Effect of adjuvant frequency-specific microcurrents on pain and disability in patients treated with physical rehabilitation for neck and low back pain

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2020 Oct;24(4):168-175. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2020.07.013. Epub 2020 Jul 30.


Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of adjuvant frequency-specific microcurrent (FSM) application on pain and disability in patients treated with physical rehabilitation for mechanical low back pain (LBP) and neck pain (NP).

Methods: In this retrospective case-control study, pre- and post-treatment numerical pain rating scale (NPRS) score, Oswestry disability index (ODI) score, neck disability index (NDI) score, disability categories, and treatment outcome categories were compared between 213 patients in the FSM group (167 patients with LBP, 46 patients with NP) and 78 patients in the control group (61 patients with LBP, 17 patients with NP).

Results: In LBP patients, mean post-treatment NPRS score was significantly lower (p = 0.02) and a significantly higher percentage of patients were in the ≤3 NPRS score (p = 0.02), in the minimal disability (p = 0.01), and the full success (p = 0.006) categories post-treatment in the FSM group when compared to the control group. In NP patients, there was no significant difference in the post-treatment pain intensity, disability or treatment outcome when the 2 groups were compared.

Conclusions: The use of adjuvant FSM application in patients treated with physical rehabilitation for LBP significantly improved pain and disability when compared to patients in the control group. Frequency specific microcurrent could be a useful adjuvant in the rehabilitation treatment of patients with low back pain.

Keywords: Frequency specific microcurrent therapy; Low back pain; Neck pain; Physical therapy; Rehabilitation; Spine.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain*
  • Neck Pain
  • Retrospective Studies