The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    TENS plus task-related training in stroke patients

    Researchers from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University report that the combination is better than either treatment alone.

    First, the details.

    • 88 chronic stroke survivors were assigned randomly to one of 4 treatments 5 days a week for 4 weeks
    • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
    • TENS+TRT (task-related training)
    • Placebo TENS+TRT
    • No treatment

    TENS is a technique where mild electric currents are applied to some areas of the skin by a small power pack.

    And, the results with TENS+TRT.

    • Significantly greater improvement in ankle dorsiflexion torque (bending the ankle upward) and in ankle plantarflexion torque (pointing the foot down) vs TENS
    • Significantly earlier and greater reduction of plantarflexor spasticity and improvement in ankle dorsiflexion torque vs placebo+TRT.
    • Significantly greater improvement in gait velocity (speed of a person’s walk) vs the other groups.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “In patients with chronic stroke, 20 sessions of a combined TENS+TRT home-based program decreased plantarflexor spasticity, improved dorsiflexor and plantarflexor strength, and increased gait velocity significantly.”

    And, the improvements were maintained 4 weeks after treatment ended.

    11/18/07 17:58 JR

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