HVPC(-) group had greater values in all assessed parameters. The data analysis showed that the HVPC(-) group had greater reductions in volume and girth, and greater recovery of ROM and gait velocity. This group also reached the end of the treatment (1.7 weeks; range 1.2-2.2) faster than the HVPC+ group and the CG (2.2 weeks; range 1.8-2.6).

Conclusions: There were no differences between the study groups, but the results suggest that HVPC(-) can accelerate the initial phase of recovery from ankle sprain. Article registered in the Clinical Trials.gov under the number NCT 00732017.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00732017.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ankle Injuries / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sprains and Strains / therapy*
  • Young Adult

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00732017